TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Tampa Bay cosmetic manufacturing lab is helping small business owners launch their own beauty product line.
Slarutan Cosmetic Lab is located in Tampa off of Johns Road. The lab makes, fills and labels cosmetic products for entrepreneurs looking to start their own cosmetic product line. Thomas Faucette Jr. is the Owner/CEO of the lab. Faucette has been a part of the beauty industry for nearly fifteen years. While working for a large scale manufacturer, he realized he wanted to help smaller scale entrepreneurs get their businesses started.
“I was getting about 40 to 50 calls a day from entrepreneurs asking for 100-200 products, and I hated telling them we couldn’t help them out because they didn’t meat our minimum quota,” Faucette said.
In 2020, when the pandemic hit, that’s when Faucette decided to put his plan into action.
“Everyone shifted and pivoted I saw that as an opportunity to say you know what I’m going to launch my own manufacturing facility but I’m going to cater to the small entrepreneurs,” he said.
He made it simple, yet affordable. It’s a four step process where you have a consultation, formulate your products, test the products, then they are labeled and shipped off. It’s a process that can cost a little as $200.
“For the cost a family of four to go to the movies you can start your product line with us,’ he said.
Najae Brown is the Chemist making all of the products at Slarutan Labs.
“I’m able to play around with the ingredients, fragrances, color, look” Brown said.
Brown is a Black woman who is breaking barriers in her role.
“When I was in my undergraduate career, there were no other Black women or other Black person in my classes, I was often the only Black person in my lab, chemistry and math courses and I just had to prevail,” Brown said. “I didn’t have the same resources that my white counterparts did, but I made it.”
Now she’s helping making products for local entrepreneurs like Rahmlee Birch.
“There were certain ingredients that were important to me that I was able to slip to say lets add this, let’s try that,” Rahmlee said.
Rahmlee is a Cosmetologist and Entrepreneur in the Tampa Bay area. He’s been in the industry for more than two decades. Last year, he went to Faucette to help him fulfill his dreams of launching his own product line.
“I felt comfortable with him because he was a black man. and I knew he would understand my vision, my client base and where I’m trying to move to in the future,” Rahmlee said.
Now Rahmlee has ‘Reign x Mr. Rahmlee,’ which has natural shampoo, conditioner, frizz serum, shine spray and more.
“I do all textures and types, however I’m still unapologetically a Black man, I still am unapologetically a Black business owner. I know there aren’t many of me, so I live up to a certain standard,” Rahmlee said.
It’s a standard that Slarutan Lab not only met, but superseded.
“You can use other peoples brands but it’s nothing like having your fingerprint on your own product and you know exactly what it’s going to do to treat said issue the client may have,” Faucette said.
These opportunities Faucette are helping create are helping local, national and international entrepreneurs.
“It’s a billion dollar industry why should African-Americans not be a part of that. We don’t have to always be the consumer, we can be the manufacturer or the entrepreneur that’s private labeling.”