Former teen parent and Entrepreneur Kaidi Grant has an enterprising spirit. Her story began twenty years ago, as a youth-worker-turned-make-up artist turned retail business manager in the cosmetic industry. As a respected beauty industry expert, Grant saw an opportunity to fill a unique niche by exploring the concept of marrying youth pop culture with cosmetics. She launched Lip-Hop Cosmetics, INC in 2001 and discovered her love for teaching young women how to properly brand themselves by working on improving their inner and outer beauty, not only boosted their self-worth, but also changed the way that they perceived and carried themselves in every area of their lives.
Fast forward a decade, Diamond Girls Boston, INC was born. Launched as a small self-esteem group in the Yawkey Club of Roxbury, Diamond Girls Boston has blossomed into a not-for-profit organization impacting over 250 teen girls in Boston’s most underserved areas. Diamond Girls Boston, INC was founded in 2009 with a mission to build self-sufficiency and shine in young women ages 11 to17 years through entrepreneurship. The participants of the program are encouraged to conceive and develop beauty products from idea to market during the signature summer program, “Summer of Epic Entrepreneurship.” As a result of hard work and a phenomenal marketing campaign, the program was personally invited by BET network’s Program Director, Stephen G. Hill, to the taping of the BET network’s BLACK GIRLS ROCK award show in October 2013.
In addition to her work with teen girls, her focus has been to advocate for the community to benefit from the parcels up for development in and around Roxbury’s Dudley Square area. In July 2017, Grant co-founded Black Market, a weekend pop-up market that features black-owned, women-owned and locally-owned small businesses. Grant launched Black Market to eradicate the wealth gap between indigenous Boston black families and their counterparts. Black Market has seen tremendous support and growth: during the 2017 Black Friday weekend the market attracted over 1,300 shoppers and grossed $50,000, making it their most successful weekend yet. Ultimately, Grant hopes to see Black Market serve as a jumping off point for small businesses to grow and stabilize, continued development of similar markets and to pass the business down from herself and her husband to their sons.
Grant’s other community advocacy work includes having helped to conceive ideas for education, technological literacy and entrepreneurship with the goal of the city of Boston deeming Dudley Square the Education District. Grant is a member of the Highland Park Project Review Committee, Dudley Vision Advisory Task Force, founder of John Eliot Square Neighborhood Association and President of Muriel Snowden International High School’s Parent Council. She is the recipient of Phi Beta Sigma’s 2014 Sapphire Award for business, Recipient of a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Governors Citation in recognition of the 2014 Sapphire Award for Business, 2014 NAACP Image Award recipient for “making tremendous differences in the lives of Bostonians”
Grant resides in the Fort Hill section of Roxbury with her husband, Chris, and their four sons. Look for her entrepreneurial spirit to keep burning strong as she and her husband launch Roxbury’s first neighborhood Bistro.
Biography courtesy of Diamond Girls Inc.