- Golden Krust became known for revolutionizing Jamaican food offerings in the United States.
- Now, the family behind the food empire is facing the beauty industry.
- LLHOMD Beauty Care, launched in January, is a skin and hair care brand created especially for black women.
Lorna Hawthorne used to create her own beauty products in her kitchen when she couldn’t find what she was looking for on the shelves of stores or online retailers.
“I love skin care,” Hawthorne told Insider. “I always pour different oils, scents and one day I was pouring my own oils when I came up with the idea of a company. We are beautiful on the inside and I wanted to create products that could help people feel beautiful on the outside.”
Hawthorne is a seasoned entrepreneur who helped build Golden Krust, a million dollar food company advertised for providing authentic Jamaican food. But skincare was a completely new area of business for her. So she enlisted the help of her children, Haywood, Omar and Daren, to start the business.
Golden Krust was once known for revolutionizing Jamaican food offerings in the United States. Lorna’s husband, Lowell, had pooled relatives’ money to open his first Golden Krust restaurant after the bank turned him down for a loan. That one New York restaurant has since expanded to a chain of over 100 restaurants in numerous states.
In 2017, however, Lowell committed suicide and the family has spent the last few years grieving his death.
Now the family behind the Golden Krust empire is launching a new venture: a beauty brand that caters to black women. The brand, called LLHOMD Beauty Care, honors Lowell in his name, as each letter reflects the initial of a different family member: Lowell, Lorna, Haywood, Omar, Monique and Daren.
“We have Golden Krust, which is separate and on its own and is part of a larger family involvement,” Daren Hawthorne told Insider. “But this brand speaks to us as an immediate family and to fill in the gaps in the beauty industry.”
In the beauty industry, black women are still underserved.
Women of color have been largely underestimated by the beauty industry, with many talking about their experiences struggling to find products that match their skin tone. In recent years, the beauty industry has become more inclusive, with the rise of companies like Rihanna’s billionaire firm Fenty, which has been praised for its variety of products. Yet black women and other women of color still have limited options when it comes to beauty products aimed specifically at them.
LLHOMD Beauty Care is looking to move that by focusing its offerings on black women. Led by Lorna Hawthorne, the brand is informed by the entrepreneurial experience and lived experiences of the matriarch.
“Women of color are underrepresented in many spaces in America and I think the past couple of years have changed the perception of consumers, businesses and businesses,” Omar Hawthorne told Insider. “We have a very strong black woman in Miss Lorna with a track record of success, so who could be the best part to generate that change in the appearance of entrepreneurs in this country?”
LLHOMD Beauty Care, launched in January, is primarily a skin and hair care brand, offering what the family describes as “luxury and affordable multicultural beauty products,” such as body butters, shampoos and oils for hair.
“We wanted to become a one-stop shop,” added Omar Hawthorne. “If you cross the spectrum and look at these different beauty brands targeting black women, they might offer hair or skin products or cosmetics. It’s rare to see a place where you can get everything you need.”
However, trying to start a business during the pandemic has brought challenges, particularly when it comes to providing the ingredients and products they need.
“The global supply chain crisis definitely added to the timeline, with ingredients taking longer to arrive, so we actually ended up airfreighting some of the products because we were busy launching,” said Haywood Hawthorne.
Lowell Hawthorne’s legacy lives on through the LLHOMD brand.
Although Lowell Hawthorne died before LLHOMD was created, his entrepreneurial spirit and belief in the power of education are rooted in the beauty brand, says the Hawthorne family.
While the brand’s top priority is providing beauty products for black women who have not been given enough options and choice, it is also concerned with cultivating space for black entrepreneurs to start businesses.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of LLHOMD Beauty Care is donated to the Lowell F. Hawthorne Foundation, an organization that provides funds to high school and college students in the United States and the Caribbean, many of whom are seeking to pursue business or entrepreneurial studies. .
“We want to use this business to do good, to help keep black entrepreneurs on the map,” said Daren Hawthorne. “Many people take Miss Lorna as an inspiration, because people who look like her tend not to be in her position, so it all ties into hers.”