Stephene Henry's lifestyle brandMonday, October 25, 2021
REGISTERED nurse Stephene Henry, who is also certified in make-up application, noticed her own skin imperfections, as well as that of clients when she would apply make-up, and this sparked her interest in adding another branch to her lifestyle business. Not everybody had perfect skin, she knew, and with her background in science, she figured that she could find a way to turn this problem into a business.
The nurse started formulating natural products for the face and skin to help with the various issues. These included using the ingredients coconut, mango, shea butter, and various oils. And now with her shop, The Makeup Bx Shop, which is the lifestyle shop of the brand The Makeup Bx, she supplies body butters, body scrubs, and body oils, with a vision to promote usage of naturally derived skin exfoliants and moisturisers as opposed to popular chemically induced skincare products.
Henry told All Woman that her background as a nurse, a profession she was made for, gives credence to the venture, and it was a natural transition into the business. It was after all in nursing school that she and her friend decided to learn make-up artistry as another skill set, which expanded her interest.
That's where The Makeup Bx emerged as the umbrella brand of the skincare shop. The brand is a lifestyle brand, with the mandate of inspiring and promoting positive and healthy lifestyle experiences in Jamaicans.
“It was started in 2014 while in nursing school, with the primary goal of make-up application,” she shared. “I was funded by my dad to start the make-up component of the business and I would consistently practise make-up applications on my faithful sister Danielle who then gave me the idea of expanding. The goal of my brand is to promote realistic and positive lifestyle attributes among individuals. I live in my head, so to speak, so I find that I am always contemplating decisions and the best way I found to relieve that was to create goals that would reflect how I see myself. Then I got feedback from other people on how they would see themselves and just created. In essence, however you envision yourself and life to be, we encourage and motivate in that regard through lifestyle quotes, videos, merchandise, charity, our blog, and now The Makeup Bx Shop, which primarily promotes skincare.”
Asked how being in the nursing field makes her perfect for this business venture, she said, “We learn research during nursing school so we just applied that knowledge when creating. Our customers are more inclined to journey with our brand because we offer an open dialogue to health-related questions regarding skincare of course and other health concerns. But we do not diagnose! We have an edge to offer because of our nursing background.”
The other half of the partnership is fellow registered nurse Petula Lee, and Henry also mentions specially the contribution of Stephen Brown, fellow entrepreneur and graphic designer behind the brand, who makes the products come alive.
“We are females creating 'feel good' cosmetic products and that target audience is well within the millions,” she said.
Her flagship product, Jus A Likkle Coco Body Butter, made with organic coconut oil, turmeric oil, vitamin E oil, hemp seed oil, and shea butter, is suited mainly for dehydrated skin and hyperpigmentation.
Others include the Healthy Skin Body Oil, which contains a range of essential oils including rosehip oil, turmeric oil, vitamin E oil, sweet almond oil, and coconut oil and adds moisture and skin-glowing benefits.
The team works out of Kingston to supply the products to the market, which are sold via social media, as well as word of mouth.
“Being a nurse gives us the edge because people know they can trust us, they trust our opinion more,” Henry said.
How does she find the time in what has to be a busy schedule?
“I know what I'm doing, I know what works, I did extensive research — I have it down to a 'T',” she said.
“On the days that I am not doubling, any good day of the week, I go home in the evenings after 'regular' work and start making products and content from 8:00 pm to about midnight,” she shared. “I also dedicate one complete Sunday each month. This is my primary function, while Petula and my sister do marketing and promotion.”
Not to be left out is her dad Burchell, whom she describes as a man who will help fulfil any dream for his children, including having been the one to apply to nursing school for her.
“I'm a daddy's girl,” she laughed. “He has always tried to help me navigate a man's world.”
As far as the near future, she said her vision is beyond where they are currently: “To add as we go along and allow the business to expand itself”.
“I'm a bit scared to get it out there, but we want to have the products on some shelves,” she said, adding that she's in discussion with pharmacies to see that happen.
And contributing to making the country better is very important to this young entrepreneur.
“We want to contribute to Brand Jamaica. That's how we intend to make people feel better about the skin they're in, because our raw materials are from our very own, so there's that trust factor. Secondly, our products are naturally made. We do not strive to use processed materials at all. The coconut oil is grated from scratch, the shea and mango butters are unrefined. The essential oils are in their pure form. We do not add anything to denature the natural elements.”