Following a pandemic-induced layoff as a QVC hair and makeup artist, Marcia Williams has devoted herself full time to her Embellish Beauty Concepts line. Its gluten- and cruelty-free lip glosses and faux lashes are made for people of all colors. Currently, Williams is in talks with national retailers to bring Embellish to stores around the country.
Why gluten-free? When I started, I formulated everything myself, making them without harsh dyes or chemicals. Then I was diagnosed with gluten sensitivity.
Initial inspiration: My grandmother. Even if she didn’t have a full face of makeup, she always had on lipstick.
First career: I worked at Astra Zeneca as a project coordinator for a cardiovascular drug with a multimillion-dollar budget. But I really wanted to be in the beauty world. I gave two weeks’ notice and never looked back.
The story behind the company name: In the wee hours of the morning, I was thinking about a name, and Embellish popped into my head. I thought, “That’s cute. Let’s go with that.”
On being a Black businesswoman: Diversity isn’t just a business slogan—it’s part of me. Two of my grandparents were full-blooded Native American. Another grandparent was Black, and the other was Italian.
Local shops she loves: Anthropologie, Revivals, La Chic Boutique, Skirt.
1. Adrienne Landau rabbit fur vest ($1,200) with matching hat ($350).
2. John Hardy Classic Chain Collection silver bracelet ($1,200).
3. Marc Jacobs crocodile leather purse ($500).
All available at Lady M Boutique, Glen Eagle Square, 523 Wilmington West Chester Pike, Glen Mills, (610) 361-1200, theladymillion-airesboutique.com.