Young People in Business: Trini beauty maven's local products shine
Her gleaming, luscious highlighters have become something of a cult favourite among make-up lovers, and with good reason.
Christine Williams, the 27-year-old beauty maven behind Amerie Beauty, says she always had a passion for make-up and beauty, and finally took the plunge in 2017 to start her own beauty company.
In just one year, Williams’ famed highlighters have made their way into nine retailers throughout Trinidad and soon, she hopes that they will soon make their way to bigger stores like Pennywise.
Speaking to LoopTT, Williams, from San Juan, said she’s blown away by the response to her products, saying that people are now buying them faster than she can make them.
(Photo: A cult favourite among local MUAs are these highly pigmented highlighters for all skin tones by Amerie Beauty.)
“I always wanted to do my own make-up line, years ago I used to say ‘one day I’ll have my own make-up line. One day I saw other smaller companies away starting their own line, so I started doing my own thing after getting inspiration and seeing other people out there doing their research and getting their products out there…it made me want to do it even more,” she said.
Williams then began the painstaking process of seeking out suppliers and training in the make-up business who could provide her with the information and tools she needed.
“At first I reached out to cosmetic chemists who are actually in the field and they guided me, but that isn’t free, you have to pay for that service. They gave me information on techniques and suppliers and so on. I also bought several books on the process, for example how to make highlighters, eyeshadows, and that’s how I got started,” she said.
Her products are all locally made, tested to meet FDA requirements and are suitable for all skin types.
(Photo: Loose highlighters, courtesy Amerie Beauty.)
Amerie said her fledgeling business is not without its challenges, one of which is the difficulty in importing the raw materials into the country.
“The problems that I had mostly had to do with shipping because everything that I have to buy or do I have to get away; there are no suppliers yet in Trinidad who can supply that type of equipment or the raw materials I need to make the materials and powders that I needed. I had to source from the US, the UK and as far as Italy, so it’s challenging to wait and then there are often issues in clearing the materials once they reach here,” she said.
One key selling point of Williams’ products is that she provides high-quality make-up which caters to darker skin tones.
Her range of highlighters, both pressed and loose, come in shades from light golden to bronze, are highly pigmented and are made with FDA-approved ingredients.
“Everyone knows me for my highlighters, that’s my thing, it’s so hard for us to find something to match our skin tones and it actually blends and looks high-end for a really affordable price. It’s much more pigmented than a lot of the high-end brands that I bought over the years,” she said.
She has also added other products to her line including liquid highlighters, mixing mediums and setting powders.
(Photo: Liquid highlighters courtesy Amerie Beauty)
Lessons learnt: Believe in your product, ignore the naysayers
Williams said one of the best lessons learned so far, and one that has been proven from the response to her product, is that a good product can overcome its competitors.
“One of the main lessons I learned is that, once you believe in your product and the feedback you are getting is positive, don’t listen to what other people say.”
“Some people said ‘other people are already doing that so you shouldn’t do that’, but you can do it and do it better than your competitors.”
“I learned not to take that kind of advice because I believe in my product, and I think you can do it and put your own spin on it,” she said.
At the moment Williams’ workshop is set up at her home, however she hopes later this year to move to a small factory and hire more staff to expand her business.
Williams said she is also hoping to attend a course in Australia which will teach her more about her trade.
“Hopefully this year or next year I can go to Australia to actually do the course where I will learn how to do more,” she said.
She also thanked her supporters who were with her from inception and believed in her products.
“I want to thank all my customers, the ones that believed in me and helped the brand to get out there, it’s going great and I’m so thankful for the support and feedback,” she said.
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