Success Profile: She’Neil Johnson, Founder of BASE BUTTER

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Walker’s Legacy Profiles recognize unique women of color in business who embody the legacy of Madam C.J. Walker, the first female self-made millionaire. In this installment, meet She’Neil Johnson, Founder of BASE BUTTER.


She’Neil Johnson is the founder and Head of Marketing & Creative Strategy for BASE BUTTER, a cosmetics company that makes skincare products geared toward women of color. By combining her passion for design, business background and desire to help other women like her, She’Neil has created a career for herself that is just as rewarding as it is challenging.

After graduating from Howard University with a degree in Information Systems, She’Neil began working for IBM as a User Experience Designer, a position in which she could work in business and still be creative. While at IBM, she began making all natural lipsticks, but eventually found that she was more interested in skincare than makeup. This realization led She’Neil to create a lip base product that eventually inspired the name “BASE BUTTER.”

Today, BASE BUTTER has various products created to help women achieve healthy, radiant skin. What’s most rewarding about leading such a company for She’Neil is being able to create products that are genuinely beneficial for her customers.

“[Being genuine] is something I’ve always been worried about, and something I’m still continuously worried about. Making sure that the product’s integrity is maintained and the integrity of my message is maintained is always important because I never wanted anyone to think that I was just doing this for the benefit of me,” says Johnson.

The inspiration behind She’Neil’s work isn’t herself, but her peers. She’Neil says that seeing the strength and hustle of young Black and/or Brown women is what keeps her going and makes her want to create something for them. Creating products that serve the underserved community that is women of color is a priority for She’Neil and the BASE BUTTER team.

She’Neil offers this advice to women of color struggling to find beauty within their skin: “We just have to accept our skin as it is, and that’s something that I’ve been struggling with ever since I was 12 because of acne… I’m 25 now and I still have acne, but I’ve come to a point where I’ve realized that you just have to accept the skin you’re in. Once you accept the skin you’re in then you’re able to better protect and take care of it. We want people to be able to accept their skin color and conditions and then protect it with our products.”

With representation and community at the forefront of the BASE BUTTER brand, She’Neil says that moving forward what we can expect from the company is a focus on building an even stronger community which encourages self-empowerment and self-love as well as education on skincare. One of She’Neil’s goals for BASE BUTTER is to bridge the gap between just marketing products and actually impacting healthy change in women’s lives so that they can love and care for their skin.

Learn more about BASE BUTTER here: https://basebutter.com/

Chantè Russell

Chanté Russell is a Howard University print journalism major from Raleigh, North Carolina. Her entire life has been shaped by her passion for writing, fashion and activism. Those passions have led her to create a blog entitled Be The Zeitgeist and serve as a staff writer for Howard’s student newspaper, The Hilltop. She has also written for Lady With Attitude and worked as a freelance journalist. Some of her biggest role models include Anna Wintour, Maya Angelou and her cousin, Dr. Jennifer Edwards, who inspired Chanté to attend Howard. After completing college, Chanté hopes to work as a fashion journalist and use her platform to combat cultural insensitivity within the fashion industry and improve the public perception of the industry.

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