BY Rolling Out
Dr. Calandra Brown-Robinson is an extraordinary businesswoman and humanitarian who transformed her life in ways that are nothing short of miracles. As the owner of iamSkyn Skincare, she has the mission to build a self-love community of women that encourage, uplift and support one another. Also to celebrate women of all shades and ages with products that are meant to enhance each customer’s natural beauty. The idea for the line sprouted when her daughter became enamored with makeup. It was clear that while there were a plethora of choices for foundations, blushes, and concealers, products for beautifying the skin were scarce. The line encompasses anything a woman must have for vibrant, healthy skin and at any age. Fulfilling her need to reach people in multiple facets, Calandra is also the owner of a 24-hour daycare center and the founder of Ladies Walking in Purpose. Since its inception, the organization has mentored and nurtured over 100 young ladies.
Calandra’s desire to serve and change lives beyond the surface in numerous ways stems from her journey to freedom, education, and business growth. She does speaking engagements at different businesses and organizations to inspire and motivate anyone that she can. She has earned degrees such as a Bachelor of Arts in Theology, Master of Theology, and Doctor of Biblical Psychology from Hope Bible Institute. She also obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications, with a concentration in Public Relations from Southern University A&M College. Additionally, Calandra gained the distinct honor of salutatorian when completing the LPN program at Delta College of Arts & Technology, Baton Rouge. Her tenacity and perseverance continually lead her to open doors for others and work to change the quality of skincare one product at a time.
What is your profession, what are your responsibilities and why did you select your career?
I am the owner of a 24 hour daycare. I worked as. Nurse and saw the need for a center that would cater people in medical field with nontraditional hours. I was also ready to be an entrepreneur. I am also the owner of iamSkyn Skincare. I chose this field because it’s a way to uplift, inspire and encourage individuals when I am mentoring them.
As a black woman, what do you consider your superpowers to be?
I have the superpower o of helping people find their purpose and assisting them to operate in that purpose. I have the superpower of words. Words that are capable of building and inspiring people. Lastly my biggest super power is vision. I am able to see the best in anyone.
What key skills or qualities make you unique as an African American female leader?
I don’t give up on people. I will be there regardless to what stage you’re in. I love people and I love seeing people happy. I love seeing people operating in their God given purpose. I’m also transparent with people so they can see how far I’ve come. It gives them a sense of hope and it also allows them to know no one expects perfection.
What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give your younger self?
It’s not easy, so don’t choose the easy route. Keep going. You got this.
Why is it important for women of color to work in leadership roles and decision-making capacities?
It’s important because our youth need to see role models, but more importantly, we need to be in positions of power to have the affluence and the influence to help make it better for those who look like us coming behind us.
How do you balance work and life responsibilities?
I don’t. My family knows that when I’m working on a project, I’m gonna have tunnel vision. I try my best to balance it but it just doesn’t happen. They understand and have gotten use to it. They just try to help me with my projects so they can be a part of the process. I wish I knew that formula.
What inspired you and why?
When I got pregnant with my daughter at 20, my life was no longer about me. Every single decision I made with with her in mind, whether it was a good or bad decision.
If you could thank any black woman for her contributions to history and society, who would it be and why?
Diahann Carroll. She was the first black female actress I saw that was beautiful, rich and classy. She was everything I aspired to be. How I dress to this day is a direct reflection of her. She was a boss and I wanted to be exactly like her…a BOSS.
Why is it important for more experienced black women to reach back an help younger women of color?
Some young ladies will never meet a black business owner, a black female millionaire. Some don’t know what another city looks like and some of them will not know that there is a better life out there for them. We must be visible. They and accessible to assist the next generation. We are their hope.
What is some advice you share with young women entering a male-dominated profession?
Work hard. Stay focused. Set measurable goals. Keep going despite how hard it willget. Speak life, affirmations are important. Your words have power.
Share three career highlights:
1. Graduated 2nd in my nursing class.
2. Published a best selling book, Consequences.
3. Launched my own skincare line, iamSkyn Skincare.
As a successful woman in business, what is your greatest or proudest achievement?
Launching my skincare line has been the proudest business achievement for me. I’ve worked for years to make sure I built a product and a brand that is integral as well as proven. I did that and I’m so proud of that.