MacKenzie McClain Hill realized early that entrepreneurship would suit her. Her parents were both entrepreneurs and she saw the ability they had to organize their time as they saw fit, travel when needed and enact their own ideas. In particular, when Hill was running track in high school in Long Beach, California, her mother was able to travel with the team all over the country. Hill saw that the flexibility her mother enjoyed with her business meant she could be there for Hill and her teammates.
“I liked that,” said Hill, 36. “I wanted to be my own boss, set the tone, set the rules and do something that benefited others.”
As the founder, in 2017, of online beauty retailer LumiBloom, Hill has done just that. More recently, Hill has incorporated CBD into her product line.
Going into the beauty world felt like a natural progression, Hill noted. She was used to hard work and rewards through track. Now she wanted to build a company and create products that helped people reach their authentic best selves and supported confidence. “When you feel good about yourself, you have more confidence,” she said. “I want to support others in reaching their success.”
When Hill founded LumiBloom, the company was primarily focused on hair care products, including extensions and colors.
Hill, who sports long turquoise hair, considered fun hair products a way to encourage self-expression. She thinks of hairstyles and bright hair colors as accessories, a way women can express themselves. “I like to be upbeat and bright and embrace all parts of myself,” Hill said. “Long to short, curly to straight — it depends how I feel. It’s like shoes and nails — another element to play with.”
Then came the pandemic. “Nobody was going out,” she said. Fortunately, Hill had already begun to look for ways to expand the business, so she was able to pivot. “I did a deep dive into CBD and expanded into wellness,” she said.
At the same time, Hill’s track career came to a heartbreaking end. She’d set her sights on the Olympics and competed for the U.S. at trials for the 2020 games.
“I was a hopeful going into 2020 until the pandemic came and flipped my world upside down,” Hill said. Olympic events were postponed, but by the time they resumed in 2021, “COVID was still aggressive and, with my asthma, I could not risk it,” she said. Hill’s track career was over.
With more time and energy to focus on LumiBloom, Hill decided to double down on the wellness line.
“I wanted to create a company that reflected who I am and build a broader range of products for a wider demographic,” she said.
“I am an African American woman,” Hill continued, emphasizing that she loves working with other women. “My brand encourages everyone to be their most authentic selves and to redefine what beauty is, so that women in particular feel supported, appreciated and in a position to thrive.”
Hill researched hemp, CBD and ways to support people going through tough times during the pandemic. She introduced a CBD hand sanitizer with the cannabinoid CBG and Vitamin E, which proved a big hit. CBD bath bombs were also a success as people hunkered down at home.
Hill loves product development and it shows in LumiBloom’s robust offerings, which now include rubs and sprays.
Training hard for so long took her body “to the limit,” which has resulted in residual pain, Hill said. LumiSport — the pain relief and energy side of her business — has become a focus for Hill, who said she particularly loves the company’s soothe sticks and muscle relief products.
“Whether you are a mother picking up your baby or a traveler putting your bag overhead, we all have aches and pains,” Hill said, adding that she is happy to be able to develop products that can help people “go out and do what [they] have to do.”
Hill’s spa products are also successful. LumiBloom recently launched shower steamers, scented powders that turn a shower into a “refreshing, relaxing spa-like experience wherever you are,” Hill said.
Hill notes that women need to take more time to care for themselves, to be playful and to draw on their own ideas of beauty.
“When I think of beauty, confidence is beautiful. Reaching and striving and believing in yourself is beautiful,” Hill said. “Knowing that you can be pain-free and have energy to do what makes you feel happy — that is beauty.”