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Tulane students launch line of “Sarabi” cosmetics

Tulane+students+Brittney+Brittney+Braddock+and+Tayla+Moore+created+their+own+brand+of+eyelashes.+The+line+of+eyelashes+features+five+styles+with+names+inspired+by+African+roots.
Tulane students Brittney Brittney Braddock and Tayla Moore created their own brand of eyelashes. The line of eyelashes features five styles with names inspired by African roots.

Tulane students Brittney Brittney Braddock and Tayla Moore created their own brand of eyelashes. The line of eyelashes features five styles with names inspired by African roots.

Courtesy of Tayla Moore

Courtesy of Tayla Moore

Tulane students Brittney Brittney Braddock and Tayla Moore created their own brand of eyelashes. The line of eyelashes features five styles with names inspired by African roots.

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On any given Tuesday afternoon, most Tulane students are in class, studying, eating lunch or catching up on sleep. This was not the case for senior Brittney Braddock and junior Tayla Moore, who described how they spent a recent Tuesday afternoon preparing to table for their company, Sarabi Cosmetics, at the Black Student Business Expo in the Lavern-Bernick Center for University Life.

“Because we’re students, we have to make time,” Moore said. “So in the middle of the day, we were at Michael’s and TJ Maxx getting materials for the business expo tonight. And Brittney stayed up stuffing bags, and I was doing our privacy policy at 3 in the morning.”

Moore and Braddock recently released their own line of mink false eyelashes through their company Sarabi Cosmetics. The two best friends transformed their mutual interest in makeup into a joint business venture. Their website launched on Jan. 29.

The brand features five styles of eyelashes with names inspired by African roots.

“Our company takes on African origins, inspiration coming from Africa,” Moore said. “[Sarabi] is Swahili for ‘mirage.’ And all of our lashes are named after different Swahili names and names with meaning.”

In the future, the team would like to expand its brand internationally. Courtesy of Tayla Moore 

Moore and Braddock hope to broaden their line to include other types of cosmetics but are focusing on lashes for now.

“We want to get everything set up with the eyelashes and see what styles do well and go from there,” Braddock said.

In the future, the duo would like to expand their business internationally as well.

Both students are public health majors, Moore with an additional English major, and are mostly self-taught in the realm of business. Moore recently pledged business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi to connect with peers and learn practical skills for the future.

“I’m atypical,” Moore said. “There are a lot of people that aren’t business majors who are in AKPsi, but I would definitely say the things I have learned while being a pledge, and now I’m going to be a brother, are definitely going to help me with the business.”

Braddock also cited her family as a major source of support.

“Talking to them, they would say the scariest part [of starting a business] is putting yourself out there to do something,” Braddock said. “So they definitely encouraged me with that. And taught me some of the ropes and what to expect and to do.”

In addition to external support, Braddock described how she and Moore hold each other accountable to make sure both of them are fully committed to the project.

For prospective entrepreneurs, Moore warns that it takes a serious investment to start a company.

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, so know that you’re gonna have to come out with a lot of money depending on what, it doesn’t matter what you’re doing …,” Moore said. “It’s gonna take a lot of hours up front, but I think that the investment put in yourself is gonna come back to you threefold if you do what you’re supposed to do.”

Braddock identified promotion as a major challenge for the company, though she used her background in Instagram modeling to mediate some of the company’s social media woes.

“I think right now Instagram is what we’re really using for promotion, but even with that you have to contact makeup pages that have 300-plus thousand followers and just continue to reach out to them like ‘Would you mind promoting us so we can get more people to see us and who we are?'” Braddock said.

The start-up duo is using Twitter (@sarabicosmetics), Instagram (@sarabi.cosmetics) and their website to publicize their eyelash line.

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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans
Tulane students launch line of “Sarabi” cosmetics