We had the good fortune of connecting with Tiera Cuffie and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tiera, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
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 is one of a kind. I would always say in my head “I want to be just like him, just a female version.”
Starting your own business is beyond scary. You know what you would like for the outcome to be but facing the unknown is what kills a lot of dreams. There were several times that I wanted to give up but my faith wouldn’t allow me to do so. Fear was strong but my faith was stronger. Struggling with my mental health is what pushed me to start my business. I became a mother in my early 20’s and I suffered with depression and anxiety. There were days that 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. It took me almost 10 years for me to realize that my mental health was in fact not healthy. I finally decided to give therapy a try but that only seemed to work while I was in the presence of my therapist. I finalized that I needed a coping method along with therapy and that’s when I turned to makeup. Whenever I felt under attack, overwhelmed, in a panic, or depressed, i would sit at my vanity and release all of my pain. The makeup was my pen and my face was my diary.
I used my mental struggles and turned it into “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.
I would like to thank my father Welton Cuffie for always telling me “do not let your pain go to waste.” Because of him I was able to create a makeup brand that will continue to spread awareness of mental diversity.
We are in this together. Remember to Cuff Your Pearls
What should our readers know about your business?
Cuff Your Pearls is a cosmetic brand focused on the importance of mental health. Our mission is to bring awareness to the importance of mental health. We are committed to encouraging others to help end the stigma associated with mental illness. We will spread awareness of mental diversity through makeup.
I got to where I am today business-wise through dedication and faith. Being a business owner is not easy but it’s rewarding. I love the fact that I’m able to spread the importance of mental health in a unique way. Everyone can’t afford therapy. Some people are afraid to admit that they have mental health struggles. So to create an environment that is judgement free and understanding is a huge accomplishment. It’s a known fact that makeup can improve your self esteem.
The lessons I’ve learned along the way is that an overnight success is never overnight. Someone is always watching and eventually my hard work and dedication will be noticed. Cuff Your Pearls will be a household name.
I want the world to know that I am very open about my mental health struggles. I am no longer ashamed to admit that I battle with depression and anxiety. I’m using my struggles to help others overcome their obstacles. I’ve noticed that therapy isn’t often mentioned in the black community and I want to change that narrative. Cuff Your Pearls is more than makeup. It’s a brand that’s fighting to save lives, fighting to improve the mental health of others.
In the near future we will like to start working with mental health organization.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We would definitely go to Ponce City Market and explore the atmosphere. Ponca City Market is packed with different stores and restaurants to enjoy. But it wouldn’t be a good trip if we didn’t get full body massages.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to dedicate this shoutout to my father Welton Cuffie. Your speeches and tough love didn’t make sense as a child but as I continue to grow it’s all coming together. Because of you my dreams are coming true. Love you always.
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