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Educate. Empower. Engage. Encourage. Envision.


Howard University Alumna, West Philly native, and Youtube University enthusiast, Yasmina Richardson can now add another title to her belt: business owner. Having earned her degree in strategic legal and management communications with an area of emphasis in public relations and minor in graphic design, the 23-year-old entrepreneur recalls being on a long journey towards figuring out exactly what she wanted to do. She often struggled with finding the balance in going to school, working, and maintaining relationships.

However, through patience, consistency, and discipline, Yasmina was able to birth her skin and hair care brand, 400 Shades of Beauty. Rooted in her why, Yasmina's 400 Shades of Beauty signifies the 400 years since the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

Even though Yasmina views this era as one of the ugliest atrocities in the history of humanity, she believes that atrocities do not make us. In her own words, "we can be something beyond the ugliness and portray beauty. Not just in what we do, but in what we pass on to others."

Now, after continuous learning, growing, and following her plan, Yasmina feels she has finally reached her breakthrough.

She is not afraid to put herself or her ideas out there and is excited to release all that she has been working on. Needless to say, this is just the beginning for Yasmina. In 5-10 years, she hopes to turn her blog into a magazine and have her own boutique/salon, which would feature her products and specialize in natural hair care.

What is 400 Shades?

400 Shades is more than a beauty line, it is a way of being. The products themselves are handmade. The overall purpose of 400 Shades is to motivate, inspire, and uplift those around us. The goal is to be the change you wish to see in the world, not letting the ugliness of the world get you down, and not feeling like you can't escape it.

What is the 400 Shades philosophy?

"We seek to educate the community on healthy living and human history, empower all of their personal journeys, engage with individuals, as well as groups/organizations by uplifting and making a positive impact and reminding people of their power by encouraging them to envision and continue manifesting the life they desire."

What does making your ancestors proud mean to you?

It means making sure I do all I can to support my family and make the world a better place. Whether it's improving the community or fighting for what I believe in. It also means loving as much as I can, especially on the people that I care about while they’re still here.

"I'm learning, growing, and doing everything that I've wanted to do. I'm not afraid to put myself out there."

How would you describe your relationship between your roots and your hair?

To be honest, my curls are a part of how I express myself. I love my hair, but I also don't want to give my hair too much identity. How I take care of my hair is a personal thing. I don't care what others think about my hair; this is my hair. It is a ritual/practice, personal relationship, and it makes me feel good when my curls are smiling at me.

How can we learn from the history of African-Americans in this country and set new ground for the next generation? What are some tactics we can use to protect ourselves from a marginalized standpoint?

To use more word of mouth to connect to each other, and be more engaging with each other, less social media. Every major movement had communication. We are getting there, but we need to be more willing to verbalize our thoughts.

How do you maintain your health through creativity?

Creativity is different for everyone. I express myself through writing and singing and they help me when I'm both up and down. The emotions those outlets uncover allow me to be free and find healing through that expression.

How do you maintain your health through creativity?

Comparison. We compare ourselves to others, but, it's an illusion. You don't need those things, just focus on what you have and bettering what you are working on. When you compare is when you start to fumble. You have no idea what anyone one else has going on.

Check out the remainder of Yasmina's Interview in the SPR1 | Issue 1 of SATISFY Magazine, available in print and digital now. Leave a comment, Buy Now or Subscribe.


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