Article Originally Published by Shelby Stevens on North Texas Daily
Allyiah Renee Watley is a criminal justice major at UNT and an entrepreneur with a diverse range of businesses. Watley started her own business, The Chocolate Factory Cosmetics, in June 2019. For the past year, she has been creating her own cruelty-free and vegan lip glosses, lip scrubs and body scrubs.
Watley’s business doesn’t stop at creating products, as she offers services such as makeup, logo and website design and provides guidance for young entrepreneurs through webinars.
Inspired by her mother’s career as an entrepreneur and encouraged by her brother to start a business, Watley began her journey into the beauty industry.
“I’ve always liked makeup,” Watley said. “I haven’t always been good at it, but practice makes almost perfect. My brother encouraged me to open my own business, which also encouraged me to open more businesses because I like running this one. I have so many ideas for businesses, so there’s more coming.”
Chocolate Factory Cosmetics currently specializes in making lip gloss, which Watley said is cruelty-free and made with natural ingredients and free from chemicals.
“I have eczema and very sensitive and dry skin,” said Adanze Eke, a customer and friend of Watley’s. “Allyiah’s lip glosses keep my lips moisturized and feeling really soft. Her products are all-natural with no chemicals, and they are all her personal recipes.”
Customer and friend Kennedy Rucker said Watley is an ambitious young entrepreneur.
“She’s innovative, able to come up with things on the fly and they’re genius,” Rucker said. “Her lip glosses are not just thrown together. It’s smooth and smells good, and doesn’t have a weird taste.”
Watley went the cruelty-free, vegan route because she’s aware of the current trends and knows what consumers want to purchase. Castor oil is one main ingredient in her products because it is a natural alternative and has helped Watley with her own skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.
“Personally, I don’t think anybody wants to use something that’s used on animals,” Watley said, “I know that businesses have to think about the market, what’s popular, what people like, what people value, and stuff like that. Vegan is a popular trend right now; everybody wants to try it. Plus, I’m more of a natural person and prefer natural skin products. That’s why I use castor oil because it’s good for dry skin and I love the organic route.”
Watley said she is excited about running her own business because she says it makes her feel unique and sets her apart from other people who may not have the determination and drive to own their own business. Although she is optimistic about her future, like all entrepreneurs, she has experienced disappointment.
“It’s not easy at all because when you start your business, a lot of people think about making a lot of money, and sometimes that’s true, because I’ve seen girls in makeup just blow up overnight,” Watley said, “But that’s not the reality for everybody. I’m slowly getting there. Business is increasing. I’m excited, it’s a learning process and I’m learning as I go.”
Watley knows the struggle is part of owning a business and takes responsibility for promoting herself and her company.
“Personally, it’s up to you, because if you really want to be successful you have to promote yourself,” Watley said, “I’m getting into this mindset where I need to go out more and use my social skills to advance myself and promote my business.”
Watley’s faith is another component that drives Watley to succeed as an entrepreneur.
“I’m a Christian, so my main goal is to be able to touch different people from different backgrounds,” Watley said, “Obviously, I sell makeup, but I want to be able to go deeper than just makeup. So this is a way to get to the people and when I reach them, we can talk about deeper stuff like Jesus.”
Currently, Watley is planning on developing an apparel company, which will fall under the same brand as The Chocolate Factory. So far she has enjoyed experimenting with her creativity and being her own boss.
“Starting this business was a good opportunity to pursue what I love, reach all kinds of people, and it’s exciting to own your own things,” Watley said.
Featured Image: Entrepreneur Allyiah Watley demonstrates how she makes lip glosses for her cosmetics company, The Chocolate Factory, on Feb. 18, 2020. Image by Ryan Gossett
Source: North Texas Daily