Today we’d like to introduce you to Drenary L. Gwynn.
Hi Drenary, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My love affair with skin started in 2008 at Nordstrom. I was a manager in cosmetic sales and noticed that my customers wanted to conceal the imperfections that made them imperfectly beautiful. During consultations, customers revealed their insecurities. They were repeat customers and trusted my insight and expertise so I started to learn everything I could about skincare systems. I identified with my customers insecurities because I struggle with eczema and acne. I always dreaded the unwelcomed breakout. I just wanted to have clear skin and be beautiful. I was committed to wanting to help people feel better about themselves and be able to take better care of their skin. Nordstrom was a phenomenal platform. They empowered employees to build a business within Nordstrom, but I wanted to spread my wings and build my own empire. I left Nordstrom and enrolled as a full-time Esthetics student. I wanted it all. I did not want to apologize or ask for permission. Performing my first facial in school sealed it for me. I was madly in love. I graduated at the top of my class and was ready for what I believed would be a life of my dreams. It was not. Call it bad timing, but as life would have it I struggled to provide for my family.
In the interim, I worked in finance and accounting to provide for my family. In 2015, I started making body care products, hosting pop-up shops with other small business owners and hosting onsite retail events. Business was really doing well, but once again, life happened. In 2017, The bottom fell out from underneath me. Life hit me so hard that I had to stop, regroup, heal, and refocus my efforts. I needed an indefinite pause. I was recycling hurt. I closed out my social media accounts and committed my life to healing. I re-emerged in 2020 as Bia, LLC The Skin Studio. Bia in Greek Mythology means power and force. I lost a lot and suffered a great deal. It hurt, shook me, but who I became was more beautiful, healthy, powerful, and strong. Bia is me and I am she. I never saw myself. I sacrificed myself for the benefit of others. I never saw my true value or worth until now. What I know to be true is that I am enough. I am enough, period! My main ingredient for everything is love.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Life was my biggest challenge. I was a single mother with a dream. I was never taught that love was an action word. Love goes deep and I mean soul deep and it is then projected into the world. I love people and community. It was heart breaking for me to have endured and carried so much disappointment and pain. I was abused, misused, undervalued, and overlooked. There was heartache and lots of rejection. I was often filled with a burden of not being enough. My dream was so far from reality that I packed it away and figured that it would never happen, but it was a jones that would not go away. Also, the lack of information. Successful creatives and other small business owners are not eager to share resources. Networking with and mentoring new business owners is necessary for the success and overall sustainability of a community. Small businesses are what build a community by supplying jobs, creating opportunities, and providing sustainability. When you share resources, i.e., designers, printers, PR, etc. It keeps people employed and helps to build a community.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I am a creative who loves to inspire, encourage, and connect with people by sharing my gifts and talents. When I am making lotion or a self-care box, it is like heaven on earth. Jo Malone was my inspiration. She offered clean scents and packaging, but I wanted to provide affordable, accessible products that were sustainable. I studied cosmetic ingredients that were all natural, organic, and healing. I went on to learn about ayurvedic applications, aromatherapy, and apothecary. I earned my NCEA (National) certification. I manufacture and retail a body care line that houses lotions, double whipped body butters, body wash, bath/body oils, wax melts and soy candles. This fall, I will be introducing self-care boxes – Kratos, The Beard Box for Men, Mommy’s Baby Bundle and For Mental Health Sake! Skincare is self-care. I am proud of my commitment to serving others. I love making people happy.
What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
A genuine love for people, hard work, determination, transparency, and education. You cannot be motivated by money, because there will be times when you will not clear a dime. It is a belief in God and His promise that fuels you. I am to others what I wish others were for me.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.bia-is.com
- Instagram: iamdrenary
- Facebook: BIA, Inc.
- Twitter: iamdrenary