Danika Berry knows how to power through.
She was able to work her way up from producing local television to being one of the most sought-after entertainment and beauty publicists/managers with a high-profile client roster that included everyone from Destiny’s Child’s management company to Mielle Organics founder Monique Rodriguez. No matter the professional ask, she got it done, effortlessly.
But she’d found herself hitting a wall after going through two significant concurrent personal challenges: a divorce and a PMDD diagnosis.
Premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a more severe form of premenstrual syndrome that often leads to bouts of depression, forced Berry to reevaluate the way she navigated her life.
“I was thriving in my career because at the time I was representing three of the top natural Black hair brands (Mielle, Camille Rose and Curls) but I was at my limit.”
It didn’t stop there—while trying to cope with managing PMDD symptoms, she was then told she also had fibroids.
“It was really a double whammy—really bad,” she tells ESSENCE. “For the first time in my life I found myself having suicidal thoughts.” The unsettling realization that her mental health was affecting not only her professional life, but her personal responsibilities as well, Berry, an active single mother of three, vowed to make a change.
“I just kept thinking about my kids and how I needed to be the best version of myself after giving so much to others for years.” The stress started to take a toll on her body and caused her eczema to flare up, so she began mixing her own skincare solutions in her kitchen instead of leaning on harsh topical medications and steroids.
Thus, Glam Body was born.
“It was created out of love, first for myself, then for others honestly,” she tells ESSENCE. “I know there are so many people, specifically women, who forget to take care of themselves, so I want to help reconnect with themselves from the neck down.”
The brand offers various high-quality cruelty-free coffee scrubs that helps with brightening and tightening the skin, to reducing the appearance and irritation of acne, eczema, wrinkles, stretch marks, cellulite, and dark spots—all issues Berry faced herself.
“I want my products to make you feel even more beautiful,” Berry says. “We live in a world where everyone is vain, especially with social media people are doctoring their photos. They’re airbrushing. I want to be able to make it to where you don’t have to do all of that. You can feel confident in the skin you’re in.”
In addition to scrubs, Glam Body also offers its spa product kit, which includes a nourishing body gel, hydrating all-natural body butter, an exfoliating body butter, detoxing bath salt and an anti-aging glaze.
Since its launch in 2017, the company has been completely self-funded, which is yet another challenge Berry is tackling head on due to her tenacious nature.
“Everything comes from me,” she shares. “And it’s so crazy because, as we all know, when it comes to being a Black beauty founder, we have the hardest time securing funding.” She’s right. To date, US Black women founders only receive .02% of venture capital.
It’s because of this Berry created National Black Beauty Founders Day (August 30), a national holiday aimed at bringing awareness and honor the significant contributions the group brings to the beauty industry.
As Glam Body continues to grow, Berry says she’s aiming to scale quickly, but needs the right investors to make that happen.
“I don’t want to shoulder the financials alone anymore so I’m working towards that right now, like many women founders. I’m okay right now but if I receive a huge purchase order, I’m definitely going to be funded just like a lot of my clients that are founders,” she shares. “If you get a million dollar purchase order, I don’t have a million dollars sitting in the bank. I would need someone or even if I did, I wouldn’t want to spend my own money—that’s something aspiring business owners should understand as well. If you can avoid spending your own money, do that.”
Later this year into 2024, Berry says she’s laying plans for an expansion into retail.
“I want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to experience Glam Body,” she says. “We all deserve to feel good about ourselves from the inside out, especially after fighting so hard to build the lives we want. We deserve to feel whole—we deserve that.”
This interview was edited for clarity and brevity.