SEASON 1: Understanding the Issues

How one Black entrepreneur built her business with mentorship, access

While working for a major cosmetic company, Leticia Long decided she wanted to make the leap and put her knowledge and skills to work for herself. But, she needed some help.

After being introduced to the Zion Institute and its Cofounder and CEO Shawn Pearson, Long was able to find a mentor and gain the access she needed to give her startup beauty business the boost it needed.

Now, as the owner and founder of Purelistic Health & Beauty, Long talks about being the only Black-owned business in a major Valley shopping center and how the Zion Institute helped her get there.

See the story behind Purelistic Health and Beauty



Zion Institute lifts a one-of-a-kind business to new heights

Founded in 2010, the Zion Institute works to build capacity in non-profit and for-profit social entities and works to transform people, communities and the marketplace to break cycles of generational poverty.

Leticia Long

Shawn Pearson

Featured Guests

Leticia Long


Purelistic Health and Beauty

Shawn Pearson


Zion Institute

"I believe as long as you're partnered up with key people in the arena, it makes all the difference."
Leticia Long

How it Started

I entered into the beauty arena working for a major cosmetic company, and I just eventually took this journey where I dabbled in skin, hair, [and] making products; kind of a little bit of everything. I decided that I was going to pull together the collection of everything I had acquired in my 30-year journey and create Purelistic Health & Beauty.

Partnership and Mentorship

Zion Institute is a major player in regard to Shawn Pearson [and] Spirit of Excellence – being my mentor. She actually cares about her community. One of the things I learned from Shawn and Zion Institute is, “we’re better together.” I believe as long as you’re partnered up with key people in the arena, it makes all the difference.

Role to Play

I feel that representation matters. I feel that it is my role to make sure that I’m representing the African American community and making sure I have products that are diversified to cover every genre, age and race.

"It's a proud moment for me to be a part of it, to witness her drive and her passion for the work, and recognizing the need for access."
Shawn Pearson

The Next Level

Purelistic Health & Beauty and Zion [Institute] collided at a point where Leticia was trying to really expand her business. She went through our Spirit of Excellence business training, and after that has continued the one-on-one mentorship to actually scale the business on a whole other level beyond what we had imagined. It’s really exciting work to be doing with her.

Access and Exposure

Spirit of Excellence is a self-paced business development program that we walk residents through. We connect them to what we call the Design Ecosystem, which is a number of partners across various sectors to help them be exposed to the things that they wouldn’t normally have access to, to really grow their business.

Just the Beginning

Purelistic Health & Beauty absolutely will be international. I believe that because it appeals to everyone from every walk of life. She’s got something for every one of us, no matter what our social economic level is. And it meets the need of so many of us skin types, races, ethnicity, all of it. It fits all of us.

Pride and Progress

It’s a proud moment for me to be a part of it, to witness her drive and her passion for the work, and recognizing the need for access. That was all she needed. It was exciting for us to be able to be a part of that. And again, just add Purelistic to the Design Ecosystem and connect her to every relationship we had in hopes that there would be some right fits and help her propel the business to where she’s going.

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