Carmela Mays is an Atlanta-based entrepreneur and owner of Esthetic Principles. Mays is a licensed esthetician, master herbalist, and author of “Butters, Scrubs, Lotions, and Potions: How I Healed My Skin and My Spirit with the Help of Common Household Items and How You Can Too”. We sat down with Mays to learn more about how she launched her business.
Mays provides all-natural facials, microdermabrasion, chemical peels, as well as many other services, and her own skincare line to her clients, but her first venture into skincare was much simpler.
“When I was a kid I used to take my mom’s expensive perfume and mix it in with lotion, which she didn’t appreciate. I used to get in a lot of trouble for doing that! Then I would put my creation in these little tubes and try to sell it in the neighborhood.”
While Mays has always had a passion for skincare and an entrepreneurial spirit since she was a kid, she didn’t initially believe she’d wind up becoming an esthetician.
“I worked in sales for several years and I was really good at it. I earned several accolades including top salesperson and best new agent and even earned recognition from our national corporate office as a top earner while selling insurance between 2015 and 2016.”
“But I felt suffocated in those jobs and I knew I wanted to have something of my own where I could add value to those around me and give me wings to express my creativity freely.”
It was a chance encounter that inspired Mays to combine her sales background and passion for skincare. “I met a woman at a juice bar who was an esthetician and she was telling me all about the services she performs. So I looked into it and went to school to become a licensed esthetician and just fell in love with it.”
Something that sets Mays’ business apart is her emphasis on a holistic and natural experience for her clients. “As a society, I think we tend to be over-medicated. The skin acts as a barometer for what’s happening with our body because what happens in the body gets pushed through the skin. I think it’s important to approach the issue holistically instead of just covering it up.”
Not only does Mays offer several natural services for her clients, but she also has her own skincare line. It was something she created to help her through a very difficult time in her life.
“I started developing a product line with aromatherapy after I lost my husband. Aromatherapy is something I’ve always believed in, it literally forces the brain to focus on something else and helps to ease stress. I was feeling very depressed and my skin was rebelling so it was something I was using for myself to try to navigate a new normal without him. It allowed me to create something new and helped me triumph over tragedy.”
For Mays, the most rewarding part about owning is business is the people she gets to help. “In order to have a successful business, you have to solve a problem. With my business, I get to be their point of contact to help them solve a problem. That’s something I’m very humbled by and proud of.”
Of course, running a business isn’t easy. Mays says it requires a lot of hard work. “It’s not always glamorous; I had to make a lot of sacrifices. I had to spend a lot of time away from family.”
But, Mays also credits her support system for the success of her business. “I’ve gotten such incredible support from my friends and family. I couldn’t have done it without them.”
One thing Mays doesn’t have to worry about is her insurance. “Not only was the ease of service great, but CoverWallet gave me peace of mind knowing my business is covered. We live in a litigation society so I feel good knowing I’m covered.”