Let me back up.
When we started Mented we knew our best bet for scaling the company was raising venture capital, and despite having no experience with fundraising, we set out to raise a million dollars — and we succeeded. That success allowed us to continue creating gorgeous, everyday products for women of color, and unbeknownst to us, put us in the running for Vanity Fair’s feature.
For us, fundraising has always been about helping us build the brand that women of color deserve: one that prioritizes their beauty, and does away with the notion that we should be relegated to the few (sad) shades at the end of a long line of beige. For this reason, we hesitated with the decision to publicly announce — and celebrate — our fundraising success. But in the end we knew that our narrative mattered beyond our four walls — that black women have historically been left out of the VC process, and the more visible our success stories are, the better.
So in late February we found ourselves in a room with Mark Seliger, famed celebrity photographer, and 24 of the most inspiring women we’ve ever met. Women who are changing the landscape of energy generation, expanding access to financial resources, and taking the lead in diversifying media as we know it.
It was an honor to share that platform with so many accomplished women, and to know that this is just the beginning. Each crack we put in the fundraising ceiling helps shatter that barrier for generations to come — and that’s something worth celebrating.