Clemson chemistry student finds purpose in beauty business

Posted April 14, 2021

By Taylor Washington
Carolina News & Reporter
University of South Carolina

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Every week, Nia Grant dedicates a day to pamper herself. With so many homes transformed into makeshift classrooms and work offices due to the pandemic, the Clemson University chemistry student said it’s easy for people to forget to take care of themselves.

But even before the pandemic, she understood the importance of self-care and launched her own company for that purpose. 

“Think Lush Cosmetics plus Bill Nye the Science Guy, and you get Purpose Cosmetics,” Grant said. “I think that’s just the easiest way to explain it to people.” 

Purpose Cosmetics offers a variety of lip scrubs, body scrubs and body butter. Grant, now in her third year at Clemson, founded the company as a way to merge her love of beauty and science. 

“So you know, traditional sugar scrubs, they’re basically just like oil and sugar,” Grant said. “But with mine, it actually turns to a creamy lotion upon contact with water, so I think that’s super cool and you get to see that science in action as well.”

Nia means purpose in Swahili, and Grant said her namesake company’s main purpose is to inspire the next generation of women pursuing careers in STEM. 

“I wanted to definitely just change the narrative and amplify the voices of women in science, and encourage that next generation,” Grant said. “My sister is 10, so I want to encourage her generation to be like, ‘Hey, we can be scientists and researchers in STEM as well.’”

Grant first became interested in STEM after she was introduced to chemistry by her 10th-grade chemistry teacher. After graduating high school, Grant enrolled in Clemson on a full scholarship and majored in chemical engineering until she switched her major to chemistry.

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