Minnesota woman, who launched self-care line for Black girls, is finalist for $100K grant

Audra Robinson's line of self-care products for Black and brown women is up for a $100,000 grant in a startup competition by Essence Magazine.

It's been one year since a local entrepreneur launched a line of self-care products geared toward Black and brown girls. Through a nationwide competition, the small startup known as "Rocky Robinson" is hoping to win what could be a game-changing grant.

"It’s just been an amazing year, I’m just grateful for all of it," said Audra Robinson.

Local entrepreneur Audra Robinson is working to take her startup, Rocky Robinson, to new heights.

"I am a finalist in the Essence and Aveeno/Johnson & Johnson pitch competition," said Robinson.

Essence Magazine is teaming up with Aveeno in a competition designed to provide emerging Black female hair and skincare businesses the resources to grow their brand. Robinson is one of five finalists.

"Essentially Rocky is a brand that was made specifically for Black girls and their unique beauty needs," said Robinson in her pitch video for the competition.

Her line, featuring shower gel, lotion, and lip balm, she says is about empowerment.

"For me, if it was just one girl who looked at Rocky and saw herself and felt seen and heard that’s what is meaningful to me," said Robinson.

According to a report commissioned by American Express, Black women are the fastest group of female entrepreneurs in the U.S. but for minority women obtaining venture capital can be a challenge.

"The inequities are everywhere, from justice to housing, education, business ownership," said Robinson.

Robinson says that these types of opportunities give small startups room to dream big.

"What makes me emotional is because I’ve always been a dreamer," said Robinson. "I feel like if I can do it, anyone can."

The winner of the competition will receive a $100,000 grant and mentorship opportunities. The competition will take place Thursday.