Angela McTair is an African-American chemical engineer with a passion for making healthy skin a priority for women of color. Through Harlem Zen, a unique medical spa treatment lounge, she has embarked upon a journey to change a culture from accepting harmful products to utilizing both natural remedies and technology to produce better skin.
A large aspect of her understanding her consumer is that she has first-hand experience when it comes to skin issues. Angela grew up in a home where she watched her mother struggle to find a solution for facial hair and was determined not to deal with the same issue. In addition to having her own battle with acne, she set out to find a way to take control of her skin.
“I wish more black women could see their skin as something they could change. We throw money at so many other things – like hair and nails, but we neglect our skin.”
Always having a love for science, Angela pursued chemistry, which opened the door for her to build professional experience with some of the top beauty corporations in the U.S. Working with both product development and marketing, she paints a picture of companies luring “helpless victims” to purchase toxic products.
“It’s a heinous offense,” she paused. “When you look at what women of color spend and the amount of research dollars spent on studying products for Black women. It’s shameful.” Major companies are simply not investing research time or dollars to make sure products are safe and/or effective for ethnic skin.
When describing what makes Harlem Zen unique, outside of catering to a specific demographic, the approach is tailor-made and consumer-focused. Angela makes advanced skin care easy, calming, and personalized, with a hope that she doesn’t have to treat anyone for the same thing more than once.
“I don’t want to sell a service. I want to help people.”
Although motherhood came at an unexpected time, Angela’s 4-year-old daughter is one of her biggest inspirations. She described a daily driving force in seeing Harlem Zen come to fruition as being her desire for her daughter to see her pursue her dreams. “I pursue my purpose, so that she will know that she can pursue her purpose. I want my daughter to know that if the world gets too bumpy, I’ve created a space for her.”
When reflecting on her choice to pursue entrepreneurship, she spoke of a time she remembered having to leave before her daughter woke and come home after she was asleep. She shared, “A day not seeing my daughter was a day I might as well not have drawn breath.” This journey was a choice to create balance in her life.
As for her daughter’s potential future skin problems, Angela’s response was a confident, “Don’t worry. Mommy’s got you.”
You can visit Angela’s business listing with Spendefy here.
Written by: Takia Lamb
Photography by: Benny Beauzil