Today we’d like to introduce you to Patricia Jenkins.
Patricia, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I have been in the business of beauty for 35 years. At a very young age, I knew I wanted to explore a career in the beauty industry. I would admire the beautiful makeup looks in magazines and on television when I was a young girl, so I always had a love for it. When I was about ten years old, I convinced my mother to buy me my first eyeshadow kit! It was an array of creamy colors stacked together that pulled apart from one color at a time. While my mom only allowed me to wear it around the house, she was quite impressed at how neatly I applied and blended the colors.
It wasn’t long before I was experimenting on friends and family and as I got older, my makeup skills became bolder and more creative. I found myself just doing my own makeup at times just to experiment with new looks.
In my teens, I began to compete in various local and national beauty pageants. At that time, makeup for black women was very difficult to find. Many of the shades and textures were just all wrong, and I found that many of the makeup artists hired to do the contestant’s makeup did not know how to do makeup on darker skin tones leaving me to create my own makeup looks. This didn’t change much in the years to come thereafter as I moved into a modeling and acting career. While some cosmetic companies were attempting to be more inclusive with their brand’s offerings, diversity in makeup shades was still not a priority in the marketplace.
Once motherhood became a priority, a friend suggested I apply for a Resident Makeup Artist position in a local mall so I could still do what I love with a more flexible schedule. I quickly fell in love with the job and the amazing relationships I developed with my customers. I truly enjoyed the daily visits and life stories of my customers!
I would spend the next ten years working for some of the biggest retail cosmetic brands in the roles of Makeup Artist, Skincare Consultant and Retail Manager all while developing my own “side” business doing special occasion makeup sessions like weddings and parties. Always of the mindset that great makeup starts with beautiful skin, I would apply appropriate skincare products prior to makeup application and invite my clients into the store to purchase it to keep their glow going! My beauty sales soared year after year! I was hooked on my craft and on the people I would meet. I truly loved my job!
After moving to Texas in 2006 with my two younger daughters, I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer and would spend the next two years in treatment and recovery. I had a lot of time to reflect during my recovery, and it became even more clear to me how important it is to have a positive self-image despite the challenges of life and illness etc… While my career had shifted gears at that point, I quickly pivoted back to what I loved; beauty! Now armed with an entirely new perspective on the power of a mere tube of lipstick, I knew I had something special I could bring to so many women! Bravery, positivity, hope, and beauty, not just on the outside but on the inside as well. Because of my own battle with breast cancer, I now had the power to positively impact so many, and I was eager to share my experience along with my skills.
Following my recovery, I accepted a role that allowed me to collaborate with Aesthetic professionals developing and marketing their own skincare brands for their patients with various skincare concerns, including illness-related skin issues, acne, hyperpigmentation, sun damage, rosacea, etc… Over the last eight years, I have had the opportunity to partner with and support Dermatologists, Plastic Surgeons and Licensed Aesthetic professionals in product education and retail sales growth in their practices.
For years, I’ve dreamed of starting my own skincare and beauty business, and after my daughters were growing up and experiencing their own skin challenges, I decided the time was now. I wanted to earn the trust of my community, share my expertise with a personalized and caring approach and offer clean skincare and highly pigmented makeup options for the everyday woman. My girls and I founded Sydoni Skincare and Beauty, Inc. The name Sydoni is a combination of my daughters’ names Sydni and Soni. They were my inspiration to keep going when I was navigating through cancer treatment, so the business had to reflect them!
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
It has definitely not been a smooth road! We launched our online store in December of 2019 only to land right in the middle of COVID! 2020 has been a challenge being a new beauty brand trying to find our place in the market. Advertising is expensive but without it, raising awareness is nearly impossible, so we have relied heavily on social media and word of mouth from our customers. The entire business was funded with our personal savings and income, so the uncertainty of that has been stressful at times.
Learning about and obtaining all of the licensing and business tax requirements was stressful trying to make sure we didn’t forget to file anything on time and that we are compliant with Texas laws and guidelines for businesses. We had the opportunity to participate in some amazing virtual events that were very successful for us in 2020. We were able to increase our customer base and repeat business and even launch some new products. We started with an extensive inventory of products, some of which we’ve discontinued as the sale of them never got off to a great start.
We managed to reach the annual sales goal we set for ourselves for 2020 despite the struggles we all faced with coronavirus, and we were recently granted a trademark by the US Patent and Trademark Office for our brand name, Sydoni Skincare and Beauty.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
As a makeup artist, I think it’s important to understand your personal “why.” For me, while I do love the art of makeup and the amazing transformations achievable, the personal relationships I’ve developed over the years and the trust I’ve earned is the absolute best!
I’ve had countless women sit in my chair feeling down about one thing or another. It was my pleasure to listen to their stories, to encourage them to be true to themselves no matter what, and to watch them leave feeling beautiful and empowered! Oh! The power of lipstick and lashes!
Makeup and skincare can be purchased everywhere, but our personal approach to each woman’s individual style is at the forefront of all we do. We care about how you look and feel about your skin, and we care that you are putting your absolute most beautiful you forward! We are most proud of that!
Before we let you go, we’ve got to ask if you have any advice for those who are just starting out?
Do your research on the demand for your products/services and potential competitors so you can devise a strategy to break into the market. Decide in advance how you will fund your new venture to avoid financial roadblocks later. We have had to inject personal funds into the business several times since we started as the cost of advertising, inventory, materials, unexpected expenses etc… have demanded.
Develop a marketing plan of action so you have a road map to help you keep moving forward with fresh new content for social media and advertising. Keeping content fresh and engaging is tough, especially when you, yourself, are the “marketing director” 🙂 with so many other responsibilities. Finding and keeping likes and followers can be difficult. Content moves quickly, and people are on to the next “big thing” seemingly before you can establish your next move!
Believe in the value your products/services bring to your customers, and most of all, when the going gets tough and fear and uncertainty begin to prevail, remember why you started, step away, get some rest and start the next day again. The way is always clearer when you’ve had a chance to regroup. Cry if you must, but don’t give up!
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.sydoniskin.com
- Instagram: @sydoni_skin
- Facebook: sydoniskin
- Youtube: Sydoni Skincare and Beauty