Black Opal Acquired By Two Black Entrepreneurs
Courtesy Black Opal

Yesterday, Black Opal announced that the global beauty brand has been acquired by Desiree Rogers and Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, making it officially a Black-owned beauty brand.

The brand was originally created in 1994 by a chemist named Niko Mouyiaris. He was seeking better products for his wife, Carol, at a time when there was a lack of product options for Black women in the beauty space. He worked closely with Black board-certified dermatologist Dr. Cheryl Burgess to develop products specifically formulated for melanin rich skin.

In 2017 Black Opal rolled out a new logo, new packaging, and a new brand identity to give itself a fresh look and feel, while continuing to offer quality products at an affordable price point. Earlier this year, for its 25th anniversary, the brand also launched its Beauties Behind the Brand initiative to showcase the employees who inspired the TRUE COLOR foundation shade lineup.

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Now, with these two accomplished businesswomen at the helm, it’s joining the ranks of Black and women-owned beauty brands in the industry. Though no terms of the acquisition deal have been disclosed, the new brand CEO and President shared their excitement about this new chapter for the company.

“When we acquired Black Opal our goal was to stay true to the founders’ passion,” said President, Cheryl Mayberry McKissack. “As we continue to grow the company and bring high quality products to the market, we also plan to focus on creating a positive impact in our communities.”

If the new owners’ names sound familiar it might be because the business powerhouses have well-known exemplary records of success. Rogers held rank as former chairman of the Chicago tourism agency, was former CEO of Johnson Publishing Company, and she was also Social Secretary of the White House and special assistant to the President under Barack Obama’s administration.

Along with McKissack, former CEO of Ebony media operations, and 19-year veteran as the founder and CEO of one of the largest online market insights businesses, Nia Enterprises, the brand appears to be in good hands. Their receipts are in order to say the least. Collectively they have more than 50 years of strategic branding and building teams that successfully drive results.

“Both Cheryl and I love beauty and use the products every day. For over 25 years, Black Opal has consistently created products specifically for women of color and our plan is to bring the newest trends to the brand. Talc free products, more skin care products and even more exciting color selections are coming,” Black Opal CEO Desiree Rogers told ESSENCE.

“Together Cheryl and I are looking forward to creating even more innovative products and continuing to grow the brand globally.”


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