Name: Takia Ross
Business: Accessmatized, LLC
Location: Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Industry: Personal Services
Reason for starting? Accessmatized was started in 2013 as a home-based make-up services business for women who were unable to visit a traditional brick-and-mortar location. As a single mother of three, I understood the challenges that face many women when it comes to making time for our own personal care needs. Whether it be a work obligation, a family responsibility, daycare challenges or any of the other thousands of roles women fulfill, we rarely, if ever, make time for ourselves. We solved that problem! We give our clients the option of coming to our studio space, where they can bring their children if need be and never have to sit in the middle of a crowded store to obtain services. We will travel to any location of their choosing, and if a service location is not available our clients can schedule with Pretty Mobile Baltimore, DMV’s First Mobile Make-Up Studio. Pretty is a 16-passenger vehicle that we transformed in to a make-up studio on wheels.
How do you define success? Watching my clients blossom in to their most confident selves is my definition of success! Women are phenomenal in every way, but in some situations we need a boost in our confidence. As I apply the look my client desires, I am also using that time to speak positivity in to their lives. I am reminding them how amazing they are and how they are going to conquer the world. I affirm their talents and abilities and encourage them to step in to their greatness. And when they get up from my chair standing tall, exuding confidence and ready for the world, I know that I have achieved my mission. Make-up application is not just about the art of applying product, but how you can make a lasting impression on a person’s life. Though the make-up may only last for a day, the memories you make will last a lifetime. And just think, I am apart of those memories! I am so honored!
Biggest success: My biggest success to date is launching Pretty Mobile Baltimore, DMV’s First Mobile Make-Up Studio. This is my biggest success because launching “Pretty” was truly a family affair. From purchasing, to delivery, to refabrication, my family, including my children, were a part of the entire process. I am a small business and didn’t have money to invest in having a business come in and remodel my bus. Though it was a daunting task, my mother, my 3 children and I embarked on this journey together. From taking my children on a road trip to Virginia to pick up my bus to removing all of the seats to laying floors, painting walls, hanging chandeliers, mounting mirrors, and last but not least learning to drive a 16-passenger vehicle, you name it we did it together. It was one of the hardest things we had to do, but we conquered it together. There is nothing more rewarding than leading by example and showing your children anything is possible.
Currently, with the opening of our new studio space we are working to diversify our services to include offering larger bridal packages and “Pamper Suites” for special days to include massage therapy services. We are renting out our space for classes as well as hosting more workshops of our own. It is our goal in the next year to open Accessmatized School of Make-Up Artistry. This school will be one of only three schools in the state of Maryland that is certified by the state to offer such services. To make our school unique and to cater to the needs of career changes, we are going to offer a hybrid option that will allow our students to take the theory portion of our coursework online and come in to the studio for the hands-on requirements. We will be the only school in our state that offers this option.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? One of the hardest challenges we are facing right now is scaling up as it relates to personnel. I never thought that it would be so hard to grow or for me to let go and allow someone else to come in and take over some necessary tasks. Accessmatized is my baby, and, just like it’s hard to drop your child off at daycare, it is hard for me to turn parts of my business over to someone else. But I am going to have to. I have been successful in making a name for my business, however, in order for us to continue to grow I have to remind myself that I am going to have to trust other people to come in and work with me.
I am a single mother of three, so every personal situation affects my business decisions. If one of my children decides to join a new sport or tuition increases or there is a trip to the pumpkin farm, that means I take the day off. All of it requires that I juggle my family responsibilities and making sound business decisions. As it stands, one of the most significant decisions I made going in to 2017 was to quit my full-time job to pursue my business on a full-time basis. This decision has had lasting ramifications for my family as it changed our insurance eligibility, benefits contributions, tuition reimbursement, you name it. But what I know for sure is that I cannot push my children to be their most confident selves if I live in fear.
Who is your most important role model? I would have to save that my role models are other mompreneurs. I seek them out wherever I am and even joined a group in Baltimore appropriately named Mom’s As Entrepreneurs. Watching these moms battle the same challenges that I am going through and come out on top, encourages me each and every day to push forward. We share information with each other, we learn from one another, and most importantly we encourage each other to continue to pursue our dreams.
Edited by The Story Exchange