E’Toshia McFarland is shaking up the skin care game with her beauty product Hydra Mist. McFarland has marketed herself as “your go-to skin care girl”. For seven years, she has been the go-to person for women’s beauty, first starting out as a make-up artist. With a background in performing arts, applying makeup came naturally. But it wasn’t something she aspired to do professionally.
“I was doing my own makeup and people started asking me to do theirs,” she said. From there she put her skills to work and began building her portfolio as Faces by E’Tosh, all while working full-time as a teacher.
Soon she was creating faces for fashion shows and glamming up bridal parties. In an already saturated market, McFarland was finding her way as a make-up artist but wanted to do something to stand out among the competition.
To expand her knowledge, McFarland enrolled in Kenneth Shuler School of Cosmetology to study esthetics. She wanted to make sure she learned as much as possible about caring for the skin in addition to applying makeup. While in school, McFarland created a YouTube series called “My Real Life as an Esthetician”. She produced content to help other estheticians see what life was really like in the industry. By the time she graduated from Kenneth Shuler, she had gained popularity online.
Stretched Thin. After graduation, McFarland started working at Massage Envy as an esthetician. Within six months, she was named Esthetician of the Year and became a trainer. She was still working full-time as a teacher. That’s when her endurance was tested. Teaching elementary school during the day, on top of producing online content and working at Massage Envy, had started to take its toll. She was also doing facials for clients at her house. “It was a lot. I had to get out of my house,” she said. McFarland was looking for ways to cut back. On one hand, eliminating her full-time job would take away a source of income and health benefits. On the other hand, cutting back at the spa would set her back professionally as an esthetician. Despite this dilemma, she continued with this grueling schedule and even added something new to the mix.
She reached out to a salon owner to strike a deal that would allow her to do facials there, instead of her home. But now she had another problem… booth rent, which added to her expenses. Her many different roles as school teacher, online beauty influencer, Esthetician trainer, salon esthetician really taught McFarland how to perfect her time management skills. “I am at the school job and working on Faces by E'Tosh. In between breaks, I’m working on the business,” she said. She faces the struggle many entrepreneurs have to deal with: how to break free from a regular job and launch a business full-time. “It gets scary. If you step out on your faith on your own, you have to make sure you’re still bringing in the money,” said McFarland.
Launching Out. To get on the path to breaking free, McFarland set out to brainstorm news services she could add to her skin care business to bring in more money. “You might have an idea, but how to convert the idea into money is the real challenge,” she said. That’s when she decided she would come up with her own beauty product Hydra Mist. Hydra Mist doubles as a toner and setting spray. Creating the product came with its own set of challenges. When it came to formulating the product, McFarland knew which ingredients she wanted to use, but went through trial and error to find the right component to bind it all together. She also noticed that her product began to lose its smell after a few weeks. McFarland sought help from Mahisha Dellinger, creator of the Curls hair care line, who advised her that her product was missing key preservatives that would help maintain the shelf life of her product. Another piece of advice she got from Dellinger was to decrease how much money she spent on producing the product. To help lower the cost she was spending on bottles, Dellinger put McFarland in contact with her bottle supplier. Having the advice from mentors would prove to be beneficial throughout the production process.
Live and Learn, Trial and Error. The next step to launching her product was designing the bottle label that would attract customers. That alone was a learning experience. McFarland created her labels using an online design program. The first problem she ran into was figuring out the right dimensions to get the labels to fit neatly onto the bottles. Once she had that down, she discovered her labels weren’t water proof. “The ink stained and bled. I had to do a lot of research,” she recalls. Once she mastered labeling, another mentor encouraged her to begin making labels for other entrepreneurs, which helped her generate even more revenue. McFarland said she was grateful for the lessons she learned from her mentors. “You’re not going to know all the answers. Have someone in the position where you want to be to run ideas by. Because they’re a master at it until you work your way to being the best” she said.
Advice for other Entrepreneurs. One of the biggest pieces of advice McFarland has for other entrepreneurs is to start sooner rather than later. “You go hard for the things you want to go hard for. You don’t want to look back and see you could have been further along. It’s time wasted. Apply your skillset to things that really matter. And don’t be fearful,” she advised.
Keys to Success. McFarland credits her success to three things: creativity, thinking outside the box and knowing what works for her audience. “If I have an idea, I’m going to make it work. I think about things in a production aspect and use that to bring in money in bulk”. McFarland also says going against the grain is key. “Look at your competitor. They’re good but how can I be better?”, she proposed. Finally, she says by honing in on your creativity and knowing what works, entrepreneurs can better target their audiences and increase clientele.
Looking ahead. McFarland has accomplished so much already, but she still has some other ideas coming down the pipeline that would take her business to the next level. She wants to open her own spa location. To get there, she is considering securing a loan and building business credit. She hopes to raise the funds by selling more products and sharing her skills through her online esthetician learning school called “Esthie 411”. McFarland also wants to host an esthetician competition, similar to the Bronner Brothers hair show. In the near future, she will launch her own esthetician apparel line complete with mugs, t-shirts and other merchandise. To reach that goal, McFarland will apply her same level of creativity along with a few other components: “I need the confidence to do it… to put it all out there and to be consistent,” she said. It looks like McFarland will continue making strides in the beauty industry. With a wealth of ideas, it doesn’t look like she is showing any signs of slowing down anytime soon.
To purchase Hydra Mist: www.facesbyetosh.com Social Media: Instagram: @facesbyetosh Facebook: Faces By Etosh Licensed Esthetician