Ann Arbor based startup, Sahi Cosmetics LLC, has received seed investment worth $100,000 from The Zell Lurie Founders Fund at the University of Michigan.
Sahi Cosmetics was part of last winter’s cohort of companies at the Desai Accelerator, a joint venture between Zell Lurie Institute at UM’s Ross School of Business and the school’s College of Engineering.
This investment adds an extra accolade to the company’s success having previously won the top prize at the Michigan Business Challenge. For the accolade they received $27,000 along with $25,000 of investment and the chance to take part in the Desai Accelerator program. According to crainsdetroit.com, the latest investment of $100,000 will help further the company’s product line for women with medium skin tones.
Shelly Sahi, the CEO and Founder of Sahi Cosmetics, recently obtained her MBA from UM last year. Originally focused on using her graduate studies to advance her career at the Ford Motor Co. based in Dearborn, she had a change of heart when she fell in love with the startup community at Ross’ Zell Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.
“Growing up, I loved reading fashion magazines, but none of the women looked like me. I never want another girl to be left out in that way,” said Sahi, who is of Indian descent. “At best, most cosmetics companies offer two or three shades for medium-skinned women, but our research shows that that number needs to be at least 14. We want to help women feel comfortable in their own skin, to own their color and be proud of who they are.”
Sahi understood there was a gap in the market for makeup targeted at women with olive and yellow undertones as off the shelf options do not cater for certain ethnicities – such as women of Arabic, Indian, pakistani, Mediterranean and Hispanic descent. Sahi knew this was a problem and realised that she could use her science background to tackle it when a former makeup artist and material engineer at Ford expressed that she had experienced the same issue personally.