6 years ago, I was an accounts payable coordinator for PSE&G and I was going to school for accounting. I thought I was going to be an account for a major accounting firm. I was pre-pared for wear pencil skirts and stilettos every day. But then I was hit with a dilemma.
My dilemma was this. My daughter was in love with bath and body works but the chemicals in the lotion broke her out. I was in love with candles but couldn't find any candles that satisfied my taste. The struggle was real.
Every candle I brought did not have a smell when lit and my daughters doctor told me to stop using bath and body works. It was to the point that I was forced to use oil burners to scent my home and my daughter had to use coco butter lotion (after I saw the effects of lotion, I wouldn’t let her use anything else) but she didn’t like the smell and her skin was still dry. No one was happy. At that moment I knew I had to figure out something.
Starting with the skincare, I decided to research on all-natural skin care diy tutorials and learned that I could make my own with 4 basic household ingredients. Shea butter which I brought from the beauty supply store and sometimes from the Muslim stand downtown (Newark, NJ); Aloe Vera gel from an aloe vera plant that I would buy from the grocery store (I would search for these plants too); olive oil from the cabinet; and lemon juice form the refrigerator. We lived by this mix too.
While using the new skin care that I would make once a week I realized a change. I realized that the blemishes on my sons face from his jaundice was going away. I also realized that I was getting more complements on my skin. This new skin care had our skin looking so good that a co-worker asked me to make her some for her skin. She loved it so much she suggested that I sale it and I took her suggestion.
At that time life was a little hectic. After borrowing money from my 401K to start my business I discovered that my husband, at the time, was having an affair and I lost my job. I was at risk of closing a business that I barely even opened. The only opportunity I had on succeeding was utilizing my free time for research. That was the only choice that I had.
I had already started the business. I had was registered as an LLC, had my EIN and started my website. If I stopped, I would be closing a business that barely opened.
If I keep going, I would be helping solve the problem of toxic skincare. Like I did for my children and my co-worker I would be able to provide the world with skincare that beneficial to their skin. Skincare that feeds the skin the nutrients and antioxidants it needs to thrive and stay healthy. I had a big decision to make.
I decided to get a divorce and stay the course of starting my own business and to start making my own candles. I figured if I could make skincare, I could make candles. My mission became to become your all-natural bath and body works. Soy I researched diy candle tutorials like I did with the skincare.
I’m happy I made this decision. Life has begun to become a little clear and I became happier. I was finally doing something that wanted to do. I was finally accomplishing a dream that I had since I was a child. The dream of starting my own business. I was "souped". I found my happiness.
After being in business for 6 years I can say that I have learned a lot. Below are a few things I learned:
- Research your product before you buy your supplies: I did mine backwards. I had all my supplies & ingredients but no clear method on how to make the product for shelf life. I started off wanting to make lotion, but lotion has chemicals that can’t be replaced naturally. The chemicals are needed to stop the product from molding since it’s made of 80% water.
- Have a business bank account: You want to keep your business funds and your personal funds separate. This way you can have a clear understanding of how much you’re spending and how much you’re making.
- Build a relationship with you vendors: I have been using the same vendors since I started. I receive my orders in a timely manner and special discounts.
- Have confidence in your product: There are 8.5 billion people in the world. Everyone is not going to like your products and that’s fine. Stay loyal to the customers that do.
- Create a space to work in: As a small business owner I learned that an office/studio/garage/spare bedroom, etc. is needed. There is time when you must lock yourself away to focus. Not only that but you will also need a space to create and hold your inventory.
I can’t wait for you to see our new items we have coming. We will be introducing a new candle lines and new scents. Our packaging is also changing. The new look we have coming is stunning. You won’t want to miss it.
With Love ♥💚💛,
Danielle "Dee-Dee" Bradley
Owner of De'Vine Beauty Shop