Two Black Women Join Forces to Create Luxury, Eco-Conscious Skincare

Vanessa Howard Grissom and Felicia Michelle are the owners of NessFeli Natural Skincare LLC. The products and services provided include wellness, skincare, apparel, accessories, and more.

Born and raised in Harlem, NY Vanessa is a Health/Wellness Coach, a married mother of three, and a Managing Director for a health care staffing firm. Her experience with her own hyperpigmented skin led her to research diet, gut health, and buying products to relieve oily acne-prone skin. By doing this, her vision to start her own skincare line became clearer.

“I wanted to use innovative natural ingredients in my line and provide products that could work with all skin types. I was able to work side by side with a lab that could help me produce natural products that are free of animal-derived ingredients.”

Vanessa Howard Grissom

Entrepreneur and Hair Stylist, Felicia Michelle was born and raised in Stamford CT. Felicia Michelle initially started her professional career in the corporate sector as a CPA recruiter. When the market crashed in 2008, she seized the opportunity to pursue her true love for the beauty industry. With 10 years+ of styling experience along with a strong passion for the industry, NessFeli Natural Skincare became a brand.

Thank you for sharing your story with Woman to Woman talk. Introduce yourselves to the readers, share a little about who you are individually, and collectively as partners.

Felicia — I was born and raised in Stamford CT. Initially started my professional career in the corporate sector as a CPA recruiter. When the market crashed in 2008, I seized the opportunity to pursue my true love for styling hair. With 10 years+ of experience in the beauty industry and the most reliable business partner — I am now Co-Owner of Nessfeli Natural Skincare and owner of Felicia Michelle Hair Products.

Vanessa-I am a Married mom of 4. Co-Owner of Nessfeli Skincare and a Managing Director of a Healthcare Staffing firm. I am also a wellness coach and sometimes run fitness challenges and groups. I was born and raised in Harlem but I currently reside in Orange County, NY. I am a student of life, constantly looking to learn and grow in new ways.

How did your partnership begin? What does partnership in business mean to you?

Felicia — Well you can say our partnership began the moment I married her brother. Who you partner with when it comes to business can be the beginning of something so beautiful and successful or depleting and stressful. Thankfully I have the former. A cohesive partnership is like a well-oiled machine. It allows for open communication and constructive criticism geared toward improving the business.

Vanessa– I’ve always admired Felicia’s hustle attitude and her constant push of black entrepreneurship, whenever the family would get together, she would always be there pushing business ideas lol. I knew that when I was ready to start a business I would want her to be involved in some capacity. Having Felicia as a business partner means everything to me, I feel like we’re setting an example for our daughters by showing how much black women can achieve when we work together.

What does Health and Wellness mean to you personally?

Felicia — It means more time to spend with my family. And the only way to ensure that I am able to do so is by making these 2 things a priority.

Vanessa– It means being able to really enjoy life to the fullest. I’m almost 50 so I’m very mindful of this lol.

What is the mission and vision of NessFeli Natural Skincare LLC. Describe your product and services.

Felicia — An inclusive luxury skincare for all skin types.

Vanessa– To provide luxury Eco-Conscious skincare for those who are looking for products that align with their green lifestyle. We have a full skincare line for all skin types which include-Cleansers, Toners, Serums, Eye Care, Masks and Exfoliate. Organic Wellness Tea, Apparel, and skincare accessories.

Explain what hyperpigmented skin is for our readers and how your passion for entrepreneurship was birthed?

Felicia — My passion ignited for entrepreneurship once I gained complete control of how I spend my time. And who I spend it with. Family is everything to me so with that being said I can’t help but to think about diversifying my businesses so that I can have more time to spend with my family.

Vanessa- Hyperpigmentation is when patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. I suffer from this as well as sensitive acne prone skin so this definitely sparked my obsession/interest in skincare, hence leading to us starting the skincare line

In a world that still harbors people that believe women can’t successfully work and partner together in business without drama, how have you as partners been able to change the narrative?

Felicia — I learned a long time ago that when people are willing to push you towards your goals it’s usually because they believe in you. So knowing that Vanessa believes in what I can bring to the brand and what we can achieve together — I would never want to let that person down. Because they too can see what you see in yourself. A woman with ambition and goals to concur!

What major obstacles have you had to overcome in business, and how did you let that affect your forward progress?

Felicia — Aside from launching a business during a global pandemic I can’t say personally its been major obstacles. More of a hiccup.

Vanessa– For me, the major obstacle has been balancing time for my full-time position while running this business as well. You don’t want to neglect either and it can be really tough at times.

What major successes have you had in business?

Felicia — Multiple press features in addition to sold-out pop-up events in the New York and DC area.

What have you done to pay it forward within the communities that you serve?

Felicia — We’ve partnered with local women-owned businesses to host and showcase other local small businesses with the community. We also donated to several charities as well.

How do you feel about having mentors in business?

Felicia — I think everyone can benefit from talking to someone with some experience on their resume. Even Lebron has a coach. Having a mentor in business is a great idea.

Vanessa- I agree, I wish I had more business mentors growing up. It is definitely necessary.

How can readers connect with you?

@nessfeliskin -Instagram @Nessfeli Natural Skincare-Facebook

Photo Credits:

product photo(wakeupfresco)

The pictures of the ladies (Mabel Peralta)