Dec 16, 2023

Birmingham’s Kenya Staples on Refreshing Your Skin and Renewing Your Spirit

By Nicole S. Daniel

The Birmingham Times

Kenya Staples, owner of Dear Sunday Skincare, a small business in the beauty field, has a background in chemistry, but it is her military training that has molded her, she said.

“I joined the military my senior year in (Ramsay High School), said Staples, who was raised on the north side of Birmingham in a single parent household with two younger brothers, “… because of our living conditions and how things were.”

Staples said [the family] ended up in a house and living conditions with one working faucet and “that’s why I decided to work I needed to help out,” she said. “… a big decision (about my career choices) would have had to been made at some point” so she joined the military.

Asked how her mother felt about her decision to join the Army, Staples said “she has always been proud of me but, I think she understood because of our living conditions.”

The discipline is one of the reasons behind Dear Sunday Skincare, which she launched in November 2021. Staples said her ultimate goal is for her customers to “adapt to the brand, not just adapt to a skincare regimen but a ‘self-care’ regimen. My whole motto is to ‘refresh your skin and renew your spirit.’”

Staples wanted to go into the medical field but “I did not have the resources to pay for school. Although I did well academically and applied for scholarships, I just didn’t have those resources for college. So I think at the time, joining the military was the best decision.”

In 2011, when she graduated high school, Staples went off to basic training at Ft. Leonardwood in Missouri.

“During that summer, I did my initial boot camp, and then Advance Individual Training (AIT). I was actually trained to become a cook when I enlisted. After training, I enrolled into Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, in the spring of 2012. There I got into ROTC which [allowed me to be in the Reserve while working towards becoming an officer]. If I’m going to have a degree, then I can become an officer and when I graduated, I was simultaneously commissioned as an officer.”

ROTC molded her into a leader, Staples said. “You learned that discipline and being a leader in the military … I just learned a lot at the time.”

She graduated from A&M in spring 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry then stationed in Fort Campbell, Kentucky for three years active duty. After finishing her military commitment Staples returned to Birmingham in 2019 where she married her husband Kee’vin in June.

She worked briefly with an ophthalmologist and “told myself this isn’t it, I’m really creative and I want to explore something else. That’s when the idea of creating a skincare line came about.”

Self-Care Sundays

The Dear Sunday Skincare brand name has 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 simplifies self-care routines by formulating effective products to treat and nourish common skin concerns, while promoting daily self-care for overall enhanced well-being.

“With self-care being my thing, and I’ve always been into beauty, and products of that nature. When I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do as my career I really wanted something that resonated. I really wanted to see if I could do something with my chemistry degree. I didn’t want to go into research and work in a lab.”

Staples said she loved beauty products “and I knew there were skin conditions that I want to address for myself. I wanted to create products with minimal steps.”

She also considered herself a product junkie.

“I wanted to just home in on products with minimal ingredients and minimal steps to do exactly what I wanted it to do for my skin and other skin types with the same condition,” she said.

While she has never dealt with acne she has battled with hyperpigmentation and dark marks from a lot of sun exposure when she was in the military as well as oily skin. “I wanted to create a product that’s going to help control my oil and just kind of mimic what my skin should actually look like and what the moisture of my skin should have been.”

Those were the beginnings of the Dear Sunday Skincare. Later she began to create products to address other areas because “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 on creating products for a lot more customers that suffer with different things as it relates to the skin. So [that] … became my goals.”

“Sunny And Bright”

Dear Sunday Skin care consists of a cleanser, toner and moisturizer that comes in four ounce bottles “that will last about 60 days” and those are packaged in burnt orange and brown bottles.

“I chose those colors because I guess I’m kind of fixed on aesthetics. ‘Dear Sunday’ for me, it is almost sunny and bright, but just warm. I’m wanted to use colors that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. So there’s a burnt orange and it’s all like brown bottle.”

In addition, customers can purchase the travel and trial size that comes with a travel bag.

Although Staples went to school for chemistry, she has learned a lot about business since launching Dear Sunday Skincare.

“I actually got accepted into a Future Founders accelerator program based in Chicago … Honestly, this has been probably the best thing that can happen for my business. Because 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.

Self-Care Sundays“Sunny And Bright”