Femme Founders: Bernadette Simmons of Clo-vée Products
Bernadette Simmons is the founder and owner of Clo-vée Products, a natural and organic bath and body product line. Simmons designed the products to for people with dry or sensitive skin. We met Bernadette Simmons and learned about her line of products at a natural hair expo in March. Learn about the latest Femme Founder, Bernadette Simmons, her brand Clo-vée Products, her passion for Black-owned businesses, and her inspiration, Madam C.J. Walker.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I grew up in Jamaica, Queens. When I was growing up in Queens there was an abundance of Black-owned businesses. Unfortunately, as the years went on the face of Queens changed and the Black-owned businesses disappeared. After starting my family, I felt like I wanted something different for them, so we moved to New Jersey, and that was about 24 years ago.
As the owner and founder of Clo-vée I am an entrepreneur, and to the surprise of many, a Black woman chemist. Yes, a Black woman chemist! When I tell people that I am a chemist, folks behave as if they’ve never even imagined such a person. In this industry there is an abundance of opportunities to build wealth and to learn about the the chemicals and combinations we put on and in our bodies. I hope that more African-American youth will be encouraged to pursue chemistry.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by Madam C.J. Walker. Walker was the first child in her family to be born into freedom in 1867. She built wealth by developing and selling hair and beauty products for Black women. I admire the way she used her accomplishments to create jobs for others, I want Clo-vée to be able to do the same. Like Madam C.J. Walker I want to mentor, employ, and empower our African-American youth. I want to teach young people the importance of taking pride in their work, something I feel is a value we have lost in this country. I want people to talk about Clo-vée Products for years to come, the same way we remember and talk about Madam C.J. Walker and the products she created.
Why did you start Clo-vée Products? Clo-vée grew out of a great passion for working with personal care products. At first, self-care was just something I enjoyed. Soon I realized I have the expertise to develop a brand that could be really beneficial to people and the health of their skin and hair.
Black-owned businesses can often be scarce. It’s important to show black youths that they can create a business from their passion, something they believe in, and use their creativity to uplift and benefit others.
How is Clo-vée Products empowering people to embrace their natural beauty?
We like to educate our customers on the importance of using products that don’t contain chemicals, this can not only effect the appearance of the skin and hair, but it’s also damaging to your internal organs. I believe once people use Clo-vée and understand the background of the products, they will not only see results, but they’ll also have more confidence to embrace their beauty. No matter what their background is, or where they come from, everyone is beautiful. As a natural and organic product line, specializing in chemical free products, we want people everywhere to know, this product line is all about helping you embrace your beauty from head to toe!
What is something you would say to a young entrepreneur?
You have to put in the work, there are no short cuts, and not everyone can get a lucky break, but it’s ok, just keep your head up and follow your dream! Always make it a priority, because once you get your business where you want it to be the rest will fall into place.
How can we learn more about Clo-vée? Where can we purchase the products and support the company?
To learn more about Clo-vée Products you can go to the website, www.cloveeproducts.com. You can read about the company, purchase products, and leave your email address so we can stay connected with you, as a customer.