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Louisiana entrepreneur launches Admired Creations cosmetics and accessories for HBCUs

SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A Louisiana “mompreneur” founded a company that combines school spirit and a love of beauty products and accessories.

Chante Powell, CEO of Admired Creations, was born in New Orleans. Her Navy stepfather moved the family to various duty stations, which briefly landed the family in Shreveport and other locations. Powell returned to New Orleans permanently when she entered high school.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Powell said she constantly noticed two things; The collegial spirit was at an all-time high and Zoom video conferencing forced everyone to look their best. These overlapping themes resonated with Powell, who figured there had to be a way to fuse the two into a business idea she was developing.

After thinking long and hard about combining school pride with the $40 billion-a-year cosmetics industry, Powell said the idea for Admired Creations was born.

“I know there are different beauty companies that offer great products. But there wasn’t one that catered exclusively to college students and alumni,” Powell said. “So I wanted to combine this industry, the cosmetics industry, and the college experience together.”

Powell said she was scrubbing the website of her alma mater, Florida A&M University, looking for inspiration on marrying college life and cosmetics.

The idea sparked by this deep dive into curating student life at the school – makeup palettes shaped like university logos.

Chante Powell CEO of Admired Creations holds a palette of eyeshadows.

“I was able to find a manufacturer and make the idea a reality,” Powell said.

Not only are Admired Creations’ eyeshadow palettes encased in the schools’ unique logo designs, but the colors are based on each school’s colors – with a few other base shades that every Instagram influencer says are a “must- Have” are. The palettes are named after women’s dormitories and other landmarks reminiscent of a particular university’s campus life.

Powell’s Admired Creations currently offers licensed products to 15 colleges and universities.

Powell said that attending FAMU, an HBCU, after completing her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Orleans highlighted the lack of funding and resources available to HBCUs and added philanthropy to their business model.

“I know that because I have this license with these schools, a percentage of sales go back to the college or institution, so that’s a great channel and a way to get more money back into the schools,” Powell said . “The more products I sell, the more money I make for the schools.”

According to Powell, the company through which she received her licensing conducted a study showing that the college alumni consumer base generates $4.6 billion in revenue from the purchase of college merchandise. This gives Powell hope that giving it back will be a win for Admired Creations and the universities.

“I felt like if I can get myself out there, get my company out there and generate a sense of pride through the cosmetics industry, then maybe I can grow it and funnel more money back into the schools.”

Powell’s company is one of 12.3 million female business owners in the United States, according to Fundera by Nerd Wallet, which means she must balance her personal life with her growing business.

“Sometimes it can be a challenge. I had my first child when I was 16. So I’ve had to overcome a lot to get to where I am now and I’m just trying to put pressure on them so they can see if my mom can do it. I know I can,” Powell said.

Powell suggests separating work from home, putting family first and taking time for yourself and collecting your thoughts and centering your mental state, sharing the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”

When asked what advice she has for those wanting to take the entrepreneurial path, Powell said, “Go for it. You never know what will become of your idea. It can have an impact and change lives. Sometimes it’s not just about the money. Sometimes it’s about changing the world around us and if you can do it in a positive way and your idea can make a positive change, always do it.”

In addition to being licensed with 13 HBCUs, Admired Creations also has licenses with Auburn University and Louisiana State University, and plans to add more.

  • Prairie View A&M
  • Southern University
  • Grumbling State University
  • Louisiana State University
  • Auburn University
  • Tennessee State University
  • Alcorn State University
  • Jackson State University
  • Florida A&M University
  • Howard University
  • Bethune Cookman University
  • State University of Alabama
  • Spelman College
  • North Carolina A&T
  • Tuskegee University

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