By Nicole S. Daniel
The Birmingham Times
Kenya Staples, owner of Dear Sunday Skincare, a small business in the self-care field, has a background in chemistry, but said that it is her military training that has helped mold her.
Raised on the north side of Birmingham in a single-parent household with two younger brothers, Staples joined the military her senior year at Ramsay High School.
Staples described her family’s hardships and living conditions with one working faucet and said joining the military would be her way of changing her circumstances for life.
Staples was asked how her mother felt about Staple’s decision to join the Army and said, “she has always been proud of me” and that she believed her mother understood her choice considering their circumstances.
Staples launched Dear Sunday Skincare in November 2021 with a mission to promote self-love and wellness. Her ultimate goal is for her customers to “not just adapt to a ‘skincare’ regimen but a ‘self-care’ regimen,” she said. The brand’s motto is to ‘refresh your skin and renew your spirit.’
With a plan to pursue a medical career after high school, Staples recalled, “Although I did well academically and applied for scholarships, I just didn’t have the resources for college …” joining the military was the best decision as it provided academic and financial support, she said.
In 2011, when she graduated high school, Staples went off to basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri.
“During that summer, I did my initial boot camp and then Advance Individual Training (AIT).” Staples said she was initially trained as a cook when she enlisted.
After training, in the spring of 2012, she enrolled at Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University (AAMU) in Huntsville, AL. There she contracted with ROTC, allowing her to serve in the Army Reserve and train towards becoming an officer
while earning her bachelor’s degree. Upon completion of the program, Staples transitioned from an enlisted soldier to a commissioned signal officer.
ROTC molded her into a leader, affecting her military experience and overall discipline, Staples said. After graduating from AAMU in spring 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry, Staples served three years active duty at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. In 2019, she returned to Birmingham, married her husband Kee’vin in June, and worked towards becoming a physician assistant.
To gain clinical experience, Staples worked briefly with an ophthalmologist but after months of being in the medical environment, told herself “this isn’t it… I’m really creative and I want to explore something else.” Staples recalled that it took
months of exploration and trial in other career fields: “That’s when the idea of creating a skincare line came about.”
The Dear Sunday Skincare brand name has a special meaning, she said. “Sundays have always been my hard reset days that I look forward to. Going to church, coming home, doing light cleaning, planting, journaling, and doing a lengthy skincare routine is ‘self-care Sunday’ for Kenya. But I wanted that to be more practical and frequent than just once a week.”
The product line aims to simplify self-care routines by formulating effective products to treat and nourish common skin concerns while promoting daily self- care for overall enhanced well-being.
When trying to figure out what she wanted to do as a career, Staples said that she wanted something that resonated and aligned with her self-care passion, utilize her chemistry degree and that she preferred not to go into research or work in a
The young entrepreneur said she has always loved beauty and skincare products and has considered herself a product junkie. Asked what influenced her formulations, Staples said, “I knew there were skin conditions that I wanted to address for myself. I wanted to create products with minimal steps.”
While she has never dealt with acne, she has battled with hyperpigmentation and dark marks from a lot of sun exposure when serving in the military as well as oily skin. Creating a product that helped control the oil, hyperpigmentation, and
moisture of her skin was the beginning of Dear Sunday Skincare.
Staples said, “As I started putting my products out, I realize there’s a lot of other skin conditions that I would like to take the challenge of creating products for…”
“Sunny And Bright”
Dear Sunday Skincare currently consists of a cleanser, toner, and moisturizer which come in four-ounce bottles “that will last about 60 days” and is packaged in an array of sunset colors.
Asked what influenced the branding colors, Staples said that she is fixed on aesthetics and that Sunday reminded her of a sunny and bright yet warm aesthetic.
In addition, customers can purchase the travel/trial size that can last up to 30 days and comes with a branded travel bag.
Although Staples went to school for chemistry, she has learned a lot about business since launching Dear Sunday Skincare.
Staples said she was accepted into The Future Founders Fellowship, a founder and business accelerator program based in Chicago, and said it has helped with her development. She added, “ … Honestly, this has been probably the best thing that can happen for my business. Running a business is very new to
me, and it can get discouraging doing it alone. So far, I’ve just been learning things on the fly or researching things on my own, but an accelerator program really helps bring the resources to you.”
To learn more about Dear Sunday Skincare, visit its website at or purchase the products at Thrive Wellness at 5528 1st Ave S Birmingham, AL.
Updated at 11:36 a.m. on 8/28/2023 for edits.
Updated at 9:33 p.m. on 8/30/2023 for revisions throughout