We had the good fortune of connecting with Kia Dempsey and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My Mother, rest lovingly in Heaven, was experiencing more skin sensitivities due to her Lupus and I wanted to create products that she could use to keep her skin healthy without causing her adverse reactions. I also know that many people of color do not regularly, or at all, visit an Esthetician for skin correction and/or maintenance so I saw myself becoming apart of the “normalize luxury self-care” movement!
Please tell us more about your business. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Mahogany Stone is a holistic skincare company comprised of quality products from reputable & professional medical grade skincare companies who source their ingredients both ethically and responsibly. Mahogany Stone is led by a Board Certified Registered Nurse & License Esthetician who can both recommend a quality skin routine and perform successful skin treatments. I specialize in corrective skincare that includes correcting acne in both teenagers and adults, reversing hyperpigmentation, skin texture concerns and slowing down the visibility of aging in the skin. I started off my Nursing career in Adult Health & Oncology that trained me the best in learning how medications and lifestyles can affect the entire body and display oddly in the skin. Continuing my nursing career in both the Emergency Center & Cardiology only furthered my confidence in my skillset and knowledge of illness versus wellness. Having a vast medical background as a prior Navy Nurse with Trauma I experience and personally combating multiple skin issues within myself and mother, gives me an advantage to treat skin in my opinion. Correcting and maintaining skin is not just a topical, surface level thing for me. My skin assessment is deep into your lifestyle, your medications, your bloodwork levels, family history etc. I don’t just want to fix your skin, I want to increase your overall wellness. My knowledge cannot be bought or taught in a simple skin conference and because of that, my experiences have set me apart in the skincare field. My business is simply an extension of my nursing career. I want to help people both internally and externally! Everyone feels better when they feel that they look their best. Working as a Nurse has always been easy to me, I have always been a hard worker bee with a huge heart. I credit my exceptional people skills for being able to confidently help people because I have professionally nursed clients for 12 years. Entrepreneurship was a whole new ballgame for me because absolutely every aspect of my business fell onto my shoulders and I was solely responsible for bringing an idea, a wild vision to life. I had no idea what I was doing at first with the business side of things. I could give a great facial, I could get a client started on a great routine but I needed help with the paperwork side. Though my social circle is absolutely AMAZING at supporting me, I was the only one deeply into skincare so I could not easily bounce ideas off of them initially. I sought mentorship in Registered Nurse/ Licensed Esthetician Tiara Calhoun-Smith of Sugar Suite Lounge and Hair Specialist Laquisha Moore of Qui Monroe. These two are amazing service providers who have successful businesses and a passion for helping those who want to help themselves. I had to learn how to think with a business mind, not just with a caring heart. I wanted to do too many things for free according to them and lacked a set business mind-frame. The lessons that I hold fast to are these: – do it with love and sincerity. People know the difference in someone just doing something and someone caring about what they do – you are your business and everything that you do matters. Make every choice with the success of your business in mind. – you do not want every client and all money is not good money. Manifest your ideal client, create a space comfortable for your ideal client and that ideal client will freely come, as long as you are not distracted with those who will not work for your vision. My business and story is based around honest business practices, dedicated and customized skincare as well as increasing wellness. We truly travel your skin journey together.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I work so much so hardly get to enjoy the city but I usually have a good time when I go out. Every outsider that has visited me has always wanted to try Fuel City Tacos! Being a fellow taco lover, this was one of my initial favorite taco spots when I moved here. I always take my love ones to Black Jack Pizza & Serious Pizza in downtown but they are currently under renovations. Tupelo Honey is my favorite Brunch spot. Must see locations in the city for me: – Margaret Hunt Bridge for a stroll -Klyde Warren Park – Driving the Dallas skyline at night -Bishop Arts District on Fridays and Saturdays – Perot Museum – Stroll through Uptown/Oaklawn
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would love to dedicate this Shoutout first to my late mother Lynn. She has always been my number one fan and I created Mahogany Stone solely for her, it is entirely dedicated to her. I also have to mention my inner circle. I have the best support system around me who constantly push me to new heights, volunteer as my product testers & models, advertise for me, troubleshoot my issues and so much more. I will forever be grateful to each and every one of them! Every success story has an even more successful team behind it.