Today we’d like to introduce you to Mali Thomas.
Mali, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started as a visual artist. I was fascinated by color and the ability to transform a blank canvas into something special. I became more curious about seeing my work on people and began to practice on family. At that moment, I knew this passion for art, on and off canvas would shape my life. I moved to New York in 2012, started building my portfolio with photographer Maya Guez, assisting, working on countless production sets, and the rest is history. One celeb followed the next and with the help of social media, I was able to market to people from all over the world. Every challenge made me want to grow more. Being a half Nigerian woman that came from humble beginnings, I wanted to set the bar high. I didn’t want to just do makeup. I wanted to set the tone and help others along the way. I started to notice there was a disparaging lack of representation in the beauty industry. Makeup companies were not only excluding women of color from their foundation shades, we weren’t visible but we exist! Models would come to me before going to shoots to get their makeup done in fear that no one would have their foundation shade on set.
Once I realized this was a problem, I decided to take a stance. I used my social platform to share the beauty of women of color and educate people on how to do their makeup. Moreover, I hired my own models, most were up and coming, for beauty brand campaign shoots. I am proud to say that the majority of these women have gone on to successful careers. I love working with the underdogs versus who is “popular” at the time. My business started as a small company offering makeup services to clients and now we serve as a Makeup & Hair agency, Skincare company, Beauty Consulting Agency & more. We are expanding everyday and although it’s not easy, I have to journey forward because people are looking up to me. I owe it to them and to myself.
Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road. Your thoughts are magnets and they attract what you focus on. I’ve learned to channel my thoughts into focusing on what I want to achieve. Also, understanding the importance of a solid team is key. A team you can learn from because you cannot do it by yourself. You should have a group of people that aren’t going to just tell you what you want to hear. However, you must know the difference between constructive criticism and people advising you based on their own fears. Some people can’t see your vision because they can’t see it for themselves. Treat everyone with respect and try new things. There will be times when everything seems to be going wrong but you have to revaluate and keep going.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Mali Magic story. Tell us more about the business.
Mali Magic LLC is a multifaceted beauty company owned by Makeup Artist, Beauty Educator & Entrepreneur, Mali Thomas. We are most proud of the way we are able to evolve and support others. Understanding the importance of growth and never losing integrity is key. We never look at others as competition only as inspiration. We believe the energy you put out will be returned to you, so share positivity!
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think we are leaning more towards skincare and clean beauty. We are more interested in taking care of what’s underneath, which has always been my Motto.
- Website: www.malimagic.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @KingMaliMagic
- Twitter: @KingMaliMagic
Photographers: Mursi Haynes, Maya Guez, JD Barnes, Studio ABH