This Black Female-Owned Company Is Making a Difference in More Ways Than One

By Jemima McEvoy Thursday, August 27, 2020

La Vera Wilson couldn’t sit by and watch as families struggled during the coronavirus pandemic. With millions of unemployed people challenged to meet fundamental needs, the actress and philanthropist wanted to provide relief for low-income families while boosting black-owned businesses. That’s why she decided to start Vnus Box.

Born of the public health crisis, Vnus Box is a female-focused monthly subscription service that provides natural beauty products that empower customers—and their creators. What’s unique about Vnus Box is the fact that it puts diversity at the fore. Each box promotes the work of black entrepreneurs and artists, including a selection of “all-natural skincare and beauty supplies as well as jewelry, wellness products, apparel, accessories and homewares from black-owned businesses,” according to a press release from the company.

“I wanted to create a subscription box that I hadn't seen before — a box full of products that made you feel good and were also good for people and good for the planet," said Wilson, pointing out another unique feature of the box: its products are eco-friendly, vegan, and cruelty-free.

The company is run by Wilson, the founder and CEO, and Nassira Hadir, Vnus Box’s creative director, with marketing and media support from Brand Brothers USA. Wilson is a California-based actress and executive producer. The entire team is passionate about health and wellness, which is why boxes are “thoughtfully” crafted and filled with “natural products” to meet the “needs of each subscriber.”

“The Vnus Box was created by women for women to promote health and wellness first and beauty second,” says the press release.

The contents of the subscription box are curated to fit the wants and desires of each individual consumer. Current headlining products from a diverse array of small businesses are a bright eyeshadow palette made by Maladé cosmetics, a honey melon lotion and body wash set from Marshay Organics, and a raw honey hydrating cleanser from Bottled W/Love.

Though the boxes range in price from $39 to $312 per month, a portion of the proceeds from each sale goes to the company’s philanthropic arm, Project Vnus. Established this year, the nonprofit Project Vnus aims to support underserved communities and invest in resources to fight societal inequalities. “20% of our sales go directly to empowering youth to build businesses and strengthen their communities,” reads the website.

During the pandemic, Project Vnus works toward providing children and families with essentials, including sanitizers, masks, and gloves, through no-cost monthly boxes. Importantly, rising interest in the Vnus Box and donations to the company sustains the nonprofit.

“We have proudly provided monthly essentials to more than 200 families already through the sales of our popular Vnus Box,” explained Wilson, adding: "We remain committed to ensuring that fewer children and families go without things that will truly help them through these challenging times.”

Also important to note is that the mission is two-fold. Just as low-income families need the support Project Vnus provides, black entrepreneurs have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, and need promotion now more than ever. Communities of color have been disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 crisis on multiple levels, a trend that also ran through entrepreneurship. Research shows the number of African American business owners fell 41% from February through April, while the number of white business owners dropped by just 17%.

Customers interested in supporting Vnus Box’s mission — both toward low-income families impacted by the pandemic and historically overlooked Black-owned businesses — can easily purchase subscriptions through the website. A month-to-month subscription costs $39; a three-month prepay costs $102; a six-month prepay costs $180; and a 12-month prepay costs $312. It’s more cost-effective to commit to a longer subscription.

However, if you’re not ready to commit to the full subscription box, there are other options. For example, Vnus Box offers a Vnus Bag, a bag delivered to customers’ doors monthly containing samples of new eco-conscious products and accessories. The price ranges from $15 to $125, depending on how many months you want to purchase. Alternatively, a no-cost way to get involved with Vnus Box is through membership to Club Venus, a group through which you can receive promotions, rewards, discounts, and status updates on the company and non-profit’s progress.

About the Author

Headshot for Jemima McEvoy

Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.

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