Fenty Beauty's Kenya Garrett Shares Her Story and Career Advice for Young People Wanting to Join the Beauty Industry

Presented by College Fashionista x Fenty Beauty
This is a sponsored feature. Opinions are 100% our own.

There’s really nothing better than when you find fellow creatives who have the same interests and passions in beauty as you have. When you do find them, you instantly become friends with them, can start growing your network and connecting with others, and openly chat about everything that’s going on in the beauty world.

Because sometimes it’s admittedly harder than anyone talks about to find and start these relationships, College Fashionista built Creators Loft. The week-long immersive digital experience provides you with everything you’ll need to meet other creatives, navigate the real world, and bridge the gap between your content creator skills and your future career.

Throughout Creators Loft, there were panels about subjects ranging from how you should network and build relationships in a digital age and discussions about the future of the fashion and beauty industries. While being immersed in these topics, these conversations fostered a sense of belonging.

One of the stand-out panels was hosted by Kenya Garrett, Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Fenty Beauty and Kendo Brands. These two brands have been leading efforts in the space and setting the standard for inclusion in beauty by creating products that are available in every skin tone, having open communication about diversity, and hiring people like Kenya to help the company continue to be inclusive.

Kenya shared how else Fenty Beauty is showing up and helped to guide an honest and intimate conversation about diversity and inclusion at Fenty Beauty and how the industry is evolving overall.

Want to learn more about Creators Loft and the “Mirror Image: Reflecting Inclusivity in Beauty” panel?! Check out some of our favorite highlights below, and catch the live recording here

Your career journey doesn't have to follow a certain path.

Kenya Garrett explains that her journey into becoming the Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Fenty Beauty and Kendo Brands, wasn’t at all linear – it was actually all over the place – and she reassures us that that’s okay.

“I want to start off by telling you that because I think of us as women – women of color – when we have ambitious wants and want to change things for our families we have this idea and that idea changes. So I originally started in education and the road of coming to be with Fenty Beauty and being the head of Diversity Equity Inclusion was something I found along the way. And it happened because I saw a blank space, I saw a purpose. I realized that we were doing all of this work to represent our clients. I realized that our marketing was so inclusive. And I was just thinking about how we need to make sure what we’re doing externally matches what we’re doing for our employees internally…I think so many of us have ambitious goals – and we may look at people in prestigious titles and they think, ‘That can’t be me.’ But I’m here to tell you that if you do the work, you can get there.”

Every stage in life that you go through – both good and bad – is equally important.

Kenya believes that every stage she went through in her journey is what brought her to where she is today.

“Everything that I went through at each stage is what helped me bring me here…I think the biggest thing that if I can say anything – is to take every experience. So whether it was me at the floor on SEPHORA trying to help someone figure out their foundation, to being in the classroom teaching adult learners – all of that information resonated, and I’m thankful to be at a place [Fenty Beauty] where not only do we want to represent diversity within our products but we want to make sure all people’s voices are heard in the way we market to how we speak to each other.”

Figure out your values and be okay with failing.

“I think [my best advice] is to first figure out your values. Figure out what you value, and make decisions based on those values. If you work for companies [or] if you create your own businesses based on your values, then you’re going to always love what you do, and you’re not going to burn out. So figure out what those top five values you enjoy and what you need are – whether they are family [or] contribution – whatever those things are – make your decisions based on that. Next is to be flexible and open to failure. And the reason I say that is because I have learned the most when I have gone after something and made a mistake. And that wisdom I gained, I wouldn’t have gotten if I always got the A+ or if I always got the job. And the last thing I’ll say is bet on yourself. Take the chance and take the risk.”

Huge thank you to Kenya for sharing her story and all of this inspiring advice! Hopefully, this will motivate you to go on your own non-linear journey, figure out your values, and be ready to go through all of the different stages in your life.

Check out the full conversation here, and stay tuned for Fenty Beauty’s ever-evolving and super inclusive products, which you can buy online and in Sephora stores worldwide!