Takia Ross founded her makeup business, Accessmatized, in 2013 to capitalize on her passion for makeup and give other women in her Baltimore hometown the opportunity to hit pause and take care of themselves for the afternoon.

Ross’ business has grown since, expanding out of her home and into a private studio. Her market is not limited to one location, though — Accessmatized is the proud owner of Pretty Mobile Baltimore, a makeup atelier on wheels for those who cannot come to her studio. In her 1,000+ Stories profile, she described transforming what was a 16-passenger vehicle into her mobile studio with the help of her family, saying: “It was one of the hardest things we had to do, but we conquered it together.”

Ross took an alternative approach to funding her dreams. Rather than turn to investors or get into debt, she entered multiple business pitch competitions, winning a total of $65,000 in grants since founding. Other women in her community noticed her savvy and began to ask her to  advise them on pitches and social media.

Encouraged, she took the leap of quitting her side job this March to focus on Accessmatized full time. “No major accomplishment has been done in comfort,” she says. “In a state of comfort you don’t move, when you get uncomfortable you know it’s time to make a move. It’s OK to be uncomfortable when you make those moves.” She’ll be sharing more such words of wisdom this fall when she tours local middle and high schools in her mobile studio, teaching kids about entrepreneurship and inspiring them to pursue dreams of owning their own businesses.

For Ross, the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur is the example she has been able to set for others, in particular her three children, two of whom are girls. “I wanted to show [my daughters] it can be done at any age, at any point in your life,” she says. “If you want to do something, you absolutely have the power within you.”

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