Dwynica Pendleton’s creation of cosmetics business Sauhmor (pronounced “some more”) Beauty dates back in 2013.
“I was going to the University of Akron” and majoring in fashion and merchandising, Pendleton said. She had a side business at the time to help bring in money.
“I was selling Mary Kay, the cosmetics company,” she said. “I went around to different women’s dorm rooms and was performing complimentary facials and showing them how to apply the makeup.”
One thing stood out as she met with students, she said: “A lot of women don’t know how to apply makeup.”
And that led to an “aha” moment.
“I wanted to be that advocate,” Pendleton said. “I went to aesthetics school. That’s when I began the journey of coming up with my own makeup line so I can be that advocate.”
The business plan revolves around educating women and helping them with their self confidence, Pendleton said. “I wanted to help build women’s self esteem up.”
The name Sauhmor came out of the idea of helping bring “some more beauty” out of women, Pendleton said.
“It was very hard starting it but it was also very rewarding at the same time,” she said. “I wasn’t a good marketer. So two years later I brought Sarah [Ferguson] in as my business partner. She’s really good at marketing.”
The two, who both live in Akron, met as sorority sisters with Sigma Gamma Rho at the University of Akron.
Sauhmor Beauty for now is primarily an online business with a sophisticated website, SauhmorBeauty.com, where customers from around the nation can place orders. The business offers what it says is affordable, cruelty-free, natural plant-based makeup, skin care and hair care products.
Ferguson makes sure Sauhmor Beauty has a strong online presence that draws customers from out of state.
“We have a couple different social media platforms,” Ferguson said. “We’re on Instagram, Facebook and we are just posting on TikTok.”
They also have promoted the business as vendors at wedding, beauty, women’s empowerment and other community events.
Pendleton and Ferguson had a temporary physical location at Northside Marketplace in Akron that brought them customers as well.
“The Northside Marketplace was a really good platform for us,” Pendleton said. “We learned a lot. Northside Market was great. But a physical location is very demanding.”
In large part because of the pandemic, Sauhmor Beauty will remain an online business for a while, the women said.
Sauhmor Beauty also for now remains a side business for them – but they have ambitious plans to grow. Pendleton, 32, and Ferguson, 31, have other jobs. Ferguson does nail care and mental health counseling, while Pendleton does mental health case management, works as an aesthetician in space off Vernon Odom Boulevard, and also sells real estate.
In three months or so, the business partners hope to start making their own line of makeup instead of exclusively buying from a manufacturer. The focus will remain on natural-based products, they said.
“We’ll be working with a chemist,” Pendleton said. “In about three months, we’ll be making it ourselves. Once we get bigger, we’ll hire people to make it.”
Their makeup line is for all nationalities and races, Pendleton said. “We sell to everyone.”
“Our primary market is basically busy women who are on the go,” Ferguson said. “Anyone from early 20s to 60, if you really think about it. … You want to wear makeup but don’t want to spend a whole hour putting it on, that’s our target demographic. We’re a middle-range brand. … We try to be diverse and open. It’s for everyone.”
The ultimate goal is to turn Sauhmor Beauty into their primary source of income.
“We’re still building our brand,” Pendleton said. “It’s a makeup line that’s geared toward women on the go, to help build self esteem through education, and confidence. We provide quality makeup at an affordable price.”
Jim Mackinnon covers business. He can be reached at 330-996-3544 or [email protected] Follow him @JimMackinnonABJ on Twitter or www.facebook.com/JimMackinnonABJ.
At a glance
Business: Sauhmor Beauty: Makeup, skin care and related products
Owner: Founder Dwynica Pendleton, with business partner Sarah Ferguson
Where to find: Online at https://sauhmorbeauty.com
About the series
Throughout the month of February, the Beacon Journal is profiling Black-owned businesses in Summit County. The Beacon Journal will continue to highlight minority-owned businesses as part of its ongoing regular coverage.
Have a suggestion for a business to feature? Email us at [email protected]
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: Focus on Black-owned Businesses: Sauhmor Beauty aims to empower ‘on the go’ women