Welcoming, Inclusive, and Beautiful Brands: How The Sparkle Bar Is Changing the Beauty Game For Good
Have you been looking for ways to create a welcoming, inclusive community for your customers?
Want them to feel the love whether they’re connecting online or in-person?
If you’re looking for an example of what that might look and feel like for your clients and customers, look no further than Alex Bradberry and her team at the Sparkle Bar.
The Babes In Business Team had the chance to talk all things pivot, empowerment, inclusivity, and community with Alex.
So, read on for some inspiration and some concrete next steps to create a welcoming, inclusive experience and pivot to create even more opportunities to connect with your clients, no matter what industry you’re in.
Meet Alex Bradberry and The Sparkle Bar
Alex Bradberry is the Founder of award-winning The Sparkle Bar Makeup and
Beauty Studio, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, which opened its doors in 2015.
The Sparkle Bar is Arizona’s first full-service makeup only studio and was built
with a mission to provide confidence to all customers and celebrate diversity and
inclusivity in all ways. That’s not only reflected in the talented staff of artists, but
variety of products and brands we use on our “Sparkle Babe” clients on a daily
The Sparkle Bar was birthed out of necessity, a truly global movement and
a community for the woman or man who has ever felt they didn’t match the
“cultural norms” of beauty. It was Bradberry’s intention to create a safe space
celebrating everything that makes each individual client uniquely who they are,
leaving customers with a flawless application with each visit.
Through virtual lessons and in-studio makeup application experiences, each
client exists to Sparkle. The studio uses a variety of makeup brands on clients, to
giving them each an array of options to select the products that make them feel
and look their absolute best.
Clients can select from makeup applications ranging from fresh face $45 to bridal makeup applications for $225. The Sparkle Bar also offers packages and memberships, for services both on location and in Studio.
Can you tell our readers a bit about you and The Sparkle Bar?
We are a global beauty movement and community for the Sparkle Babe who have ever felt like they didn’t necessarily match the “cultural norms” of beauty because they didn’t see themselves represented in the popular beauty campaigns or, represented in the range of foundations or, other implicit signs that feel exclusionary.
We flipped that around to create a space that celebrates everything that makes you uniquely you and every day get to remind women (and men) on a daily basis through our virtual lessons online and, our in-studio experience that in spite of what society may have told you what beauty looks like, that here at The Sparkle Bar, we see you and celebrate that.
We intentionally don’t align with one specific brand because we cater to you and use a number of lines to ensure we have the perfect shade, for You, You, and YOU... whoever you are.
I can’t tell you how amazing it is to have the opportunity to create a space where people feel that and to have a team of incredibly talented artists that represent the rainbow and a mission to match. We’re here to remind you that you are beautiful & we see you.
We use makeup to enhance your already beautiful features, our mantra is, the sparkle in us recognizes the sparkle in you, for lack of better words.
We get to leave people better than we found them ...Come hang with us (in-studio or, online) and let us remind you how your individuality, uniqueness, and beauty are what make you a Sparkle Babe.
During the current pandemic, a lot of businesses have had to pivot. What has that process been like for you and your team?
We have definitely experienced the power of the pivot: All the pivoting.
Almost dizzy from it. But this time has really given us an opportunity to expand beyond the services we provided, in the studio to now creating this virtual experience that allows us to connect and bring the sparkle to babes across the country and really, all over the world.
I think that COVID has created this opportunity for us to connect on another level, the empathy, and understanding that it's more than makeup and really leaning into how we can serve.
The Sparkle Bar is this incredible space but it's really so much more than makeup. When you’re having your service done in the studio and now that we’re spending more time at home, we really see how the whole getting ready process is another form of self-care and how important spending time with yourself is.
So, we’re about to launch our first Self Care Cleanse Package which will be an extension of us, and what we would talk about if you were actually in the studio. For example, how we’re applying this lipstick, to the things we love, like sage and how to sanitize your brushes and also, inviting you into the studio where we will meet you virtually from our studio.
We’re really excited about the launch!
From a team perspective, it's been really important to stay connected and supported and keep doing what we do.
We are a family and I think that this whole experience and year has reminded us how important community is and how important having that support system is.
How have you grown your client base and community?
How we make people feel when they’re with us like Maya Angelou’s quote so perfectly explains…. “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
That and being really active: Going to networking events, getting out there and sharing what we do, our mission, spreading our message of what The Sparkle Bar represents, and what we do. We’ve built our business on creating this space for the babe who never felt like a babe…
Taking ownership of that word which for so long I think has felt like not everyone fits that description and we take that and make it our vibe.
Sparkle Babe is a spirit. It’s you. It’s me. It's all of us. Because we see you and we are about confidence.
We remind you of who you are in case you forgot.
Society might have you believe that because you’re not this size, or don’t look like this, that you’re not “pretty” and what we do is remind you that what makes you, you, including the shape of your nose, your lips, your skin, your uniqueness is what makes you beautiful and we’re like the best hype squad.
So, trust that before you leave us you will own that sparkle babe spirit.
We’ve grown by doing just that, one babe at a time and I’m so honored to have the opportunity to now meet so many incredible people from all walks of life who not only support our mission but also feel part of it and then they share us with their favorite people, it’s a beautiful ripple effect and I’m just so honored that we have the opportunity to partake in the lives of so many badass babes who allow us to share in their special moments.
Now, it’s being able to be the go-to resource for all things beauty so, not when you need a new foundation or, want to find the perfect new lipstick or, learn how to apply false lashes- we want to be your go to’s and be the ones to introduce you to your next new favorite. (Babes Side Note: We're really excited about the new virtual edits because we can grow our community even more!)
How has social media been a part of that?
Social media has given us the opportunity to share our story, a platform to share and connect.
I mean look at us, from across the country having conversations, connecting, and sharing.
In a recent Instagram story, you shared that you celebrate diversity, uniqueness in beauty, and want your space to be welcoming and inclusive. Are those the things that led you to create The Sparkle Bar?
Yes, I wanted to create a space where when you walked in you were immediately put at ease by the energy and space.
Where when you looked around you knew that by coming here you were going to be taken care of. It’s treating every person that walks in from the mailman to our brides with the same smile and happy disposition.
It's treating everyone with respect and in doing so by having something for everyone, demonstrating that everyone is important, and we say that implicitly from the products we carry to the diversity represented on our walls… because we see you.
And what do those values look like in the work that you do?
We make it a point to say that we are for everyone… everyone. For a lot of women, and in particular women of color having a bad makeup experience is something we’re familiar with.
I can remember having my makeup done and looking in the mirror and speechless, I was gray, ashy and it was just a terrible experience.
It's remembering that feeling and instilling in our team that the way that you show someone that you see them is your skill and ability to highlight their natural beauty and that means everyone.
When you can do all skin tones and types it's like this level of respect and feeling seen. And that’s what we do. When we say, “created for you, you and you..” and that “the sparkle in us recognizes the sparkle in you” it’s seeing your beauty in all its glory regardless of skin tone, type, texture, and age.
Do you have any guidance for those who are serious about doing the work it takes to create diverse, welcoming, inclusive spaces and businesses like yours?
It's demonstrated in everything we do. It’s just really important for me to create space where I felt comfortable and being able to identify with people around you gives you that sense of comfort.
When it comes to walking the walk and talking the talk it’s making a concerted effort to look for opportunities to be more diverse, in all things. (From age to ethnicity…)
What I love most about The Sparkle Bar is the thing that bonds us is glam, we’re all here to feel beautiful and what we get to celebrate on our side is how each and every single person is uniquely beautiful and unleashing that inner sparkle babe. I think that looking for opportunities to be more inclusive is looking for that. For example, if you’re a sommelier are there ways that you can introduce your audience to more wineries and look outside of what you’re doing? Get curious and learn more about other people.
I think the most important thing is to try and make an effort so if you’re putting together gift guides or a book club or cooking. How can you be an expander for people and be the conduit that introduces them to someone or something new?
Thank you so much for connecting with us! Is there anything else you'd like our community to know about you, your journey, or your business?
I’m so grateful for the outpouring of support and that so many are recognizing the disparities that exist and taking action to change them.
Thank you for your support. I appreciate it.
Thank you for following us and joining our mission to continue celebrating global beauty and the opportunity to serve you.
I look forward to meeting you all virtually or in person, soon!
Stay tuned, our care package drops in July!
How can people find The Sparkle Bar and connect with you and your team?
You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, and on our website… but our most favorite place to connect is The Sparkle Bar so, come hang with us… virtually, or in person… at your place… or at ours.
Right now, Virtual Edits are all the rage. So, many people are meeting online so we’re offering lessons on all things from how to apply false lashes to how to sanitize your makeup brushes and everything in between.
Follow us for tips, tricks, tutorials and one on one lessons. We’re evolving and growing and excited about the opportunity to connect!
You can learn more about The Sparkle Bar and #TheSparkleBabe community
@TheSparkleBar or contact us for an appointment at www.thesparklebar.com .