Today we’d like to introduce you to Kerica Riley.
Hi Kerica, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
I’ve always gravitated to fashion & makeup. When I decided to start my business with the money I had saved, makeup was the more reasonable (or cost-effective) choice. Diamond By Kerr was established in my sister’s living room on Nantucket in March 2017. I started selling lipsticks in person to my customers and decided to launch my website in the summer of 2017. Over the years, my business grew and my customers started to request other products which led to the production of my line of makeup brushes, eyelashes & eyeshadow palette in 2019. Due to the pandemic, when masks became the new norm, lipstick sales dropped. So I went back to the drawing board and decided to start my skincare line. Skincare By Kerr was launched in December 2020 all vegan, cruelty-free & paraben-free. I created three kits (a Cucumber kit, a Charcoal kit and Skincare by Kerr for Men kit), vitamin C serum & glycolic acid serum. What I love most about my skincare line is that it works and it was all made in the US. I recently launched my Sweet Whipped Skin Butta on my birthday October 4th, it’s made with all-natural ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, jojoba & coconut oil.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I’ve encountered many obstacles, had many doors closed and I’ve heard NO countless times. I had no blueprint for my business, I learned something new everyday. I’m still learning & researching to better myself and business. One of my biggest fears was being on camera and pitching myself. I honestly thought I could apply a lipstick, post a pic/ video on Instagram and get sales, but I was so wrong! I eventually overcame my fears and gained more confidence in being in front of the camera by practicing more.
As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
When I started my brand, I loved makeup, however I never really knew how to properly apply foundation, etc. In 2020 I decided to take a Master makeup artistry course with Chic Studios in New York. After I became certified in March 2020, the pandemic hit and I didn’t get much exposure then because of the lockdown and not many people wanted anyone near them. I didn’t want to lose what I learned, so I kept practicing on myself and any family member or friends who would let me touch their faces. In the Summer of 2020, I did three bridal makeup and several special occasions makeup looks. Fast forward to 2021, I gained new clients, did prom, graduation & wedding guests makeups (of different skin types, tones & ethnicities). I also did makeup for Sister Salon & Spa when needed. I like to give my clients what I call the ultimate Kerr experience, whether it is offering a bottle of water or a glass of wine, massaging their forehead or giving a joke to help them relax. Remember, they will be sitting in my chair for 45-60 mins depending on the look they requested, and I honestly believe these are things they will remember the next time they want to book with me including the fact that they loved their makeup.
Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Don’t let lack of sales, clients or being rejected for a loan/ business opportunity discourage you. If running a business, being a makeup artist or building a brand is your passion. Keep pushing, motivate yourself and others. Read over all fine prints, draw up contracts working with other professionals whether it’s a collaboration or photoshoot. Don’t be afraid to speak up for yourself, get to know your industry (read up, research or ask other individuals from your industry questions). Don’t let negative energy keep your spirit down, raise above it and surround yourself with positive energy & people.
- Email: Info@diamondbykerr.com
- Website: www.diamondbykerr.com
- Instagram: Diamondbykerr
- Facebook: Diamondbykerr
Personal image of me in black dress – credit to Bradley Banner Open eyeshadow palette – credit to Sanchez Saunders