Today we’d like to introduce you to Angel Cornelius.
Angel Cornelius launched Maison 276 in 2014. By day, she worked as a busy healthcare administrator. But at night, she created skin and hair products. The result was an artisan beauty company that offers a sophisticated collection of luxurious skin + hair products created with plant-based, non-toxic ingredients.
The company name is homage to her New Orleans roots. Maison is French for ‘home/house’ and ‘276’ is the street address of Angel’s childhood home.
Maison 276 launched nationally in 2016 when the ‘Best Seller’ Pomegranate Kiss Body Butter was featured in the Essence BeautyBox. (Dominique Sachse described Pomegranate Kiss as having an “intoxicating fragrance.”)
A year later, the introduction of the Maison 276 Haircare System made the company one of the pioneering brands to a provide non-toxic, dye-free alternative for silver/gray hair. The haircare line is also beneficial for blondes and can be used on curly or straight hair. The Maison 276 Haircare System is now available nationwide at select SALLY BEAUTY stores and at SALLYBEAUTY.COM.
Each Maison 276 product is designed to celebrate the unique beauty in every woman. In sharing her entrepreneurial journey, which began at age 54, Angel encourages women to “Embrace every season of your life as a new beginning. Use the experiences of your past to build a future.”
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Nothing about the entrepreneurial journey is smooth or easy. When my passion project quickly became a full-fledged business – while I was already working 50+ hours a week – time became my most precious commodity. So that meant giving up a lot of the things I enjoyed, like gardening, entertaining and just hanging out with my friends.
Securing a manufacturer was my first major challenge. Most contract manufacturers want to sell small brands off-the-shelf products, known in the industry as ‘stock formulations.’ I created my own formulas, so it was very difficult to find a company willing to work with me because I needed small quantities of original, often complicated formulations.
My advice to any start-up entrepreneur is to expect the road to be difficult and understand your personal limitations. As an entrepreneur, in the beginning, you have to do EVERYTHING, but that mentally will also stifle your business’ growth. If a task is outside your core competency, delegate it to someone else. Just because you CAN do it, doesn’t mean you SHOULD do. In order to grow, you have to let some stuff go.
Please tell us about Maison 276.
Maison 276 is a collection of premium skin and hair care products created with nutrient-rich botanicals and nature inspired fragrances. Our mission is to provide products and a platform for women to celebrate their own version of beauty.
I never intended to start a beauty company – it just happened. The thing I enjoy most is speaking to other women and encouraging them to embrace their own version of beauty – not someone’s idea of who they should be or how they should look. I love when I can personally experience their reaction to using a Maison 276 product. Whether it’s the smile that creeps across her face when she applies a skin moisturizer or the touch of soft, moisturized hair – I’m excited because I created something that helped that woman experience her own beauty.
I am not a typical start-up entrepreneur, yet at 54 years old, I created a company in an industry in which I had no prior experience. I’m most proud that I had the courage to try and that through my story, other women can see that regardless of their season in life, they can do the very same.
Do you think there are structural or other barriers impeding the emergence of more female leaders?
Women have the ability to create opportunities – so don’t wait for them to magically appear, because they won’t.
Years ago, I heard a minister say “Prepare to be the answer to your own prayer.” I internalized that to mean I have to be the change I want to see. I have to create a product that addresses my problem – so I did!
- Website: www.Maison276.com
- Phone: 281-802-2300
- Email: Angel@Maison276.com
- Instagram: Maison_276
- Facebook: Maison 276