Shaniqua Trotman is a young entrepreneur seeking to save Barbados valuable foreign exchange while capitalizing on changing trends in the local beauty industry.
As women of all ages gravitate towards bright, bold make-up, she is preparing to launch Jolie Lipsticks – a customizable local lipstick brand.
Set to officially debut at the Barbados Manufacturers’ Exhibition May 25 to 28, she said both local and regional consumers and retailers were anticipating what will be the first product in a full line of lip products.
The beneficiary of the Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme said beauty-supply stores in Trinidad, Jamaica, Guyana and St Vincent were showing interest in the daring lip colours.
“It’s made in Barbados and I think Barbadians are proud of the fact that we can say this is ours.
“I think the regional people too are excited because we’re neighbours and I think a lot of people want to jump on board and really start pushing our regional products,” the 20-year-old told BARBADOS BUSINESS AUTHORITY.
“Once upon a time people would shy away from buying things that were not necessarily established and once upon a time when Bajans heard local they thought of a lesser quality than what you would get from an international market but nowadays people are excited,” she added.
Jolie Lipsticks are made by a local private label manufacturing company and will be available in 12 basic colours that can be customized according to shade or texture.
This service is one which Trotman believes will make her brand stand out from other local lip products.
“I’m able to keep the cost down because I’m very hands-on in the business.
“It’s not as though it’s coming from a big manufacturing firm or factory where making one customized lipstick would be a lot more costly,” she said.
Trotman who is trained in culinary arts, said her experience in the kitchen has benefited her current venture.
“With lipsticks there’s a method and I think baking and making make-up is basically the same thing because you have to go through a procedure.
“It gives me a sense of confidence when doing the lipsticks because I know already how to manoeuvre around the kitchen,” she said, adding that the manufacturing process was a complicated one.
“Incorporating colour into lipstick, believe it or not, is extremely difficult.
“There are steps you have to take to get it done and a lot of people can’t figure it out.
“That’s why it’s not done by a lot of people,” Trotman said.
“It’s easier to produce make-up like eye shadow or anything powder-based,” she said.
The self-starter said she started Jolie “out of pocket” since she is an avid saver.
“I didn’t have any investors, any sponsors or any rich family saying ‘here, this is for you and the business’.
“It was all me,” she explained.
Still, she said young entrepreneurs were fortunate to have a number of entities in Barbados that can offer assistance although she felt they needed to be advertised more.