For Black Small Business Month, we wanted to highlight a few of our Black-owned businesses in #DowntownCG! Check out some of their stories below.
Please list your name & your business’s name.
My name is Samiya King, and I am the proud owner of Naked Eye located inside of The Empire at 111 Independence St. Cape Girardeau, MO 63703. You can book all services by calling 618-889-1269 or by booking appts online at https://booknakedeye.as.me/schedule.php. My services include cluster lashes, eyelash extensions, and facial derma-planing.
What led you to start your business?
My journey into the field of the eyelashes grew from my personal experiences. I was raised in the beauty industry, and have always taken an interest in the general beauty and spirit of each individual woman. I knew I wanted to be a part of that. I had always dabbled in lashes to emphasize my own eyes. After spending afternoons showing others how to apply an easy lash look, I began to research other looks and other ways to improve. There were not many in the community doing this type of work, and slim to none in the African American community at all. So my journey into perfecting my skills began.
What kind of challenges have you faced (as a Black business owner) & how have you overcome them?
The main challenges arose in the process of turning my ideas into an actual craft and business. It was a learning curve, and I put a lot of pressure on myself to be the best. Once I made the commitment to learn the skill, the rest became easier to overcome. My passion is my drive, and I know that challenges were only there to improve my expertise. I committed to the process and was willing to learn everything.
Who is the person that inspires you the most?
Beyond a doubt, my mother is my inspiration and personal mentor. My mother has over 30yrs in the business industry, including owning her own salons. It was only natural that I, too, would find passion within the industry. Thanks to her leadership and willingness to teach me at a young age, I have inside knowledge into being an owner, and how to run it successfully. I could not have asked for a better teacher than my mother.
How did you choose your location/why downtown?
I was born and raised in Cape Girardeau, and I was well aware of the attractions to downtown Cape. It’s the ideal area for local businesses with plenty of daily interactions between patrons. When I was presented with the opportunity for Naked Eye to be in the downtown area, I did not hesitate. I have met so many wonderful people from all ethnicities and backgrounds that I have had the pleasure to not only service, but also support their own businesses in some instances. Hopefully, I can stamp the downtown Cape area with bits of my personality in each woman’s glowing appearance.
What makes your business unique?
Naked Eye is very unique because it is me. Not only are the services that I offer mimic those of bigger cities, but I tend to the prices for a smaller town. This is my home. Your experiences at Naked Eye are more personable because I am personable. I love beauty, and I love to share. Once you leave, you will also leave with the knowledge of how to maintain the services I provided in a healthy manner. I am a young, Black entrepreneur who loves the beauty industry and the feminine aspects of beauty are even sprinkled into my decor. Why? Because that is me. It is a part of my own uniqueness. I did not have a company model to look at when I began my journey, so I added only my authentic self while branding my business.
“I hope everyone will give Naked Eye a chance to service your lash needs. Although I do own and support Black businesses, I also build relationships with my clientele. That’s one of the reasons why my work doesn’t always feel the stresses that others may feel while running their businesses. We build friendships. Naked Eye is not just a successful, Black-owned business, it is an experience. One that I hope many of you are willing to come out and enjoy.” – Samiya
Follow Naked Eye on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ChooseNakedEye.
There are many other awesome Black-owned small businesses like this one in our community. For a complete list, check them out at https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1iwQszXdpQFTEbcHm7wz2_u6i2gE38A_sv0XKAq2TkJ0/edit?fbclid=IwAR1SuOeI5pygYsH9ZGfyXnTBmk0k4x0FibwYoTWQ-zDWGZ1QG8b4_qL90ts#gid=0.