For businesses, there are many questions up in the air right now. In the words of our own Chiller-in-Chief, Cyndi Ramirez-Fulton, even we had to “Pivot!!” our direction to keep up with the times. To spread the positivity and help to others, Cyndi partnered with Dell and the Dell Women’s Entrepreneurship Network (DWEN) to support five small, female-lead businesses in the form of mentorship and even a Dell #XPS 13 inch laptop from Dell, because we’re #inthistogether.
Below, read our interview with one of the winning brand’s founder. Krystal Cummings founded Browstress, a salon that offers semi-permanent makeup solutions in Brooklyn, NY, with the mission to empower women to re-instill their confidence through her top-notch self-care services. In speaking with Krystal, it’s clear that her passion and her work ethic are the guiding forces behind this endeavor. Learn more about Krystal’s journey in entrepreneurship, her favorite part about working for herself, and some of the biggest challenges she’s gone through to get where she is today.
Caffeine of choice? Redbull, because sis is always working..
Dream job as a kid? Veterinarian, I’ve always been obsessed with animals.
One thing you NEED in the morning? Turmeric Tea.
One thing you NEED to fall asleep? Some good old R&B tunes.
Favorite way to kill time in quarantine? Working on my laptop or reading.
Go-to snack? Tangerines.
One thing you wish you told your younger self? I wish I told my younger self to explore more, and to build stronger relationships.
What gap in the market do you find yourself filling?
The permanent make up market that I’m in has become a lot more saturated than it was when I first began, however I feel like every artist is different in their very own ways. I always find myself stepping outside of the box and trying new things with my brand, which is why I began to offer my freckles service. I am one of the first black permanent make up artists in NYC to offer semi-permanent freckles. It’s important for me as an artist and as a black woman to encourage other black women to be fearless and openminded when making new beauty choices.
What support did you or did you not get from loved ones? What did that teach you?
I’ve never been the person to ask for help, so I didn’t discuss my business plans or ask for any help from my family, however my family has always supported my career. My boyfriend helped me a lot financially through out my career from the very start. I’ve grown so much as a business owner, and a lot of this experience has taught me to not be afraid to ask for help. The people that love you will always find a way to support you.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
My biggest challenge has been marketing, I feel like an old lady that doesn’t know how technology works sometimes. I’ve managed to study some apps, tools, and tricks to market and create content to the best of my ability. Thankfully I recently hired someone to help me with marketing.
What’s your favorite part of working for yourself?
My favorite part of working for myself is meeting all the amazing women that I have worked with and being able to tap in to my own creativity while doing their eyebrows. I find so much joy in working with women from all over the world, from different backgrounds. These women visit me because they admire my work, knowing that brings me so much joy.
Can you explain how your nomination program in the studio helps to foster a sense of community?
When I started Browstress, my mission was to help women feel more empowered. I wanted to make sure that my brand’s purpose aligned with my actions. That being said, a couple of times a month I donate a semi permanent service to a woman that has suffered from illnesses with hairloss symptoms.
What about brows and lashes are so powerful for self-image and confidence?
What’s happening in the eye region is always important because eyes demand conversation, eyes can even demand a room. I meet my clients who want their eyebrows done, and they’re all beautiful with a lot of confidence because it takes confidence to make bold beauty choices. That being said, their confidence heightens after I work my magic on their brows. I believe that permanent make up is a balance between art and science, so having the opportunity to create art on someone’s face is powerful.
What serves as daily inspiration?
Knowing that I’m making a slight difference in someone’s life, inspires me daily. My clients reaching out to me telling me how much they love their new freckles or eyebrows inspire me. As a woman, I know how important it is for me to feel and look good, so I’m happy I get to cultivate that with all of my clients.
Feature Image via Paige Wilhog / Krystal Cummings