Beauty School: Prissy Kisses Spotlight

Welcome to Beauty School!  In this week’s cosmetics and hair-focused column, we introduce you to Prissy Kisses! 

Starting a lip gloss cosmetic line was only natural for 25-year-old Key Hawkins, who says she grew up playing in her mother’s makeup and reading beauty magazines. The North Carolina native never went to school for business or fashion, but says her knowledge came from reading, the one thing her parents instilled in her as a child. But before she could launch her first business, Hawkins was faced with closed doors, death in the family and a tragic accident, which later turned into a blessing, she says. The entrepreneur shared with JET how she became successful at such a young age with Prissy Kisses, what hurdles she overcame and what’s next on her climb up.  We also give you a chance to win her product, so read through to the end.

JET: When did the idea to start a business first come about?

Key: The idea came to me in 2011. I got married in October of 2011 and I told my husband, I really want to own something and to build. I knew it was either going to be a fashion or beauty brand. It had to be either or, non-negotiable. I started doing my research. Reading, reading, reading; it always goes back to your upbringing.

JET: What inspired you to create Prissy Kisses?

Key: I didn’t want to focus just on the Black girl, but a woman because all women want to feel good.  We want to look good and we will pay to look good too. I knew that I wanted to have an open mind when building my beauty brand because with building you don’t see color, you don’t see a size. You see a woman who just wants to feel good.  I named my company Prissy Kisses because I’m a girly-girl and I feel that a lot of young girls like that feeling of being cute, holding little purses and putting on lip gloss.

JET: What kind of roadblocks did you experience and how did you overcome them?

Key: Originally Prissy Kisses was set to launch last summer, as you can see, it didn’t happen that way and I always feel like everything happens for a reason, according to God’s timing. It’s everything. In January of 2012 my husband lost his dad and it was just, it was very devastating because we didn’t know how to handle it. We found him at home and it was tough. A little more than three months later, his mom died. After that I started going through personal issues with friends I had to deal with.

JET: That had to be difficult. What did you do next?

Key: My husband and I were going to some banks to get a business loan, but we got denied. I was like, ‘Why isn’t anyone believing in us?’ I believe in me, that’s all that counts. I know I’m what I’m able to do, what I’m capable of doing.  We went back, tweaked our business plan to make sure everything was right and that we weren’t missing out on anything because of our mistakes. We continued to talk to investors for like months and then Thanksgiving comes around and we get a phone call, our home burned down, the home we were getting ready to move into, which was my husband’s parents’ home.

JET: Wow! How did you all handle that?

Key: With the house burning down, we were able to not only have a brand new home renovated, we also received a check that would help us fund Prissy Kisses.  It’s also a blessing in disguise. It just made us stronger. As a young couple we let people know that with God, you can live comfortably. Look at how God works. We didn’t have any investors, we don’t have any bank loan. We don’t owe anybody anything except praise to God. A check to fund Prissy Kisses. That’s amazing to me. Nobody can tell me God isn’t real, that God isn’t great.

JET: What’s new?

Key: I’m going to be launching a lipstick this fall. I’m really excited about that because to me, that’s a big move. It’s fun to grow and honestly, it’s scary because it’s like, ‘Wow, we’re getting to the next step of the business.’ I’m scared on the outside a little bit, but then my heart I’m like, ‘I’m going to knock this thing out.’

Prissy Kisses Couture Cosmetics come in six different glosses. You can order them HERE.

Want to win a free lip gloss? Enter for a chance to win right HERE.