Forbes: How CEO Cashmere Nicole Built A $5M Brand While Battling Breast Cancer
“It’s been a Cinderella, dream-come-true story to come from food stamps and Section 8 and daycare assistance to this.”
Beauty Bakerie started as a one-woman operation in 2011 after founder Cashmere Nicole put herself through college and nursing school, while being a single mother. From the beginning, Nicole knew she wanted to give back, so she decided to use Beauty Bakerie as a vehicle to raise breast cancer awareness - in part because she liked the color pink.
In the following years, Nicole was diagnosed with breast cancer, and doctors recommended a double mastectomy. Nicole made the difficult decision to undergo surgery, and continued to work on Beauty Bakerie. Although fueled by supportive family, friends and her passion for the company, Nicole was hesitant to share her story, “I was kind of embarrassed by it, kind of ashamed. Who wants to be the person who is the sick person, the person who has the story."
“Having Beyoncé feature the story on the website added a level of credibility to the Beauty Bakerie brand overall. That put a fire under me like never before.”
Eventually, Nicole started a crowdfunding campaign on Indigogo to both share her story and raise funds to expand Beauty Bakerie. While the funds raised were small, Nicole’s campaign caught Beyoncé’s eye, and the singer reached out to feature her story online. In October 2014, as part of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Beyoncé put Nicole and Beauty Bakerie on her website, complete with a glamorous photo. (Read the full Beyoncé feature here.)
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