Rica Elysee, Founder/CEO
by Andrea Payne
“Perseverance is going to be your best friend,” states
Rica Elysée, CEO and founder of BeautyLynk, a Boston-based company that
provides in-home beauty services to its primarily Black and female clientele. Expanding on her previous dialogue with
Boston Design Academy (BDA) high school students, Elysée emphasizes that
perseverance is a crucial character trait for young people, too. “Every day you
go to school you serve with courage, discipline and perseverance,” she
declares. “Perseverance is the reason
why I’ve been able to continue doing the work that I do.”
Elysée enjoys the opportunity to share her life experiences, “because youth don’t get to see entrepreneurs of color. I grew up in the inner city in Dorchester (MA) and I didn’t see anybody like me on CNBC or anywhere. I want them to know that entrepreneurs of color exist and that they can reach the same levels I have and even go higher.”
During her journey to successful entrepreneur, high school was an opportunity for Elysée to explore. She played field hockey, lacrosse, participated in track and field, was on the debate team, and a member of the math club. “What I learned really early on is that in order for you to feel like you can make an impact, you have to put the work into everything you do.”
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in political science, Elysée’s focus is on engaging people and communities around important issues. This focus led her to develop Boston Naturals which sponsored large–scale events catered to Black women who wear their hair naturally. Elysée created BeautyLynk in 2015 as a response to a need she identified when a relative, with a disability, became upset because she wanted to style her hair, but was home alone with no assistance.
BeautyLynk addresses the needs of Black women who prefer or need to have their hair, nails and makeup done at home. Customers schedule personalized appointments online. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, BeautyLynk is on hiatus.
When asked about the most important business advice she has received, Elysée doesn’t hesitate. “Know the difference between advice and opinions. There is a form of linguistics you can use to empower someone, which can feel like advice, versus someone saying, ‘I don’t like that pink button on your website.’ That’s purely an opinion. If you change something every single time someone says something, you will lose a lot of time.”
Noting the discouragers who doubted that she could bring beauty professionals into people’s homes, Elysée advises against listening to negative chatter. “Someone may not believe that you are going to do what you say you are going to do.” When the naysayers said you won’t be able to bring beauty professionals into people’s homes Elysée said, “Just watch me.”