Lipstick entrepreneur credits small business program with refining her formula for success

Two years later, she’s expanded products, customer base, sales

SAN ANTONIO – Darronnette Curtis has long had a head for business and a passion for sweets.

“When I had my Easy-Bake Oven, I was selling the cakes that I made. I would sell candy to my classmates. So I think it’s kind of always been in me,” she said.

Now, she sells lipsticks. Among the mouth-watering shades are Honey Bun, Lollipop and Berry Sherbae.

She does it all with a flair for sparkle and shine. Her brand is called Lxve Mxffin, spelled with Xs for kisses.

“The X is, of course, because lipsticks,” she explained.

Curtis whipped up her formula for vegan, smudge-proof liquid lipsticks some eight years ago. After years of ups and downs, she credits Maestro Entrepreneur Center for helping her refine her formula for success. She was one of 10 small businesses in the center’s 2021 program focused on providing guidance, resources and valuable connections.

RELATED: Maestro Entrepreneur Center taking applications to help second-stage small businesses grow

“I always prided myself on customer service, but really having someone come in and put the value on how you make your customers feel really stood out to me,” she said. “I want you to feel pretty in my lipsticks. I want you to feel good about yourself.”

Since her stint in the program, she says her business has grown.

“I think we’re up to 18 lipsticks,” she said. “We have five lip glosses now, too.”

She’s currently launching an inclusive campaign to find the Muffin Man.

For now, she sells her lip products through her website but is excited she has some retailers interested in giving her shelf space.

Before the entrepreneurship program, she said her goal wasn’t notoriety but to “walk down the street and know someone’s wearing my lipstick.”

So it was a big step when she said she recently overheard a conversation among women discussing how much they liked the lipstick, not knowing it was her invention.

What’s next?

“We have a few things in the works because we don’t just want to stop at lipsticks,” Curtis said. “There’s so much out there to accomplish.”

About the Authors:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.

Before starting at KSAT in August 2011, Ken was a news photographer at KENS. Before that he was a news photographer at KVDA TV in San Antonio. Ken graduated from San Antonio College with an associate's degree in Radio, TV and Film. Ken has won a Sun Coast Emmy and four Lone Star Emmys. Ken has been in the TV industry since 1994.