This Black woman founder is bridging beauty and science to spark more interest in STEM for girls.

Kristen Wells-Collins first had plans to become a pharmacist when she attended Prairie View A&M University, according to D Magazine. However, she decided to transition into chemistry. It was there at the Texas HBCU that one of her professors advised her to study organic chemistry utilizing haircare and beauty products.

Already having an interest in cosmetics, this newfound understanding of the science behind it inspired Wells-Collins to launch The Chemistry Of — a skincare company based on her own experimenting. Its purpose eventually shifted to become a health and education company. To fit the new direction, the outlet details that she rebranded as Black to the Lab in 2020. The business works to teach young Black girls about STEM through learning activations that teach “the science foundation of beauty using the Black to the Lab toy [makeup kit].”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by BLACK TO THE LAB (@blacktothelab)

The team travels to schools, summer camps and more to share the knowledge. What’s more, it features curriculums that help the young girls learn about product formulation as well as careers and entrepreneurship, including business planning and business pitches. 

“I’ve always had a passion for youth education, in particular Black girls,” Wells-Collins told the outlet.

Along with a toy makeup kit, Black to the Lab offers cosmetic chemistry vocabulary cards that are a part of guiding young Black girls to pursue careers in STEM.

Wells-Collins credits pitch competition Delta Red Tank for helping her with manufacturing her company’s products, which she had initially formulated and packaged herself. In addition, Marty McDonald and Boss Women Media’s Building Women for the Future gave support by connecting her with Amazon.

Wells-Collins shares with the outlet that she aims to launch a third agriculture-based curriculum later in 2024. Additionally, she plans on establishing a scholarship program and hopes to add more technology curriculum into Black to the Lab.

Another goal of hers is to launch a beauty product line that will be created by her students as a way for them to envision their future.

“So they get a chance to say, ‘Look at what I created,’” she said.