By Carlee McCullough, Esq., Special to The New Tri-State Defender
Ashley Perry says her goal is to build a loyal customer base, expand into new markets nationally and internationally. (Courtesy photos
Move over CoverGirl, Maybelline and Mac. A new kid is in town by the name of Naturelle Cosmetique, a company formed in 2014 with 97 percent natural ingredients, gluten free, and never tested on animals. Ashley Perry, the proprietor, shares her unique journey on how she created Naturelle Cosmetique.
Carlee McCullough: Thank you for taking the time to share with our readers your experience and knowledge about Naturelle Cosmetique.
Ashley Perry: Using the knowledge and expertise from Nail Technician School, it was initially created to help my mother recover from the scaring and hyper pigmentation left from a condition called Cellulitis. Using only honey, apple cider vinegar, tea tree, vitamin E, and coconut oil, I made my first product. In a matter of weeks, my mother experienced dramatic improvement in the texture, and appearance of her skin. From that, I have developed premium, deeply moisturizing formulations using rich essential oils, botanicals, extracts, and locally sourced Tennessee Honey.
C.M.: Why do you use honey in your products?
A.P.: Honey is one of the oldest foods in existence, known for healing and anti-microbial properties; it has been delighting humans for centuries symbolizing health, beauty, purity, and strength. That is precisely why I use it in every product I create. Products include soap, scrubs, body butter, and serums. All products are naturally scented, cruelty-free, environmentally friendly and perform beautifully without false promises.
C.M.: When did you discover that you wanted to go into business?
A.P.: I knew for quite some time. But while I was in Nail Technician School, I learned so much about the skin and how to care for it that I knew I wanted to make products to help effectively take care of the skin.
C.M.: How did you decide on the cosmetics business?
A.P.: I consider myself a beauty enthusiast. I love all things that enhance what we naturally have as women. It just made sense for me. I studied chemistry at the University of Memphis. So making things just comes naturally for me.
C.M.: Tell us about your products and what makes them unique.
A.P.: I have all natural Tennessee Honey based soaps, scrubs, body butter, and serums. We take unexpected ingredients such as ground raw almonds, apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, and locally sourced honey that has amazing results on the skin.
C.M.: What is your goal for the business?
A.P.: I want to grow and build awareness for the brand, grow by 30 percent this year, and expand into more stores and new markets outside of Memphis.
C.M.: What does it take to maintain the business?
A.P.: It takes lots of time and commitment to the overall success of business.
C.M.: Where can people find the products?
A.P.: They can be found via our website at www.livenaturelle.com or in stores such as the Trolley Stop Market & Curb Market in Memphis and Valley Pecans in Texas.
C.M.: As a young entrepreneur, what advice would you give to others interested in following your footsteps?
A.P.: First, to be 100 percent committed because there will be failures, constant No’s. But with determination, doors will start to open for you.
C.M.: What did you do in preparation for the business?
A.P.: I did two years of research before I made a single product so I could be well informed. I did market research to see whom my competitors were and saved every dollar I could get my hands on.
C.M.: What is next for Ashley Perry?
A.P.: Well, I am focused on building my brand and expanding my market share by making products available nationally and globally.
C.M.: As a business owner, what is the greatest reward?
A.P.: The biggest reward for me is to see others appreciate and acknowledge the hard work I’ve put into building this company.
C.M.: What’s most challenging as a business owner?
A.P.: I’m a workaholic. So keeping things separate and making time to do other things that I love is the biggest challenge for me.
C.M.: What’s your overall goal in this industry?
A.P.: My goal is to build a loyal customer base, expand into new markets nationally and internationally. I would also like to see my products in stores like Kroger, Wal-Mart and whole foods. Additionally, I would love to create a new movement in beauty, where natural products are the new standard in beauty.
C.M.: Any closing remarks?
A.P.: “If you’re not willing to fail, you won’t succeed!” – Shai Agassi
For more information, contact Ashley Perry at (901) 421-1597. The website address is www.livenaturelle.com
(Contact Carlee M. McCullough, Esq. at 901-795-0050; email – email@example.com.)