Keamone looks off to the side, holds coffee mug, wearing a pink blazer.
glowing up

By Paul Miller, MA ’20


As the youngest of three, Keamone Frederick thinks her sisters playfully gave her a nickname because they say she’s spoiled. “I’m the last one of my sisters, so they call me ‘Queen Sheba,’” Frederick said with a laugh during a Zoom interview. Or perhaps it’s because they see in Keamone (pronounced key-MOAN’) the same qualities belonging to that legendary Queen of Sheba: wit, charm, beauty… and the knowledge of what to do with some gold. 

Frederick is CEO of kanti, a new skincare brand she launched to address the specific needs of women of color. The hyper-competitive market for skincare and cosmetics is valued at more than $18 billion and it’s a landscape crowded with competitors big and small, including celebrities like superstar Rihanna and mega-music producer Pharrell Williams, both have created popular brands, Fenty and Humanrace, respectively. Nevertheless, Frederick said she saw an opportunity for success, but she also knew that in order to stand out, kanti needed their first product to shine — literally.   

kanti bottle
kanti likuid gold facial oil

check it out at

“This whole concept of kanti was bright glowing skin but further than just glowing skin — a glowing life,” said Frederick, a 2015 graduate who earned a degree in communication with a minor in business administration. “So I knew, automatically, the first product was going to be something that was going to offer an instant type of glow to make someone feel better instantly.”   

It may be a winning strategy. According to market research firm Kantar, post-COVID-19, consumers want products that do more than just make them look better; they also want to feel better.   

Enter kanti likuid gold, a luxuriant combination of African baobob tree seed oil infused with flakes of 24k gold — ingredients truly befitting a queen. According to kanti’s website, their facial oil claims a range of skincare benefits from moisturizing to skin cell regeneration. “I’m glad that we chose that formula,” said Frederick. When asked about the financial risks of incorporating a precious metal into their flagship product, she noted that co-founder and COO Alisha Ricki (her eldest sister and a SUNY Binghamton graduate) is a multi-asset trader. They were able to leverage Ricki’s experience to choose a price point that could accommodate gold’s fluctuations. “I can’t even imagine the product without it now.” 

women wearing kanti products
Founders keamone f. ceo + co-founder bottom right and alisha ricki coo + co-founder bottom left. (DFAMS Photography)

The road to budding entrepreneur, however, was not always paved with gold. For Frederick, the journey began on the streets of the tiny Caribbean island of Antigua.   

Frederick and her family outside their house in Antigua
Family pride.  From left:  Mom, Kevinia (sister), Keamone, Alisha (sister), and Dad in Antigua in 1998.

Frederick and her two sisters were raised by their proudly Antiguan parents on the island because, as Frederick recalled, “they wanted us to have an Antiguan upbringing.”  Key to that upbringing was instilling a sense of strength, discipline and confidence — attributes that not only serve her now as a businesswoman but are also required in a place where, beneath the sunny veneer of paradise that is sold to tourists, there exists a rougher reality. 

“It is a hard place to survive because it’s a very small island. Money doesn’t move around the country,” said Frederick. Economic struggle, and the challenges that come with it, is not uncommon. While growing up, Frederick says her parents (then, a high school teacher and auto store manager) were very strict in order to keep the girls focused. The family traveled back and forth between New York and Antigua several times to provide the girls with a combination of Antiguan fortitude and American opportunities. It’s a sacrifice she now understands: “It’s a place [Antigua] that molds you to be strong enough to get through life’s trials and tribulations, but it’s not the place that your dream can come to fruition.” 

Ultimately, the path to making her dreams come true took Frederick up the Atlantic Ocean from Antigua Girls’ High School to Frank Scott Bunnell High School in Stratford, Connecticut. 

The transition during her junior year was a “culture shock,” and made for one of the most difficult times in her life. To fit in and find friends, she got involved. She ran track, found photography and followed her passions and interests wherever they led — anything to shake off the heavy weight of feeling like an outsider. It paid off. “Some of those people are still my best friends today,” said Frederick. 

Frederick with a group of friends at the AIDS walk.
Making a difference. Keamone (in red hat) during the 2014 AidsWalk event in Albany.

At UAlbany, Frederick continued her involvement by throwing herself into more than a half dozen organizations, including ASUBA and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated – the same sorority to which U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris belongs. For Frederick, that’s a source of great pride. “The mission of AKA is to be of service to all mankind,” she explained. “And [Harris] is the epitome of serving now because she’s serving our country … and I think that’s going to inspire so many people to do that, to serve in different ways.”   

Frederick sees herself and her business as also serving the needs of women of color. She believes they have been long overlooked and that, now, their moment (and hers) has finally arrived. To help, her company has started Kanti University, an internship program designed to give young, underrepresented women the opportunities in business that they might not otherwise have. Women have played an important role in her life. Frederick points to the graceful diligence of her mother, the close bond between her siblings, and the seemingly unshakeable resilience of her eldest sister/business partner, as reasons for her success and inspiration for her continued efforts. For Frederick, strong women give rise to more strong women – and she’s ready to do her part.

Frederick poses for a picture in formal wear with fellow members of the ASUBA board.
Executive perks. Keamone (in white) with the ASUBA E-Board at the Black Ball in 2014.

“I, literally, think the future is female. I’ll take it even a step further and say I think the future is a Black female,” 

Frederick beamed as her voice rose to underscore her point: “I just feel this is going to be that turning point. Maybe I’m optimistic. I’ve always been optimistic and that’s how I feel about it.”

All hail the queen.



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