Jamaica Gleaner / Her most popular Lippie is called Boss Chick, but Sushana Cole didn’t always have the ideal boss behaviour. With her hard work, she has become a beauty inspiration for us all.
Shana, as she is most popularly called, was born and raised on Maxfield Avenue. She passed her Common Entrance as was accepted to the St Hugh’s High School for Girls. Having a knack for sales, she used to sell candy in her first year of high school. Seeing her talent, her father gave her a box of stockings to sell. Cole managed to sell all the stockings but the profit did not make it home.
Though she was focused on succeeding, she did not quite fit in the traditional school system.
“I was not the most well-behaved child, I had to admit. I was a bad little girl and I guess that the school thing was just not for me,” she told Flair . She was expelled in third form for poor behaviour.
Her dreams of being a flight attendant were no longer in the books, but she started to work with her mother, believing that she would later venture off with her own business. Being an entrepreneur was her ultimate goal as she knew that she did not have the personality for a nine-to-five.
By the age of 23, she became a mother. Shortly after having her son, the relationship ended, leaving her unsure of her next move.
Luckily, she had gone to cosmetology school with the hopes of becoming a hairdresser. She was, however, pushed in another direction when a friend gave her a large bag filled with make-up. The businesswoman in her sent her to corporate companies to sell make-up. She found out in the early stages that something was wrong with her plan. “I had no idea what to tell them about make-up, I knew nothing.” She laughed as she recalled her experience.
She then realised she needed to get familiar with the products, and so this sent her to the Face Place where she received training. Shana’s entrepreneurial skills then chimed in because she had to be a hero for her son. “You see, when you have to do it alone and there is no one there to help, you have to make it work. Well, there is my mom but I was an adult, I didn’t want to be running to my mother for everything,” she told Flair .
She started her own location at Bryan’s Plaza, selling make-up. It went well, and then when an outlet had become available on Hagley Park Road she thought that this location would have been more central, but it was not. Her store was broken into twice and the second time it really hit her hard, but she knew for her son this business had to work.
Her spouse at the time helped her to get back on her feet as she found a location at Park Plaza, but then she had something else to contend with – the competition.
“When I started, there were only a handful of people selling make-up, and then all of a sudden there were all these outlets. So I had to be like, ‘Shana, what can you do to keep your customers and be competitive’, and then I decided to start my own lipstick line.”
The entrepreneurial skills that she had fumbled with as a youth had now materialised into something that was far greater than she had imagined, and Lippies by Shanna were born. Her lipsticks started to sell like wildfire, and she went from traditional to matte to keep up with beauty trends.
She expanded to Face by Shana, moving into the realm of foundation to primer and her bronzer amber glow, which is a customer favourite of her entire make-up line behind her matte red lipstick boss chick, which is red that seems to complement every skin tone.
Shana has not looked back and is now adding to her Face by Shana line with mink lashes. She could not be more thrilled with her business. Her customers’ reaction to her new colours, as well as sometimes even their disappointment to a few things that might be missing, is something that makes her feel proud of how far she has come.