Reported by Liku Zelleke
Desiree Verdejo’s chosen line of profession was in the legal domain, and she worked as a public finance attorney for seven years before the entrepreneurial bug bit her. Realizing her true calling, she made the jump to the beauty industry and founded Vivrant Beauty.
She describes her boutique as one that caters “to a clientele that has never felt catered to and we are highlighting amazingly formulated and packaged brands that are not always on the shelves of well-known beauty retailers.”
Verdejo adds, “The breadth of our product selection and the amazing brands that we highlight – features a vast selection of indie brands, women-owned brands, and black-owned brands – this is what makes us a unique place to shop.”
The drive in her new-found passion emanates from the love she has had for caring for her natural, kinky hair ever since she was a child.
“Before I accepted that I need to open the store, it was just an idea I dreamt about and wished someone would open. I realized I was happier thinking of great ideas surrounding the boutique than I was when planning how to advance the career that I was in. That’s when I realized it was something I had to pursue,” Verdejo says.
In making that pursuit, she learned that an entrepreneur needs to “talk to as many people as you can, save, plan, and then leap.”
“People would know right away if I didn’t know the business and have an enthusiasm,” she says. And to make sure that didn’t happen, she made sure she was well read-up about her subject of choice and spent time talking to hair stylists, makeup artists and “YouTube junkies.”
It was after being laid off from a job at what she calls a “prestigious NYC law firm” and landing another law job that she started writing her business plan.
Her biggest challenge was finding funding for her new venture, but with the help of her husband, she put their personal funds on top of a loan they had obtained to get things rolling.
Fast forward to today and Verdejo says that she credits her success to her college education, Shopify, her iPhone, and her husband – in no particular order.
“I think that I have three traits that have worked in my favor in life: ambition, optimism, and stamina. I have a lot that I want to accomplish and I’ve always been silly enough to think that all of my goals are attainable, but I realize that nothing gets done without work. I love sleep, but I could stay up for days if it would get me closer to living the life that I envision for myself,” she says.