Beauty

Jackie Aina Gets Candid About the Legacy She Wants To Leave With Forvr Mood

In celebration of the brand’s first fragrance line.

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Jackie Aina Gets Candid About the Legacy She Wants To Leave With Forvr Mood

In celebration of the brand’s first fragrance line.

Jackie Aina is a Youtube beauty OG, uploading videos on the platform since 2009 and amassing millions of loyal followers due to her insightful product reviews, informative makeup tutorials and earnest push for brands to be more diverse and inclusive. Now, the influencer turned entrepreneur is focused on growing the brand she created with her fiancé Denis Asamoah, Forvr Mood.

The duo just expanded their product line-up from candles to include four new fragrances indicative of the personalities that they want customers to feel when spritzing on the scents. Despite her long list of accomplishments, Aina doesn’t want to be a jack of all trades; she simply wants to master her true passions, release the pressure to be everything her followers dream up for her and slow down her “always on” lifestyle by the time she turns 40.

Jackie Aina, Forvr Mood, Fragrance, Perfume, I am her, Hard to get, You remind me, NDA, influencer, youtube

Below, Aina gets candid about what it means to be a Black woman brand founder, her legacy, why she doesn’t want to be asked what’s next, the meaning behind the Forvr Mood brand name and more.

If you’re a fragrance girlie, check out our coverage of Vince Camuto’s new fragrance Global Brand Ambassador, Ava Phillippe. 

 

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On the meaning of the Forvr Mood brand name

I felt like a lot of fragrance brands were a bit too serious and I really wanted to bridge the gap between the emotional value that scent provides. It’s not just about the scents with Forvr Mood; it’s how they make you feel; it’s what they remind you of.

“Forever” felt like something that’s fluid, something that’s ever-evolving. It’s infinite and so it’s always a mood; it’s always a vibe. We had brainstorm sessions and landed on the Forever mood, but the word ‘forever’ would be really difficult to trademark, so we came up with a way to make it unique by taking out the e’s.

Jackie Aina, Forvr Mood, Fragrance, Perfume, I am her, Hard to get, You remind me, NDA, influencer, youtube

On the legacy she wants to leave

I honestly want to be remembered as like, “Wow, Jackie did it. I can do that, too,” but she also cannot do everything, and she shouldn’t be expected to. That’s really important because I’m starting to reevaluate what Black excellence means, especially as an entrepreneur and a Nigerian woman. In a lot of marginalized communities, we find one person and we think that that one person is going to open every door. What if they don’t? Are we going to be okay with that? I don’t want my legacy to look like that of the person who did everything. I want to be remembered as somebody who did maybe a couple things really phenomenally and was okay with that.

I started to realize that the more that I accomplished, the more people would ask, “What’s next?” Imagine you just had a baby and then the day you give birth, people are like, “When’s your next kid?” And you’re like, “What the heck? I’ve been working on this for four years. Excuse me?” That is what I’m passionate about and that’s what I’m proudest of. I want people to be mindful that, yes, even though there’s been so many great things that I’m proud of and that I’m accomplishing, I also want to be remembered in the moment and celebrated in the moment, too.

 

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I don’t know about anybody else, but I don’t want to be burned out by the time I turn 40; that’s the age where I want to start slowing down. I just don’t want to keep putting more unnecessary pressure on myself to do everything. I also don’t want to do everything.

On the nostalgia behind the fragrances

We started building the collection based on personalities and so “I Am Her” was meant to be me.  I need to smell lickable, so that was the energy that I wanted to channel.

There are really specific things that each perfume reminds me of in a sentimental way. Dennis is a “You Remind Me” guy; my fiance loves him a musk, a second skin. Years before we started dating, he did not wear fragrance at all. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s not going to work for me.’ There’s just no world where I can lay next to someone who doesn’t wear perfume. So he’s been really getting into his own fragrance library and all the fragrances that I own, we share together and it’s basically our collection.

 

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On being a Black entrepreneur in the fragrance industry

In the fragrance and perfume space, people have been quite welcoming. It is still not as diverse as it should be, but so far, in our interactions with other fragrance professionals and the industry in general, they’ve been really eager and welcome to work with us, which has been really fun from a fragrance house perspective. We’ve never had any issues being connected or being welcomed, which is honestly, I would say, not the norm.

From the business side, it’s been the exact opposite. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard about popular startups, popular brand founders that are white, for example, who just have an idea and then someone cuts a $200,000 USD check just to fund the idea. We don’t have that experience, even though we have proof of our selling power and have thrived in the pandemic and beyond.

 

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We’re now in a time where we’re seeing people basically go back to how things were, like everybody was pro-Black-owned businesses in 2020, right? Two years later, there are so many Black-owned brands that literally don’t even exist because people got excited for a moment and then went right back to their old buying habits. We’ve somehow managed through those struggles and challenges to still exist and to be able to keep the lights on.

 

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It’s been a lot of “you guys are doing great. Keep up the good work,”  but whenever it comes time to find an investor or take things to the next step on the business end, there’s still a lot I don’t know. Most venture capital funding and funding in general goes to less than 1% of women-led founders and if you’re a Black female founder, you can forget about it.

It’s also frustrating as a woman in business that when we take a meeting and someone doesn’t know much about our business, they’ll literally think my fiance is calling the shots just because he’s a man. Sometimes they don’t even look me in the eye or even interact with me. They assume I’m there to support him, which is hugely disrespectful and can be really annoying because sometimes I find myself having to overcompensate; you’re not just going to ignore me. My fiance hates that as well, so he’ll speak up when needed. The business world still has a lot of evolving to do and I would just love to see people really put their money where their mouths are.

 

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On candles and fragrances being her first physical product instead of makeup

Everybody mainly knew me for makeup and I knew makeup would have been what people expected. However, for my first brand, I wanted to stick to something that I’m still passionate about but not necessarily put the stakes as high as the number one thing people would expect of me.

Honestly, when we started Forvr Mood, the idea of coming up with the brand started years before we actually launched. The people that follow me and have been really tuned into my content would know that I’ve always been a fragrance girl in one way or another. Whenever I review a product, the first thing I do is sniff the hell out of it. I was constantly talking about scent being at the forefront of the experience when it comes to beauty products. I think sometimes, when it comes to being a creator, people see you as one thing and they have a hard time remembering that you can like multiple things just like everybody else.

 

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On which fragrance she’s currently reaching for the most

I’m definitely a woman who likes to match the vibe of the season,and since we’re moving into spring and things are blooming, I’m going back and forth between “Hard to Get” and “I Am Her.” I Am Her.” On the initial spray, it’s really fruity and floral, but the longer you wear it, it definitely has some depth, that oomph kicks in. It definitely smells like a heavier dessert as opposed to the fruity floral opening. So, I wear it at night because it feels like a springtime scent that is still sexy and seductive.

 

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