Goodbye 2019, Hello 2020!
2019 has truly been a unique year for me and a historic one for SAM LEA Cosmetics! As I reflect on this roller coaster ride of a year, I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for even making it this far. The experiences of 2019 proved that, for nearly two decades, life has been positioning me for this very moment. This year was all about lessons of faith, business, and focus. I can’t begin to quantify the value of the lessons learned, but I can say that some were undoubtedly harder than others and all were very necessary. In hindsight, if I had the opportunity to do it all over again, not only would I do it, I would do it more times than I count! I have no regrets.
I would be remiss to reflect on 2019 and not acknowledge how I got to this point. I think back to the very first time the fleeting thought of starting a lipstick line crossed my mind. I was in my early twenties and had unintentionally become somewhat of a “go-to” person for lipstick. Women would often stop me on the street to inquire about my lipstick colors, and I was always excited to share the details. Before I knew it, I was passing out tubes of lipstick to friends and strangers, encouraging them not to be afraid to experiment with bright lip colors. I recall thinking about how awesome and unconventional it would be to create my own line. These were the days before social media, reality television, and YouTube influencers so this was unconventional for many reasons. I quickly dismissed the idea, mainly because I didn’t have access to anyone who could offer me any guidance on starting a cosmetics business and I certainly didn’t personally know anyone who could provide first-hand insight on the industry. Nevertheless, my passion for lipstick continued to grow and people continued to trust my "expert" opinion. I appreciated that trust and I never did or ever will take it for granted.
It was something intrinsically unifying about lipstick that made me view it as more than just some sort of beautification tool. I saw it as a common interest that created bonding opportunities for people in spite of their perceived differences. Even now, when I think about the many times I was approached by strangers, I never once thought to consider their level of education, income status, religious beliefs, or who they voted for in the most recent election (and I’m sure they felt the same). For me, the shared interest in lipstick transcended socioeconomic status, educational background, race, political affiliations, and all of the other potentially divisive aspects of our society. All they saw was pretty lipstick and all I knew was I wanted them to have it and feel good wearing it. It was genuine comradery at its best.
So, as I sit here writing this post, wearing a SAM LEA Cosmetics’ t-shirt, being present in this moment, I reflect on all of the universal cues that led me here. I take deep breaths and thank God for it all. I know, and I pray that you know, that 2019’s sleepless nights, endless expenses, expired relationships, tears of joy and frustration, fears of failure, and all of the other stuff in between is guiding you to a place of your very own, uniquely designed just for you. It took me quite a while to understand the purpose, but I’m thankful that I never lost my passion during the process. The more I understood that this entire journey was so much bigger than me, the more my present and future became brighter than lipstick.