Who doesn’t love a little sparkle? We all do, and Taylor McPherson, founder of The Sustainable Sparkle Bar, found a way to make biodegradable glitter more accessible to consumers. It’s funny how just a dash of glitter will put anyone in a better mood. Plus, it makes for a great DIY or activation at an event as well as a fun afternoon project for your kids. Traditional plastic glitter is harmful to the environment, which is why Taylor launched her company to bring awareness and educate people on the importance of opting for safer biodegradable options. Below, she’s highlighting her career journey as a young Black woman living in West Hollywood and how you can support her up-and-coming business for your next at-home family activity or small (socially distanced) get-together. Read on to learn more about The Sustainable Sparkle Bar.
When and why did you start your company?
“I started my company on December 7, 2016, the day after my 26th birthday. My goal was to establish something now, so that I would be ready to turn 30. I’ll be 30 this December. I wanted to start building something that could grow with me throughout my life. A business and a brand that would represent me and take me where I wanted to go. I wanted to be my own boss, and I wanted to throw kick-ass parties.”
What has your career path been like?
“I attended The Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. While I was there, I interned for celebrity stylist Robert Verdi, and that’s where I really got to hone in on my love for event planning and entertaining. After college, I got a job at a boutique PR firm, CRC PR, in the Flatiron District. Then I did marketing and social media management all in NYC.
While I was working my full-time jobs in NYC, I was simultaneously working on the weekends in Asbury Park, New Jersey, as a hostess, manager, and coat check girl—depending on the year, the season, and the restaurant.
In 2015, my brother died, and about seven months later I got laid off from my social media management job in NYC. That’s when I decided to go out on my own and start Current Events, LLC. At the time, I just knew I loved to throw parties and that I wanted to work for myself.
As I was discovering what the business would be, I created The Sparkle Bar. I needed something that was unique to me to set me apart from all of the other event planners out there. I’ve always been a glitter girl, always loved glitter and sparkles and everything blingy. After attending Coachella in 2016, my internal inspiration started to be expressed outwardly in my hair, makeup, and clothing.
I would attend events, and people would go crazy for my sparkles. So I decided to try bringing all my glitter to an event and sparkling others. It was a hit! One of my first events in Asbury Park was an equality walk for the LGBTQ community. After The Sparkle Bar started to take off in NJ, I decided to set my sights on LA and music festivals.
In 2019, I popped up The Sparkle Bar at over 15 major music festivals across North America, including Stagecoach and Bonnaroo. I signed deals with Malibu Rum, Ketel One, and Postmates. And I worked with Willam and Eureka O’Hara from RuPaul’s Drag Race.
I just love glitter, and they say that if you find your passion, you should use it to make others happy. That’s what I’m doing.”
What’s the core mission of your brand?
“The core mission of my brand is to make people happy and bring people out of their shells. Putting glitter on your face or body is not always something everyone will raise their hands for every single time. But I find that when the reluctant or unsure person decides to get sparkled, it brings out the best inside of them. Like they get this new confidence that they didn’t know they had. That’s why my favorite part of every sparkle experience is the reveal—when I get to show whomever I’m working on the artwork I’ve created on them.”
What’s your favorite glitter pack you sell and why?
“My glitter packs are biodegradable, and they’re called #GlittahDimeBags. I’ve named each color of glitter after a strain of marijuana because I’m the #GlittahPlug. I would have to say my favorites would be either Jack Herer or Blue Velvet. And I feel that way because I love both of these cannabis strains the most; they give you the best upbeat high. And I feel like they’re some of the most spot-on name pairings that I have. Blue Velvet for the obvious reasons and Jack Herer because a lot of their branded stuff is also a bright, shiny gold color like me.”
*They do not contain actual cannabis.
What has surprised you the most since starting your company?
“How many people will and will not be willing to help along the way. I was ready for a lot of no’s. I’m still ready for a lot of no’s. People are always going to say no. But sometimes, people say yes, and they help me out, and then I can do a spectacular job and show them why they chose to take a chance on me and let me succeed.”
What’s a lesson you’ve learned as a founder?
“Don’t be afraid to let go. That’s a big one that I’ve learned from watching videos of billionaires and people at the top of companies. They talk about how many different ideas they’ve had and executed and how many times they may have tried and failed but were OK with letting the failed opportunity go instead of holding on for too long and losing even more money and opportunity.”
What can we expect in the future for Sustainable Sparkle Bar?
“You can expect that my company will continue to figure out how to further celebrate Black voices and Black women. Right now, I’m really trying to focus on spending my money with Black and female or just female-owned businesses small and large. So I plan to do so many more collaborations. Also, you can expect that I will continue to sparkle up the world everywhere I go. When music festivals come back, I will be right there at all of the major ones spreading my glitter love. I also want to continue to educate people on the benefits of biodegradable glitter over plastic glitter. I also want my #GlittahDimeBags to be stocked and sold at beauty salons and hair salons around the world. I want my sparkles to be synonymous with luxury glam and pampering yourself.”