Today we’d like to introduce you to Jasmine Shaw.
Hi Jasmine, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit! In 2014, I graduated from Concordia University with a BA in Kinesiology. During that time, I was not sure how I wanted to utilize my degree, so I pursued several jobs & had many side hustles. Customizing & distressing jeans, network marketing, hair braiding and coaching to name a few.
My journey as an Educator began in 2017 the same year I established Loniece Essentials. Loniece is my middle name the same middle name as my Grandmother Nettie Loniece. Although I started off selling fashionable headwraps the goal was to eventually expand by introducing products that I felt were essential to our daily routine/regimen. Skincare is essential and is an important part of our daily routine/regimen. I am passionate about creating products that heal and restore the skin. For many years I joked about creating my own skincare line after using store-bought products that were not compatible with my skin. My first product was a body oil I concocted for my eczema after researching the beneficial properties of natural & essential oils. My skin cleared up within one week of using this oil, I knew I was onto something! From there, I have expanded into soap making, body butters, body scrubs and face washes that my customers love. This past January, I resigned as a Special Education Teacher & Coach due to contracting the coronavirus along with the saddening loss of my Grandmother.
In December, I contracted covid-19 from my campus and was bedridden for days. My history of asthma put me in the high-risk category, but unfortunately my school district still denied my request to work from home. Additionally, the district didn’t offer any reasonable accommodations that I felt were safe. After exhausting all of my possibilities, I made the difficult decision to resign. During this time, I was told to report to campus until a replacement was found. My overall health or well-being was not a priority or concern to the district. Not only did I feel defeated, I realized I taught for a district that didn’t seem to care about the overall health of their employees. My stressful experience as a Teacher during a pandemic tugged on the heartstrings of many one of those people happens to be a reporter for CBS Austin news! When my story aired, I was nervous because out of 77 plus teachers that had resigned, I was the first one to speak out. My goal was to not only bring awareness but to inspire others to speak their truth and make their health, family and peace of mind a priority. Since resigning, I now have more free time to focus on growing and expanding my skincare business named after my Grandmother. My Faith, passion & strong desire to help others is what drives me! Since launching in November, I went from processing 1-3 orders a month to 20 plus orders!
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
My journey in becoming a Teacher was not easy; I made many sacrifices. Three years after graduating from college, I enrolled in a Teaching program after saying I was totally done with school! There were times I almost gave up in pursuing Teaching but I had a great support system. Working with kids has always been something I enjoyed doing which is why I pursued a career in education. When I made the decision to resign a part of me felt like I giving up and throwing away all of my hard work. The other part of me felt like I was gaining my freedom and could now focus on my entrepreneur endeavors! Being an entrepreneur tends to be the road the less traveled. Although I have received a great deal of support, I have also received some criticism as well. Balancing a full-time career while running a small business became very stressful at times. After work (practices, games), I devoted time to Loniece Essentials this included some late nights and weekends. Learning to manage my time effectively and efficiently was key! Additionally learning the ins and outs of what it takes to have a successful business became overwhelming. Learning how to create my website on ecommerce platforms, financial dos and don’ts, etc.
As you know, we’re big fans of Loniece Essentials. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
Loniece Essentials is a natural skincare line with handcrafted products made by me. Skin is the largest organ on the human body, how we care for our skin is a big deal. I am passionate about natural & holistic skincare as it involves treating the skin in a whole way! My skincare line consists of whipped body butters, body scrubs, face washes, soaps, oils, creams & hair care products. What sets me apart is my determination, discipline & desire to learn while also educating people about the importance of skincare. My personality and level of transparency make it easy for people to relate to and respect me and my brand. Most importantly my work ethic considering I do everything myself from making products to labels and packaging. I’m most proud of the fact that I have been able to create and formulate products that have actually helped people. Also receiving great customer reviews & feedback. I want readers to know that I am truly passionate about skincare and that my products are created with sensitive skin and multicultural skin in mind. My Gluten-Free, Silicone-Free, Paraben-Free, Cruelty-Free, Vegan, Sulfate-Free.
Who else deserves credit in your story?
My supporters have definitely been my family and friends as well as fellow teachers. They have helped by purchasing products, informing others about my business, sharing my social media, words of encouragement or connecting me with helpful resources.
- Email: lonieceessentials.com
- Website: https://loniece-essentials.com/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loniece_essentials/
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/LonieceEssentials/
- LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/
- Other: https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/weiss-high-school-special-education-teacher-among-77-pflugerville-isd-teachers-resigns
Kevin Garner photography