Pelicans in Business - Peta-Gaye WatsonPeta-Gaye Watson's university courses pay off
Final-year Banking, Finance and Economics student, Peta-Gaye Watson, has always liked the thought of managing a business. So when inspiration hit, she coupled that thought with her love for make-up, and did just that.
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A graduate of The Queen's School, much of Watson's high school money went into purchasing cosmetics. "I've always been into make-up," she explained. "I used to save up all my lunch money and buy lipstick, lip gloss and mascara." Often hearing that the prolonged use of make-up would cause permanent damage to her skin, and recognising that her skin was more sensitive than the average person, Watson became cautious. Not to be deterred, however, she decided to conduct extensive research to uncover the cause and explore a solution. What she discovered was that skin damage was largely caused from the chemical ingredients in cosmetics. Watson thought of a solution: "If it's the chemicals that are damaging my skin, what if I can make something vegan, something natural, and I can just wash it off and not look like 50 years old 10 years from now?" With that thought, Gud Cosmetics was born.
What started out as a natural skincare line blossomed into Gud Cosmetics - a cosmetic product business - almost a year ago. "The products are made in the most natural form possible. There are no harsh chemicals to cause dryness or rashes, nothing to damage your skin and they give you the same high pigmentation and the desired results," Watson explained. "Some of the products also have properties that can help with skin conditions such as acne, based on their natural ingredients," she added. The 23-year-old is now moving to expand her business. "We're currently creating a database for independent make-up artists who can be on call to offer make-up services," she told UWIMONA Now. "We'll also be going into distribution, so we'll be a premier make-up servicing company, as well as have retail products that the brand carries. I also see us having a storefront in a couple of years, and expanding the whole skincare, body care, haircare industry Ė if it can be used and itís natural, in a few years, Gud Cosmetics will have it," she said.
The young entrepreneur admitted that while starting a business has been one of the hardest things she's ever done, her degree helped her manage the process successfully. "In life, you have to be flexible and roll with the punches and my degree has facilitated that. I do a lot of management and entrepreneurship courses, and my accounting courses help in terms of punching numbers. You get to communicate, socialise, talk to people and be engaging. The diversity within my degree has allowed me to switch hats," she said.
Watson also expressed gratitude to her other team members, Danette Campbell and Kevaun Allen, both UWI students, pursuing degrees in Actuarial Science, and Banking, Finance and Economics, respectively.
Her words of advice for new entrepreneurs? "It's okay to make mistakes and ask questions. In terms of fear, I always say you only have one life to live so go all in, and even if you fail, you would have learned a valuable lesson. Itís all or nothing."