While many students spend their freshman year adjusting to university life and keeping up with their classes, Whitney Ezenwa does so while also running her own company.
Ezenwa, a freshman nutrition major from Houston, produces false lashes, eye makeup and hair tools with her company called The Glam Mafia.
“I started off selling my products when I was 16,” she said. “I was looking for an extra way to make cash, and I was really into makeup. I decided to start my own makeup company.”
All the successful young girls Ezenwa knew who were doing hair and makeup inspired her to start her business, she said.
It is not easy, however. Ezenwa said the process of producing her items is time consuming and expensive.
“You have to spend money to make money,” she said. “But along the way I’ve learned more about myself when it comes to time management, loyalty and communication.”
Most people purchase Ezenwa’s false lashes and glitters, she said. Those are her top sellers.
“A lot of girls that go to Tech buy false lashes from me, because it’s more convenient instead of going to a beauty supply store or Walmart, because I’m always able to travel to them to bring them the product,” she said.
Ezenwa orders all her products in bulk, so she is able to have her products in stock.
“Ordering from my website takes about a week depending where you live,” she said. “We take one business day to prepare your product and mail it off or drop it off.”
Ezenwa knows her hard work has paid off, she said. She has been able to not only make money for herself, but use her platform to encourage others to start a business as well.
“I’ve made more than 1k,” she said. “The secret is believing in yourself regardless of what you do; be your own support system.”
She had some people tell her she would not make it, and even that it would not happen, she said.
“The most challenging part of having a business like mine is having people support you,” she said.
Ezenwa has big plans for her business this summer, she said. She recently changed the name of her company from My Glitter Cosmetics to The Glam Mafia. She wants to be known for other things than just selling glitter eyeshadows.
“My customers can expect something different,” she said. “I can’t release all the details, but what I’m about to do is going to be amazing.”
Her biggest policy when dealing with customers is providing them 100 percent great customer service, she said.
“Great customer service will take your business far; one good review opens the door for millions of good reviews,” she said.
Cheryl Wokomah, a sophomore pre-nursing major from Arlington, first heard about Ezenwa’s makeup business through Snapchat.
“Whitney made a post promoting her business and the products that she supplies,” she said.
Wokomah has purchased two pairs of false lashes from her and said she loves them. She said she sees Ezenwa’s business going far.
“Ezenwa is very determined and she is such a hard worker,” she said. “Anything that she sets her mind to can and will be done.”
Wokomah supports Ezenwa by purchasing and wearing her products, sharing her posts and simply referring others to her business, she said.
Alak Deng, a freshman electrical engineering from Dallas, heard about the business from Ezenwa herself and her Twitter account.
Deng said Ezenwa’s products are high quality, they feel nice, and on top of that, they are affordable.
“She wouldn’t sell you something that’s not the best, and I love that,” she said.
Deng has not done much to support Ezenwa’s business, she said, but she does plan on posting more eye looks with Ezenwa’s products to help promote her.
“She is an amazing soul and all around beautiful and talented, and it shows through her business,” she said.