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Meet Carmen Gaines of CarmaBella Skincare in Sandy Springs

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carmen Gaines.

Carmen, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have been working as a formulations chemist in the personal care and cosmetics industry for about 12 years. While perfecting and developing product lines for other companies, I would play around and develop products for myself and close friends and family. I never dreamed of starting my own company. Making these things was something I happened to be good at. But then people started complimenting my skin and the skin of those I made things for. They started asking what products we were using. When I or my loved ones would tell them that we used products that I made, people were surprised and intrigued.

When I would say that they are made from organic, natural or naturally sourced materials that really piqued their interest. For years I only made products to suit the needs of my family and friends. About two years ago, my husband encouraged me to start my own skincare company. I was still hesitant but decided to give it a shot. I mean, I can walk into several stores and see the fruits of my labor on the shelf, so why couldn’t I use my skill and knowledge base to cultivate a company with products that I loved and used. So I did. I took a leap and started CarmaBella Skincare.

Today we’d like to introduce you to Carmen Gaines.

Carmen, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I have been working as a formulations chemist in the personal care and cosmetics industry for about 12 years. While perfecting and developing product lines for other companies, I would play around and develop products for myself and close friends and family. I never dreamed of starting my own company. Making these things was something I happened to be good at. But then people started complimenting my skin and the skin of those I made things for. They started asking what products we were using. When I or my loved ones would tell them that we used products that I made, people were surprised and intrigued.

When I would say that the products are made from organic, natural or naturally sourced materials that really piqued people’s interest. For years, I only made products to suit the needs of my family and friends. About two years ago, my husband encouraged me to start my own skincare company. I was still hesitant but decided to give it a shot. I mean, I can walk into several stores and see the fruits of my labor on the shelf. Why couldn’t I use my skill and knowledge base to cultivate a company with products that I loved and used? So I did. I took a leap and started CarmaBella Skincare.

Has it been a smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road. I struggle daily because I still have a full-time job with another company and then I come home to work another 7 hours on my own. It has also been a struggle for me to adjust to being a businesswoman. I am a scientist. I am at my best and happiest when I am at a lab bench with my headphones on creating something new. Having to step from behind that bench and in front of a company to sell myself and products that I believe in has been hard. It has been an adjustment and I have had to learn that people not wanting to buy what I am selling is not them rejecting me. It has also been a struggle to quiet and calm my brain. Because I have been doing this so long, I have so many ideas for products, but I cannot make and sell every idea that works. It was hard to narrow down the product line especially when I created them all. And it’s hard now to try to limit my ideas to paper for a later time when the company has grown and can sustain a larger product offering.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
CarmaBella Skincare is a reflection of me and what I was looking for in skincare. I wanted to create a luxurious product that gives great results without killing your skin care budget. All of the products are made with natural or naturally sourced and even some organic materials. I do not sell anything that I would not or have not used myself. I am proud to say that this company thrives when our customers are happy, so to ensure that I am always available to help customers put together a regimen that will help them reach their skin goals even if it means buying something somewhere else. I also believe that this sets me apart from other companies—who else would send a potential customer elsewhere?

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Atlanta is an excellent place for any business. If you have the drive, you can build a successful business here. People will always need skincare products, and with people becoming more self-aware of what they are putting in and on their bodies, businesses like mine are starting to gain traction.

Of course, I would recommend people starting a business here. I have met so many people based in Atlanta that have helped me build and grow my business from both the creative and business sides. I have also found that people with similar businesses have also rooted for me. As Atlantans, we want to see everyone win. There is enough shine for us all. The only thing that I would like to see is more help offered after 5pm for small business owners. Most of us still work a full-time jobs when we are launching new ventures, so making it to those 10am small business seminars and workshops is just not happening.

Pricing:

  • Prices range from $8 for soaps to $45 for specialty serums

Pricing:

  • Prices range from $8 for soaps
  • To $45 for specialty serums

Contact Info:

 

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