About The Founder
Entrepreneurship has always been a passion for me. My only obstacle was I didn’t know what direction to take. My father is a barber, and I would watch his hustle. His hustle mentality was one of a kind. I would always say in my head, “I want to be just like him, just a female version.”
Let me take you down memory lane: I was a child to two teenage parents, so you already know that I wasn’t fed with a silver spoon. My maternal grandparents were drug addicts, and unfortunately their addiction claimed both of their lives when I was just five-years-old. To make matter worse, they died just two months apart from each other. I witnessed my mother go through some tough times.... ALONE. I witnessed her cry, struggle, be a single mother, and experience verbal, emotional and physical abuse. Day by day I noticed her mental health decline, but she still did what so many struggling young mothers do… put on a fake smile and overlook her trauma.
My paternal grandfather was an alcoholic, and of course it had a negative effect on my father. I believe the hurt that my father experienced encouraged him to change his way of thinking. It motivated him to break the cycle of alcoholism and to make sure my brother and I didn’t have to experience the same trauma. My grandfather died in 2011 and still to this day it hurts me. I regret never getting the chance to build a relationship with him, a good ole’ grandfather/granddaughter relationship.
One thing that all 3 of my grandparents had in common was mental health issues, they just had different coping methods. Mental health problems are often looked at as a stigma. It’s also often overlooked especially in the black community. Let’s be honest! I remember growing up hearing things such as “boys don’t cry,” “toughen up,” “there’s nothing wrong with you,” “you just want attention,” and “you have nothing to be stressed about, you’re a child”. I’m not saying that these things were said directly to me, but I heard them often and it impacted me negatively.
Fast forward to my early 20’s. I was a mother, a college student and I was mad at the world. I suffered with anxiety and severe depression. There were days when I couldn’t get out of bed. I was numb and lost. I couldn’t afford therapy and I actually thought therapy was for the weak. I distanced myself from both friends and family, and I remained in a hole. It took almost 10 years for me to realize that my mental health was in fact not healthy. I needed a better coping method. I couldn’t continue to fight this battle the same way I’d been doing it.
I started going to therapy but that only helped as long as I was in that room sitting on that couch. As soon as I walked out, the panic and negative thoughts flooded my mindset. I knew that I couldn’t continue life like this. Here I was with a toddler that needed me and the last thing I wanted was for my negative energy to rub off on him. I remember sitting at my vanity and I started crying and praying. I begged God to heal me and provide me with a better understanding of myself. After I had my “breakdown”, I sat in that same spot for a while and then I started shaping my eyebrows (they were hideous at the time by the way) out of habit. Before I knew it, I had created an entire look. It was at that moment that I realized that makeup was my coping method. From that moment on whenever I felt under attack, overwhelmed, in a panic, or depressed, I would sit at that vanity and release all of my pain. The makeup was my pen and my face was my diary.
This my friends is how I created the brand “Cuff Your Pearls”. Cuff is a play on words. It’s actually part of my last name “Cuffie”. Pearls symbolize wisdom acquired through experience. So when you hear/see “Cuff Your Pearls”, I want you to take ahold of every experience that you’ve been through. Don’t let go because from these experiences (good or bad), you will definitely gain wisdom. This wisdom will allow you to fight another day.
Mental health will no longer be overlooked. Mental illness will no longer be considered a stigma. For once mental health is meeting makeup.
Remember to Cuff Your Pearls
Be Well !