Cosmetic Mogul Vera Moore's Rags To Riches Success

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 07/06/2015 | 12:15 PM EDT

Former soap actress shares story behind business empire

There’s nothing more motivating than a Black woman’s rise to success in spite of her circumstances. Vera Moore’s rags to riches story is one of them.


The former soap actress turned cosmetic mogul says she came from humble beginnings. As the daughter of working-class parents in Queens, Moore knew the true value of hard work.


Landing her first job out of high school as a stenographer, she was determined to make a difference for her family.


"The next floor you scrub will be your own" she told her mom, who washed floors on her hands and knees as a domestic worker, according to People magazine.


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Five years later, Moore purchased her parents a house. Her big break, however, was her  10-year run as Nurse Linda on “Another World.”


Moore’s time on the set in and in the makeup chair would eventually usher her into a new career move: entrepreneurship.


Growing tired of the lack of quality makeup for actors of color, Moore decided to create her own.


"But then, the lightbulb: You're not the only one suffering from this. This is not just your personal dilemma, there is a dilemma. There is a need,” Moore said.


In 1979, she launched Vera Moore Cosmetics. She and husband Billy Helms mortgaged their home and later opened a mall shop. Over 30 years later, Moore’s line is marketed in 56 Duane Reade stores and Walgreens specialty-makeup "LOOK boutiques" across the country, as well as Puerto Rico and China.


Though the cosmetic line initially focused on Black women--”because that's where the void was"--now it caters to women of all cultures.


Now that’s inspiring!


(Photo: Vera MOore Cosmetics via Facebook)

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