There are countless courses online touting how to start a business. The premise is that through basic educational opportunities, the would-be entrepreneur captures the necessary lessons to carve a uniquely valuable product or service desired by an international consumer base.
The mechanics of learning theory for today’s student often utilizes engaging user interfaces and sound curriculum. However, the element that can be the most elusive could be wrapped in the realities of daily life, inclusive of children, marriage, multiple career interests, and in general, life.
The educational system cannot be blamed for lacking a personalized learning path with the variability of each student’s personal life. It is for the entrepreneurial explorers to capture data-driven experiences that illustrate how an entrepreneur can succeed with multiple tracks playing the lead singer simultaneously.
Nidah Barber-Raymond, Licensed Esthetician, Peel-Expert, actress, and mother, provides an apt snapshot of the role self-education, grit, and perseverance play in the unscripted professional and personal life of a woman having it all.
Barber-Raymond, originally from Boston, crossed coasts with her degree from Emerson College with a Bachelor of Science in communications management and public relations. She began two careers hoping for a Hollywood ending for both. This reporter spent time with Barber-Raymond to uncover the realities of entrepreneurship for professional women aiming to embrace life to the fullest.
Rod Berger: You represent the past and the future as a working mother who happens to own her own beauty business and who is starring in the Netflix show, Human Resources. What specifically prepared you for the life you live now as a mother, entrepreneur, and actress?
Nidah Barber-Raymond: I must say that moving to Los Angeles 20 years ago from Massachusetts and being on my own taught me a lot. Being without the safety net of my parents was a bittersweet experience that contributed to who I am today.
When you genuinely depend only on yourself, you learn quickly to know what you want and push yourself to get there.
The struggles I faced made me a better actress. It made me a more determined entrepreneur and a more compassionate mother. But first, as a woman, I’ve had to advocate for my health when affordable healthcare wasn’t offered because I was self-employed and a struggling actress.
Berger: The beauty products and services sector is crowded by many accounts. What sets your business apart speaks explicitly to the numbers reflective of your growth and success.
Barber-Raymond: Yes, the beauty industry is a crowded space. Everywhere you turn, someone has a new skincare line. The Peel Connection is very niche. It is specific to chemical peels only, which sets my company apart from the rest. Since Covid-19, I pivoted my business model to shipping home peel kits.
My business exponentially grew due to this pivot, and that is when I learned that there was a need for more DIY. I’ve done tens of thousands of chemical peels, and the data I have collected from my clients over the years has become an invaluable asset.
I calculated which acids at specific percentages and application methods to use. Then, I created a layered approach to applying a chemical peel yourself–making it a safe and effective way to get a chemical peel in the privacy of your own home. It gives people back their skin with phenol-free chemical peels through nontoxic layered formulas.
My numbers grew 10 times during Covid selling home peel kits. This success made me realize I was on the right path with my business. Consumers wanted a safe and proven home peel that could give them results in a controlled, layered manner.
Berger: How will you manage running your business if your acting career continues to take off?
Barber-Raymond: Hiring the right people has made my business what it is today. If an acting role requires more time, I am confident I have the right people overseeing things.
Berger: Do you feel you may have to make a ‘choice’ to continue your business or acting career?
Nidah Barber-Raymond, a graduate of Emerson College and the school of life, looks to expand the role … [+] she plays as a mother and entrepreneur.
Barber-Raymond: No, I don’t feel that way as of now. But the great thing about acting is that I don’t have to take on a project I can’t handle. So, I can always say no.
Berger: How has your relationship to success changed through the years? Do you enjoy success more now because you have children, or is it bittersweet because you have so much on your plate?
Barber-Raymond: Well, having children and success came for me at the same time. I raised my daughter for two years without working, and then the moment she entered preschool, I dove into my business. The timing seemed perfect.
I’m at a point with my business where most processes are now set. So, I can spend time with my family with the right people working for me.
Berger: Let’s talk about the beauty business and, more specifically, your business and the market space it occupies.
Barber-Raymond: The Peel Connection was founded in 2017. Each year has shown steady growth of 50% except for Covid-19’s impact in 2020, where we saw an increase of approximately 10x. Clients didn’t want to or couldn’t leave their homes, so the at-home peel option skyrocketed.
The worldwide chemical peel facial rejuvenation market revenue in 2022 is 2.6 billion. According to the data, the market is expected to grow to about 3.1 billion dollars by 2026.
Berger: Do you call yourself an entrepreneur or actress, and if neither, how do you describe yourself professionally?
Barber-Raymond: I call myself an entrepreneur-peel expert. When people get to know me a little more, they discover I am also an actress.
The notion that women can have it all has inspired entertainment, inspiration, and scrutiny of all kinds and formats over the years. Barber-Raymond represents a subset of working women undaunted by less-than-equitable business rules and traditions, often marginalizing female entrepreneurs.
Barber-Raymond has been through the tumult of early business challenges, motherhood, and an industry [entertainment] famous for underscoring the what have you done for me lately mantra. Yet, she is an experienced, emboldened entrepreneur unsaddled by a singular perception or talent. Barber-Raymond has positioned herself to have all she desires as she authors the ideal life for herself and her children.
Interviews have been edited and condensed for clarity.