Soon after launching Baptiste Beauty, Jazzy Baptiste -- who attended UNT from 2008 to 2009 as a journalism major with a minor in political science -- was showcased among other up and coming Black, queer entrepreneurs in Forbes for Pride Month in June this year.
"I was so honored to be featured in Forbes, and I still can't believe it happened. It felt amazing," Baptiste says.
Although Baptiste didn't plan to be an entrepreneur as a student, UNT helped Baptiste with starting his business by giving him the tools to be a business leader. While attending UNT, he participated in the National Association of Black Journalists, Sweat Dance Movement, the North Texas Daily, and participated in UNT's Next Top Model.
"UNT helped catapult me into starting Baptiste Beauty and encouraged me to take a leap of faith," he says.
Baptiste has always loved all things beauty and worked in sales since he was 19, so he decided to dive in and launch Baptiste Apparel in 2017 and Baptiste Beauty in 2019. Baptiste Apparel, which features jewelry, was influenced by Baptiste's Caribbean and urban culture. Baptiste Beauty sells makeup and beauty products designed for women of color.
"Baptiste Beauty is a fun and innovative brand that has a lip color for every skin tone to help you put your best face forward," Baptiste says. "My products were made with women of color in mind, but every woman can wear them."
By marketing every day with videos and reaching out to influencers, Baptiste was able to easily grow his brand. Luckily for Baptiste, his business hasn't been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"My heart goes out to the people and business that have been affected," he says.
Baptiste hopes that in five years, Baptiste Beauty will be featured in stores as a specialty brand. He's also working to expand his brands by releasing more products.
"Be sure to look out for me," Baptiste says.