We had the good fortune of connecting with Toya Imani and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Toya Imani, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
My favorite quote is “Your past, a misfortune; your future, it’s fit for a queen!” I started saying this quote to myself a few years ago when I realized that regardless of the things of my past, the future ahead was bright. The words we speak to ourselves are extremely powerful. This particular quote was my favorite way to boost my mood. I still say it in the mirror constantly to remind myself that there are bigger and better things to come!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Lipstick By Imani is a makeup line that I launched in September 2019. The idea for the brand stemmed for my lifetime love of fashion and makeup. I spent childhood days playing dress up with my best friend and waiting to visit my grandma so I could put her red lipstick on. When I moved to Houston in 2013, I had a plan to be a freelance makeup artist. Thankfully, God always has a bigger and better plan. After attending conferences, doing research, and networking with so many other ladies in similar industries, it was clear that I was meant to create and sale my own lipstick colors. The journey has surely not been an easy one, but it has all been worth where I am now. I have been able to inspire so many others to follow their dreams or be more confident in who they are.
At Lipstick by Imani, it is our mission to inspire through beauty. Each order comes with a unique affirmation, which is meant for the customer to read aloud in order to encourage themselves. Our hope is that along with our lipsticks and glosses enhancing their outer beauty, these affirmations speak to each person’s inner beauty. Many times, I’ve received messages about how the affirmation was right on time for something someone was going through. That alone is enough for me to continue this journey for years to come.
I have also been able to use my brand as a base for mentorship. I’ve been able to build lifelong relationships with young women who need a bit of guidance, as well as other upcoming entrepreneurs. These relationships have led me to having a huge network of likeminded people across the world.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Ohhh, there are so many great places here in Houston! I love to show people around my city, so we’d definitely be in for some fun. On the weekend, we’d have to catch brunch at Grace’s then head over to The Museum for Black Girls on Uptown Park. While we’re in that area, I’d see if my friend wants to have a mini photoshoot by the Waterwall. If she happens to be in town on a weekday, we’d get Turkey Leg Hut for lunch. It’s a bit crowded on weekends, but always a vibe. We’d wrap up her final night in town with dinner at Kiss so we can soak in a view of the Houston skyline from their patio.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to dedicate this shoutout to every queen who has made a purchase from Lipstick By Imani. Without my supporters, I definitely would not be this far.
Women from around the world support me, whether I’ve met them or not. Each time a new order comes across, my heart smiles because my hope is to inspire each person through beauty.
Other: TikTok – @lipstickbyimani
J. with 7th Made Productions ( @7mproductions)