SAN ANTONIO – It’s a stretch to imagine that Darronnette Curtis, with her perfectly polished makeup, hair, and fashion, grew up a tomboy.
“Then, something just clicked,” she said. “I just wanted to be a girly girl.”
Now, this grown-up girly girl has her own beauty business, named for what her daddy called her -- Love Muffin. Only, she spells it with kisses, Lxve Mxffin.
It was inspired by her mom and the lipstick she wore for 25 years.
“It was Cherry Jubilee,” Curtis said. “I think it was Avon, but it’s Cherry Jubilee.”
Now, Curtis has her own pucker-up palette and product portfolio. Her line of liquid lip colors included names like lollipop and licorice, honey bun and sip of bordeaux.
“I have a weakness for sweets, that’s why,” she said.
Curtis got her start six years ago using online tutorials to mix pigments. She came up with a vegan, cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free matte lip color that’s smudge-proof.
She sells mostly online to her customers.
“That could be someone on the go. That could be someone who just wants to look nice running to the store,” she said. “Or, it could be somebody who wants to slay the day away and into the night.”
Curtis is slaying it despite challenges like funding. Peddling lipstick during a pandemic when people are wearing masks and staying home isn’t ideal, either.
She’s now getting guidance, training, and access to grant dollars through the Maestro Entrepreneur Center’s pilot program called Embracing Entrepreneurial Equity. Her business is one of 10 minority-owned small businesses selected for the accelerated business course.
Curtis is grateful for the opportunity. She’s also passionate about a business she sees as more than cosmetic.
“You know, you could change somebody’s day just because you felt a little bit prettier when you walked out the door,” she said.
She hopes to expand her product line, find space on major retailers’ shelves, and be a brand on everybody’s lips. That includes her mom. Curtis has a new shade for her called Cherry Granita.
“I really just want to walk down the street and know that someone’s wearing my lipstick,” Curtis said. “They don’t have to know who I am, but the fact that they love my lipstick is enough for me.”