Single Mom Erica Hardy Launches Viola Fox Cosmetics Line

Erica Hardy, Viola Fox, LLC - CEO

On days when I just want to check out and I know checking out isn’t an option, I look in the mirror and say, “You owe it to yourself, to arch your eyebrows and put on some lipgloss; You have work to do.” Make-up does more than change how a woman looks. It can change how she feels. Add a new hair style, a fierce dress and the right pumps, a woman who may have not wanted to get out of bed can go out and conquer the world.

But let’s face it; make-up isn’t magic. Some women use it to cover up. Covering pain, disappointment, rejection, scars – both internal and external. When you have to do, what you have to do, but don’t want the world to know that you are going through, make-up is more like war paint. It’s the literal approach to putting our best face forward no matter what may come your way.

For Erica Hardy, make-up was her way to come up… out of depression and homelessness. But wearing it wasn’t enough. She started a professional cosmetics line under the brand name Viola Fox because working for someone else was no longer working for her.

Viola Fox Lipgloss

Viola Fox offers a wide range of cosmetics for face, eyes, and lips. Foundations from sheer to full coverage. Water-proof mascaras and brow tints. Refillable, highly pigmented eye shadow pallets in over 200 colors. Bright and bold lip wear in a variety of textures. Cleansers and toners to remove make up that will also tone, hydrate, and firm skin. This is one Black Owned Beauty Brand that has make-up for everyone and all skin types.

In this interview, Erica Hardy is baring it all: sharing her journey, giving advice, and establishing her goals. Underneath the highlights and eye shadow is a woman with a story. Erica Hardy is sharing hers.

MRTV: What did you do before you decided to start your own business and what inspired you to start a cosmetics line?

EH: I was in Retail Management for over 15 years. But I was struggling with a condition called Endometriosis [since] I was 18, which caused a lot of pain and I would have surgeries often. Because of the condition I would lose jobs and by 2012, I was homeless with my 2 sons. I cried until I couldn’t anymore. I prayed. I sat quiet for about 30 minutes and I thought to myself I need something that will make me enough money to buy a house, cash. That same night I came up with the logo and the name. I didn’t know what I would do with the name. Afterwards, everywhere I went people were asking me if I was a makeup artist, and hit me like a brick; I put the plan into action.

Viola Fox Gray lipshine

MRTV: Describe your lip line and your ideal customer.

EH: My lip line has increased to over 460 versions and colors made of liquid mattes, cream lipsticks, velvet mattes; lip-glosses, lip shine and lipstick pallets. My ideal customer honestly is a customer with a pulse. My products are for all ages, all races and all sexes. Our products are cruelty free and we also have mineral make-up for customers with sensitive skin.

MRTV: As an entrepreneur, what are some challenges you’ve faced along the way and how did you overcome them?

EH: No family support has been my most difficult challenge. But my sons believe in me so much that it helped me get over no family support. I didn’t have a surplus of money, so I had to decide which bills I wouldn’t pay. I couldn’t get a loan. I have been called crazy. I cried a lot but no matter I couldn’t give up. It’s almost like an overwhelming feeling of Succeed or Die. My faith and drive are so strong, I figured if I just keeping trusting God and keep working with what little I have, God will provide.

I was being told not to let people know that I’m black. I can’t do that because that’s who I am, a strong Black woman leaving my footprint as a black woman so that wasn’t an option. I was told black people won’t support me. So again, I prayed for strength and peace because I refuse to believe that Black means “no” or “can’t”, in determining ones success.

MRTV: How does your line inspire change in the beauty industry?

EH: I hope that my line inspires change in the beauty industry in ways that will carry on for decades. I hope that my line changes the stigma around companies owned by minorities, which in return will inspire the growth of minority companies in the beauty industry.

MRTV: What would you say sets your cosmetics line apart from other black-owned beauty brands?

EH: I honestly don’t compare my company to others and I don’t know other owners’ stories or their struggles. What I can say is I am that girl next door that had low self-esteem, I’m that girl that became a single mother at 18, I’m that lady that you past in the grocery store. I was never a video vixen, I don’t have a celebrity husband or boyfriend. I wasn’t on a reality show. I could be anyone of you reading this article. I was just a mom that wanted a better life for her sons and a woman that want to leave a legacy behind. I am you, her, her, and her.

MRTV: Best moment of your career so far?

EH: Seeing my sign glow outside my retail location was a beautiful moment but the reactions I get from my customers is hand down the best moments of my career thus far.

Viola Fox blue lipstick

MRTV: Favorite product from your line and why is it your favorite?

EH: My favorite product is my peppamint lip balm. It plumps my lips, it freshens breath, and it moisturizes while providing and awesome shine. I keep a tube everywhere.

MRTV: What advice would you give to someone interested in creating a cosmetics line?

EH: Make sure it is what you really want. Plan it out; know what you want. Be more concerned with what you want your customers to say about your products, rather than who already has a cosmetic line. If you keep your eyes on your own goals, I believe it will help you move closer to your destiny.

Viola Fox camera ready primer

MRTV: What is your morning ritual?

EH: I wake up check my social media notifications on my way to the bathroom, I complete my morning grooming. And I plan my day. I set a [social media] post goal and I decide on how many designs I want to create each day. I set a sales goal and I go from there.

MRTV: Best splurge you've ever made?

EH: My first big product order!

MRTV: Perfect date night?

EH: I haven’t been on a date in 6 years. I have old fashion values yet I’m a tomboy, so I like shooting pool eating wings and drinking a beer, while looking as a doll. I love dates that are fun and comfortable and, yet I want to feel that the guy is in to only me.

MRTV: What would you say are your goals for next year?

EH: Next year, I plan have top sales in 10 states. I plan to complete a 10-city tour and plan to go on a 2-week vacation for my birthday.


You can shop the entire Viola Fox line at and make sure you follow Erica on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Viola Fox is now 20% OFF with your coupon only found in the Ultimate Black Love Gift Guide.

#EricaHardy #ViolaFox #Cosmetics #BlackOwnedBeautyBrand #SingleMom

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