Episode 115: Getting The Dollars! How KJ Miller & Amanda Johnson Launched Mented Cosmetics And Raised $1 Million in Venture Capital

Could your next BIG idea come from a conversation you have over a glass of wine? Who KNOWS?! Meet KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson, co-founders of the vegan, non toxic premium beauty line Mented Cosmetics. The two met when they were both students at Harvard Business School. One day – over a glass of wine – they bonded over a mutual problem of not being able to find the perfect lipstick shade. From there it was history!  They were able to go from ideation to execution and create a fully operating business venture.

BUT check this! 

The two recently raised $1 million in their first round of fundraising, making them the 15th and 16th African-American women ever to raise $1 million in venture capital, according to Forbes magazine.

As data from investor Kathryn Finney’s Project Diane shows, although black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S., they receive only 0.2% of VC funding.

What were their keys to success? These amazing dream drivers share just HOW they were able to do this and so much more.

Prior to launching into entrepreneurship,  KJ was a management consultant for Deloitte’s retail practice and was a jewelery buyer for Sears. Amanda worked as head of business development for Barney’s NY and was an investment banker at Goldman Sachs.

I’m really excited for you all to hear the Mented Cosmetics story! Join in on the conversation on social (@dreamsindrive) and make sure to use the hashtag #dreamsindrive.

***ENTER OUR MENTED COSMETICS GIVEAWAY: www.dreamsindrive.com/win

LISTEN NOW:

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ON THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:
– What inspired KJ & Amanda as children
– How the two met while students at Harvard Business School
– Why attending business school is worth it
– The importance of admitting when you’re wrong
– How KJ & Amanda got the idea to launch Mented Cosmetics
– Challenges KJ & Amanda faced early in the business
– Being one of the only African American women to raise over $1 million dollars in funding
– The key to successfully raising capital
– Why you should bring in a lawyer on your team early on
– Leveraging your network
– How to outsource strategically
– How to launch successfully
– The importance of storytelling and controlling your narrative
– The keys to a successful business partnership
– How to deal with competitors
– How to create a unique product/service
– How to get the right type of press

KJ & AMANDA’S KEYS TO SUCCESS:
1. The perfect nude lipstick
2. Confidence
3. Humility

SHARE:

FIND MENTED COSMETICS ON:
Instagram: @mentedcosmetics
Twitter: @mentedcosmetics
Web: www.mentedcosmetics.com

RESOURCES MENTIONED:
YouTube

JOIN THE #DREAMSINDRIVE COMMUNITY: www.dreamsindrive.com/JOIN

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About Rana Campbell

Rana Campbell is the host of the Dreams In Drive Podcast and owner and founder of Dreams In Drive LLC. She is a marketing/branding expert that loves helping creatives & lifestyle entrepreneurs build brands that SHINE in the business world.

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