Beauty: Orion Brown and BlackTravelBox

How Orion Brown turned a need in the marketplace into a booming beauty business with BlackTravelBox®.

Originally from Chicago, Orion Brown moved to Denver a little over four years ago with adventure on her mind and an itch to start something new. After working at a small tech-marketing company in Boulder, she’s since been business-oriented and focused on her next move. “I started BlackTravelBox® to give women of color a brand they could trust for their travel personal care needs,” says Brown. “As Black travelers, we have few places we can find products that work for our hair and skincare needs.”

Her brand has garnered a lot of attention outside of state lines—including piquing the interest of the Queen Bee herself, Beyoncé. What originally spawned out of a need for many African American women has grown into a brand with global appeal. “African Americans spend $63 billion on travel—and I immediately noticed the need when I started traveling more myself. My mission is to help black women travel in confidence because travel is growing in our community. More of us are exploring the world with a level of freedom that our ancestors could only dream of.” At BlackTravelBox®, she is focused on creating products you need to put your best foot forward and rock those selfies. “We’re there, wherever your travels may take you.”

As founder and CEO of BlackTravelBox®, Brown is determined to innovate the beauty category by using natural ingredients where it makes sense. “I will only use what is healthy but makes sense for our hair and skin. If it doesn’t work, then why put the ingredient in? The key is to keep them preserved.” She is currently developing an ambassador program that will be the pilot for new products. “It all stems from my personal experience and what I know other black women are going through. The products I grew up knowing, like shampoo and conditioners, were always a frustration point. Now we are going from what we know to be niche to mainstream. We want to allow people to test and give feedback.” There are so many things she still wants to do. “Black travel culture is a microcosm—its own language. The way we travel is different. The way we pack is different. I really want to explore how we can get more people immersed in the travel experience, so we will continue to develop products that are very specific to our consumers and who enjoy the journey with us.”

Edit by Kerrie Lee Brown