I once heard that from extreme pressure, diamonds are made. If that’s the case, then I’m about 15 karats already. Despite the smile I proudly wear every day and the passion that now ignites my dreams, my journey to happy has not always been a smooth one. While in my third year of college as a pharmacy student, I was involved in a car accident when I fell asleep after a long day and collided with two concrete poles leaving my brand new car emerged into the gate of a local cemetery. Yet… I lived. I couldn’t drive, was in constant pain, and unable to function on my own due to my injuries leaving me with no choice but to move back home and drop out of school. I felt as if I was a failure. I was the first in my family to go to college and I blew it. When I totally recovered, my dreams of finishing my college degree seemed unreachable so I starting working full time at a job that I held since I was 15 and throughout college.

I worked 16+ hours a day, six days a week to pay back student loans and bring in an income that would establish me as the successful adult my parents wanted me to be. I wanted to make my family proud of me; above all, however, I wanted to be proud of myself, doing what I wanted to do and passionate about it. In a state of self-discovery, I decided to enroll in career college where I begin exploring possibilities in beauty careers centered around keeping people healthy and beautiful. In my first business venture, I tried my hand at making homemade lip balm. When I did this, I had my niece Jaida, whose mom was a teen parent, in mind.  I sold 400 units and put all proceeds into a college fund for Jaida.

The birth of “Jaida’s Kisses” would be the catalyst to Glitz N Glam Cosmetics. I was on to something. As a result, I began the sacrifices necessary to jump-start a business with potential success. I researched private labels, worked two jobs, and withdrew money from my 401K savings. Glitz N Glam Cosmetics caters to women of all ages, backgrounds and colors with a variety of products in shades I even wear myself. I have the opportunity to help make women even more beautiful every single day. Happily, I feel what I have put into Glitz and Glam, Glitz and Glam is slowly returning to me. The trials I have overcome, the naysayers I have ignored, the sweat & tears I have poured into my dream show themselves every time I see a smile on my customers’ faces. I have sold out of products at shows, I have networked, learned from, and been inspired by other entrepreneurs like myself; and hopefully, as I continue to build Glitz and Glam, more doors will open for me and I will be able to continue helping others. I spend my days off giving back to the community, speaking to young women and letting them know they can make it, because I did.  I also teach makeup classes to let women see it’s more than just makeup, it’s an attitude and a lifestyle! My dreams were bigger than my struggles, my passion was bigger than my doubts, and through it all… I continue to smile… with amazingly glossed lips!

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Ashley Eubanks is the owner of Glitz N Glam Cosmetics and hails from Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

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