The 2020 Arch Grants winner discusses the reality of entrepreneurship, cultivating trust with investors, and striving for success 

Natalie King is working around the clock to build a tech-driven wellness brand to drive confidence in people of color by creating products that are personalized, all-natural, fresh beauty products. 

When she pitched her company, Florae Beauty, to receive equity-free funding from the 2020 Arch Grants Global Startup Competition, she won. But that was only the beginning of her journey. 

From testing formulas in her kitchen to working with chemists in the lab, King is determined to take the right steps to build her brand and the perfect products. 

“The Arch Grants team is phenomenal and has given me tremendous access to resources and mentorship to propel my business and make the right investments,” said King. “It is a lot to manage, especially when you’re also working full-time. Long days can be 12-20 hours of work.” 

King is a Doctor of Neuroscience, a medical affairs professional, and a healthcare provider. She earned her Ph.D. at the age of 26 studying the brain pathology of depression and autism. Currently serving as the Central Regional Medical Lead for Novartis Pharmaceuticals in the Neuroscience business unit, she manages all aspects related to Multiple Sclerosis disease state education and supports clinical trials, amongst other tasks.

When she’s not executing her role as a Medical Science Liaison, she’s focusing on her passion for hair health and wellness. 

Florae Beauty

In 2019, King founded Florae Beauty after experimenting with natural ingredients to manage the different complexities of her textured hair. 

“I had to go through a learning phase of figuring out what was right for my hair texture and realized that a lot of people often face the same issues of finding the right product,” said King. “But hair is just as different as the person wearing it. We’re not just creating a product. Bloom Beauty is focused on hair education and creating personalizable products unique to the individual’s needs.” 

King is currently working on developing a capsule collection that will launch in late 2022, which will include a superfruit deep conditioner and hair/scalp serum. These products will boast the highest quality, clinically proven ingredients to achieve the best results.

“These items will be staples in everyday hair care, as they’ve been for me, and can be customized based on where you are on your hair journey,” said King. “But the steps to building something from scratch start with expressing your value proposition as a leader with those who would invest in your success.” 

King has been spending much of her time connecting with influential leaders and potential investors and encourages other entrepreneurs to not miss this important step. 

“Building a community with fellow founders and others that can give you critical feedback and invest in your business shows a vulnerability that some entrepreneurs may shy away from,” said King. “I, myself, had a fear of success and limiting beliefs. But I had to let go of feeling like I had to do it alone and ask for help, and it has been the best decision I have made for my business.” 

Her most recent accomplishment included securing a large investment from the former president and chief operating officer of Schnucks Markets, Dave Peacock, who has been coined the “go-to dealmaker” for projects shaping the region. Peacock is known for investing in big-impact organizations or initiatives, such as the city’s Gateway Arch grounds redevelopment project. 

“I’ve been very intentional on networking within my community and connecting with those who have a serious success rate,” said King. “Founders of color might not always have access to resources for funding. With that, we have to be intentional about getting outside of our comfort zone, which may involve working with leaders who may not look like us but support the greater mission and vision. If you want to make a big impact, sometimes it takes money and resources to execute that larger vision.” 

Though earning trust from investors may feel like a daunting task when you’re starting, it’s essential in acquiring capital. King encourages entrepreneurs to work on their pitch decks and financial statements and be open to receiving feedback from their networks and other business-minded professionals. 

“It is impossible to be an expert within all areas; ask for help, figure out the resources, and get the help so you can lead from the best position,” said King. 

Philanthropy and Community Building

King also founded Florae Beauty with a philanthropic effort to give back to communities in need. She plans to donate a portion of sales profits to organizations that cater to building confidence in young people from marginalized communities. 

“Providing support to youth development programs will increase exposure to the skills needed to build confidence and self-esteem, and gain the empowerment and knowledge to take control of their dreams,” said King. 

At launch, Florae Beauty will be focusing heavily on organizations that expand opportunities for development in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, as there is still significant underrepresentation in these high-earning technical fields. Having spoken nationally and internationally on subjects involving science, leadership, and motivation, King looks forward to being able to continue to inspire and encourage dialog around these important topics. 

King earned her B.Sc. from Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama and although her academic achievements have been most important to her, she has also had a successful career in modeling. Her work can be seen across the globe on the shelves of numerous stores including Walmart, CVS, and Walgreens. 

While her beauty graces the aisles, her character shines through as she paves the way for women of all ages to pursue their goals and dreams.

King plans to market her products direct-to-consumer and has a long-term vision to make her mark in luxury retail spaces as well. She also plans to introduce a direct health model for her customers at launch as well through access to an in-house Physician and Trichologist for those experiencing more significant hair/scalp challenges. She encourages those interested to reach out to her at . Also, to receive updates and giveaways as the brand moves closer to launch, sign up at

Tiffany Byndom