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Image“Many believe that beauty is just about wearing nice clothes, hair, shoes and make up. Indeed those things help the appearance, but just like money they also can hold us back if it applied incorrectly,” says Yana Johnson, founder and owner of the award winning cosmetics brand, Yana Cosmetics™.

“In a time when the retail market has demonstrated its ability to yoyo, the health and beauty sector has begun its boom. Not just for women. Men’s grooming is on the increase and with iconic sports personalities, singers and actors; our shopping habits can be influenced by what we see.”

With this in mind, Yana Johnson was inspired to create a brand of cosmetics that offer premium quality at an affordable price. Yana Cosmetics is only independent cosmetics brand in the UK and has won five awards for business, including The Black Enterprise Awards, the European Federation of Black Women Business Owners and the Mahogany Brides Award. Yana’s successes in categories such as Entrepreneur of the Year and Most Creative business and Health & Beauty Company of the Year underline the quality and innovation of her products.

Creating a Brand

Arguably, the biggest influence in advertising today is the urban culture; the mix of young people from many races merging into one unique consumer-led market. Understanding the market has been key to Yana’s success in launching her enterprise.

“The urban community sport the latest must-haves,” Yana notes. “Anything worn by an icon or that is iconic in its design endorsement will have the ability to draw a mass market to its purchasing demands, even if many of them have been regurgitated from yesteryear.”

Beauty is not without its similarities, she argues. “Ads frequently show split second transformations of eyelashes from short to long, and thick, stick-like models (still) and perfect anatomies with every programming opportunity, regardless of the audience.”

Building a Beautiful Enterprise

However, being beautiful is not simply about what you can see, says Yana. With a heritage that blends a varied mix of cultures including Arawak Indian and Jamaican, Yana is both business-minded and spiritual.

“The trouble with being beautiful is that many of us do not realise our potential,” admits Yana. “I have a strong Christian faith that not only influences my outlook on life but is also the backbone of my corporate policies, ethics and mission statement. Without my principles, I have no place to call my practice an excellent one. I don’t always feel beautiful, but I always feel loved and happy. I am a musical person and through music, I am fed daily with the gospel and with melodies that are as fresh as a sunny day.”

Yana acknowledges that keeping focused on your goals is critical for any entrepreneur who is building a business.

“I have been mentored to recognise that being a visionary means that often you have to be happy to be the only one with that vision and to keep on going regardless of what the circumstance looks like, or who says what!” she says. “I have a humble approach to my work and obedience to the spirit that guides me.”

ImageHelping people to fulfil their potential for beauty is a rewarding experience for Yana. “My day to day activities mean meeting all types of people and having a positive effect on them. People come to me to look good or feel good. I have to always be ready to give, my time, energy and warmth.”

While many would find the task daunting, Yana relishes the challenge of enhancing the natural beauty of those who approach her.

“Being a steward of people’s self-worth is a huge responsibility. My greatest achievement is when our staff works together under our vision to reach out to people in the way that I have taught them. You see biblical principals bear fruit through the feelings of happy clients and staff, good sales and prosperity. Even our non-Christian staff members are positively affected by my managerial style and they too grow.”

Giving Back

Yana is a strong believer in sharing what she has learned from others.

Image“Mentoring is another hat I wear to help give direction to our staff and others. Being a natural leader, I find it easy to identify a person’s strength and encourage them to develop”, she says

Yana’s cosmetics offer a special touch by blending a foundation that matches the skin colour exactly, while offering a free consultation to a new client. “If you have had no previous experience of wearing make up, we can provide a 1-to-1 session to take a client through the steps of how to get the look they desire. Alternatively, our make up DVD also shows how to apply make up properly and offers many more beauty tips.”

Men are not forgotten and Yana has developed the Menswear Grooming brand to help men with their shaving and grooming needs of men.

More than Skin Deep

Yana’s business is bearing the fruit of her hard work and her company is now based in Allders, one of Croydon’s leading department stores, with two new locations planned in 2007.

However, her years in the beauty business have taught Yana that most people are looking for more than a physical transformation.

“Many believe that beauty is just about wearing nice clothes, hair, shoes and make up,” she says. “Indeed those things help the appearance, but just like money they also can hold us back if it applied incorrectly. I work with celebrities, corporate and non-corporate types every day and have found that fundamentally we all have the same need; to be loved, accepted and to feel confident.”

For more information about Yana Cosmetics, visit www.yanacosmetics.com

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