After a lot of planning, thinking and worrying, Arlene De Veaux’s heart raced as she slowly pulled the paper down from her shop window. “I just felt it was the right time.” The paper had covered the windows for months as she prepared to take the biggest risk of her life: Giving up the security of a full-time job and setting off on the path of an entrepreneur.
De Veaux began her professional career in the banking industry, and spent the past 13 years at a local bank, working her way up to Business Development Officer. While she enjoyed the work, one part of her daily routine began to stand out more and more. She found excitement in putting on her makeup each morning. She discovered she had a knack for it, and soon other people began asking her to do theirs as well. Eventually she decided to develop her talent into a craft, and went for professional training in the Bahamas and the United States.
Then, in 2010, she founded Kiss N Makeup Beauty Parlour as a part-time venture on Providenciales. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs, so it was natural,” De Veaux said. “That is what I wanted to do.” But she wasn’t ready to give up her day job. For the next seven years, she’d work her regular shift at the bank, then spend her evenings and weekends doing makeup for a growing list of clients. The young entrepreneur got plenty of word-of-mouth buzz for her work on events, particularly local and destination weddings, but she was also there for women who just wanted to look their best for a night out, too.
In the summer of 2017, she decided the time to quit her job and bet everything on her makeup business had finally arrived. She invited her sister, natural hair-stylist and body-waxing specialist Shavonne De Veaux, to join her. Shavonne relocated to Providenciales earlier in 2017 from the Bahamas, where she had been working professionally as a hair-stylist for the past twelve years. With their combined talents, the Kiss N Makeup Beauty Parlour took on a new life in July as a full-service beauty parlor.
The two women now work side by side, and are excited about bringing new trends to the islands. They pay close attention to emerging styles, but Arlene still believes in the classic idea that sometimes the best look a woman can have is one that’s so subtle she looks like she’s not wearing makeup at all. “It’s really an art,” she said, and describes herself as a painter at work on a live canvas. “It’s the smallest canvas, especially the eyes.” And that’s only one part of the face.
She uses her knowledge of color to tone, accent and highlight. “We are not one dimensional, our faces are 3D,” she explained. Brows, lips and cheeks each play a role in the complete look. It isn’t as simple as one look for every face. The two hurricanes that hit the islands in the months that followed didn’t dampen De Veaux’s enthusiasm. “All the hard work I’ve been doing was for this moment to happen,” she said. “I know it is not going to be easy, but I’m glad I started now and I’m looking to 2018 being a good year.
“I decided to take a chance on myself,” she says, smiling. “It has been an amazing journey so far.”