Nicole Pechacek | Staff Writer
Cymmone Yancey is a student entrepreneur who has experienced a lot of success with her brand, C.N.D.Y Aesthetics. On her Instagram, she has amassed over 1,000 followers and rose to prominence despite the pandemic. In this Q&A, Yancy discusses how she started her business and grown her brand.
NP: How did you come about starting your business, C.N.D.Y Aesthetics?
CY: I guess it’s unconventional in a way. I’ve always had an affinity for business and finance and I wanted to find a way to create a business. One, to gain experience so that I could continue to establish a greater business later on in life, and two, as a means to kind of bring self-fulfillment. Every day is kind of boring, and don’t get me wrong I love my major, but having something that I can call mine that brings happiness to other people in the same way it brings happiness to me is different. Being able to start something like that is something I really wanted to do.
NP: What made you want to go into the beauty industry?
CY: You’ll note in my store that there’s not a wide range of beauty products. We’re going to expand our market soon, but I focused my interests on the areas of beauty I was truly interested in, so our biggest market right now is lipgloss and lashes. Anyone that knows me knows I love lip gloss. I may not be a ‘super get-up every day slap makeup on my face and hit the town’ kind of person, but you’ll rarely find me going out the house without a balm lip gloss on.
NP: So you’ve always had an affinity for beauty products?
CY: Yeah, I have. There’s a sort of humbleness that comes with beauty products. You are beautiful, so you don’t need the products, but it’s something you like, something you enjoy. It’s something you want to incorporate into your daily routine. I’m not going to sell anything I wouldn’t wear myself. Having a source for that is something I find important, especially for our demographic and age group.
NP: Do you make any of your products? If not, do you plan to?
CY: All of the products currently in my store are sourced from individual providers. I am working on lip-gloss products of my own. I’m not going to put them on the market until I feel they’re the best they can be, and right now I don’t feel that they are.
NP: Do you feel like your business has been successful? Do you feel like it needs improvement?
CY: I feel like anyone who says their business doesn’t require improvement is full of it. I honestly have a lot of room for growth. It picked up during the pandemic. I didn’t start funneling a lot of resources into my website until January. I do want to improve, but as of right now, I’ve had over 20 sales in the last two months, all of which were substantial orders, so I think I’m doing pretty good.
NP: How do you advertise off-campus?
CY: One of the biggest things I like to do is experiment with marketing. So what I’ve found is if you build your social media platform in the right way. Your business will thrive without outside network influence, and that’s what I wanted to establish first and then bring that influence in. I feel as though currently, I’ve established my market. I have a good feel for the type of audience I’ve been attracting, and all of my customers have been people I do not know. They have solely come to my page through the marketing campaigns I’ve put out there. You don’t need to spend money on a photographer for those. I’ve taken pictures with my phone. The cutouts I’ve done with basic software on my computer. I plug in a picture, hit a button, and it’s done. That way I’m not wasting money on elaborate marketing campaigns.
NP: Do you have any general business tips you could give to fellow students?
CY: I think the number one thing is patience. There are a lot of people who say they want to start a new business because they want money, but they don’t want to work for it which is completely the wrong mentality. I’m a full-time student. I have a part-time job as a software engineer for Home Depot. There’s no need for me to even own a business. My career is substantial, so the money isn’t what I’m after. I’m after the experience.
Follow C.N.D.Y Aesthetics @cndy.aesthetics on Instagram to catch deals and see what Cymmone has in her store next. Visit her website.