Story by Sarah Sabatke
Mizzou alumna Tiana Glass has long been interested in social justice, though she didn’t expect it would lead her into business.
Originally from Ferguson, Missouri, Glass, BA ’17, studied women’s and gender studies at Mizzou. She got involved with the Women’s Center, the Multicultural Center and was inducted into the L.S.V. Society, a secret society recognizing those devoted to improving the status of women.
But her biggest venture came just before her last semester, fall 2017, when a friend encouraged her to apply to the Missouri Student Unions Entrepreneurial Program.
Glass was accepted to the program and her business, Black Honey Bee Cosmetics, opened in the MU Student Center in October 2017.
Black Honey Bee Cosmetics sells bath bombs and lotion bars, among other products. Glass and a small team of volunteers make most of the products by hand.
She says she was frustrated with the way self-care is treated as a luxury rather than a right. She wants her products to encourage women, especially women of color, to care for themselves.
Glass says fellow students like not only her products but also her store’s atmosphere, down to the music she chooses, which often includes rap and R&B. “It’s a certain nostalgia that comes with the type of music and culture I’m representing,” she says. While she says nothing fully prepares you for life after graduation, the lessons she has learned from the business have certainly helped.
“I do feel like I am career-ready. I do feel like I can be a better entrepreneur when I start my next business or when I re-launch this one,” Glass says.
Looking back on her four and a half years on campus, Glass says Black Honey Bee’s opening day was one of her proudest moments. That and, of course, walking across the graduation stage.