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Ni’Kita Wilson ’99

Vice president of Ideation and Innovation at Voyant Beauty proves how passionate she is about helping increase the quality of life for women and men from her time in the lab.

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Ni’Kita Wilson ’99 enrolled into Montclair State University with dreams of one day becoming a doctor.  “I always pictured myself in a lab coat – little did I know that it was not in a doctor’s office, but in a laboratory doing something that I loved” she says.

Today, Wilson serves as vice president of Ideation and Innovation at Voyant Beauty. In her role, she is involved in new product innovation, product development and technical services. She works directly with customers to create new product ideas, then works with the lab to turn those ideas into products.

“We may not be creating cures for diseases in our industry, but we are doing our part to help increase the quality of life for women and men who are challenged with the side effect of treatments,” she says. Being able to create products that empower patients is something that Wilson is proud of.

In 1999, Wilson graduated from Montclair State with a BS in Chemistry. Following graduation, she started her career as a chemist at a small cosmetics consulting company, where she realized her passion.

“It felt like I was walking into a meadow with the sun shining and birds chirping,” she says. “These were my people!”

Wilson developed about 2,000 products during her years as a bench chemist and was recognized and honored by Essence magazine with a Best in Black Beauty Award as an “Innovative Cosmetic Chemist.” Prior to joining Voyant Beauty, formerly known as Aware Products, in 2014, she was founder and CEO of Skinects LLC and Catalyst Cosmetic Development.

Reflecting back on her time at Montclair State, she recalls the impact of one particular professor, Dr. Mark Whitener. He taught Wilson her first college level science course, which gave her a great foundation in Chemistry and so much more.

“He took the time to explain the subject matter and break it down for his students to understand,” she says. “His class gave me the confidence to continue to pursue chemistry.”

In fact, it was during an internship with Dr. Whitener that Wilson realized that she wanted to work in a lab. She says that not only was the internship a validation that she enjoyed working in a lab, but it also gave her the experience she needed to land her first job out of college.

Years later, Wilson has found her way back to her alma mater as a member of the College of Science and Mathematics (CSAM) Advisory Board. She says that the most satisfying aspect of her participation as a member is having an impact on student’s lives by organizing career development events.

“It is our goal to help provide students access to network with industry leaders and learn firsthand what companies are looking for when hiring,” she says.

Wilson believes that the CSAM Advisory Board is a great platform and opportunity to work with other like-minded, student-focused individuals.

Just as she once did, Wilson advises students in the College of Science and Mathematics to make the most out of every opportunity given.

“Connections are key to advancement,’ she says. “Once you get in the door, it’s up to you to prove it.”