Business of Beauty: Cosmetics Entrepreneur Joi Mebane

Business of Beauty: How One Makeup Artist is Expanding Her Brand

(Image: The Look By Joi)

The global beauty industry is growing at up to 7% a year, with makeup products grossing more than $18 billion. Makeup artist Joi Mebane, founder of The Look by Joi, is out to get her piece of the pie. With fearlessness and determination, this Georgia Peach became a part of an industry that would change her life while she was just a teenager in high school.

Mebane began developing her skills through the help of her high school friends. She was always that young lady that did her friends’ makeup before they went out, she says. Growing up, Mebane didn’t recognize the artistry of makeup as a potential career path. She was always taught that you have to be a doctor or a lawyer or a nurse if you want to be a successful professional, she reflected. But she found that she had a knack for eyebrows and began to really hone her skills. Although Mebane didn’t have any formal teaching, she had her most inspirational teacher right at home, her mom. “So, funny story, I used to have this lady in high school do my eyebrows and it took forever. And so one day my mom left me at the shop. She was just like, ‘You’re going to have to walk home.’ So I walked home, sweating,” she laughed. “I got in the house and she said, ‘That’s what you waited two to three hours for? Well let me show you how to do that, then you can just follow the line when it grows back in and just practice.’” From there, Mebane honed her craft and had a profitable future right in the palm of her hands.

Mebane discovered her newfound passion was an easy way to earn money. In college she would do eyebrows of girls across campus, getting all the practice she wanted and earning her expert status. While working at a cosmetic counter one summer Mebane learned a few more tips and tricks of the trade from a passerby who admired her work. Those techniques, with a little refinement, along with everything she’d picked up along the way was all the training Mebane could ask for.

Having worked with makeup up for years, Mebane had a well-rounded knowledge of what was available and on the market but something was missing and that’s what inspired her to develop her own cosmetic line. “… There were certain tools, certain looks, and certain colors that I wanted … I just saw a need and developed it.” Mebane’s line, The Look by Joi, is available online and at her retail location in Atlanta where she grew up.

Find out more about how Mebane is expanding her brand on the next page …