Hi; To the Left is my 6 year old daughter Chanel, middle Coco, and Right me, Alyssa!
Welcome to our world. Let me tell you my back story! So, I grew up in upstate NY to my entrepreneurial parents who are still together 33 years, and still building their beautiful empire in Geneva, NY. Being raised with seeing such success and independence the entrepreneur mindset sunk into me at a young age. I KNEW I wanted to be my own boss when I got older. I didn’t know how, that’s just, all I knew.
After high school I went to college because that seemed to be society’s norm and it’s what ‘everyone did,’ right? I managed to get an associates in Graphic Design while I partied 85% of my time and made some awesome memories with so many people throughout my experience.
Once college was over I still was unsure on how to pursue my dream, and during this phase of my life, I got pregnant with my daughter Chanel, who is now 6.
While I didn’t know how to find a career in design, I did get a job as a waitress and used my graphic design knowledge anyway I could. To make menus, flyers, marketing materials, websites, window paint, logos, business cards, party invitations, the list goes on! Waitressing was fun, I got better at my communication skills, my customer service techniques improved and I learned how to be an actress. I mean even on the days I felt my worst, I would put a smile on my face and it was game time. My hard work reflected in my highly earned tips each afternoon my shift ended. My boss even promoted me to manager!
All was good, but I wanted MORE. I still wanted to be my own boss and I wanted to design something for people that was authentically ‘me.’ So I moved to Florida to get a change of scenery, new environment and new faces! Landed my first and last job in Florida as a Manager for a Restaurant. Happy, and grateful I am now living in the sunshine state with a job but I wasn't FULFILLED. Then COVID hit and now everyone’s shook, especially financially, especially a single mom all alone states away from their family. So I did what I could to start building a side hustle on the side.
My side hustle overpowered me with joy. It is so much fun. I started my own make up line, BarBellaBNF! I began with creating lipsticks and naming them affirmations. I AM STRONG. I AM BEAUTIFUL. I AM CONFIDENT. I AM MOTIVATED. I AM POSITIVE. I was able to create these first in my mind, second on my computer, third in real life. When my production company sent me those first 5 lipsticks, I literally cried. They are perfect. All non toxic ingredients first and foremost. But the quality, the tubing and packaging I designed. They are all around inside and out everything I dreamed of.
My boss at the restaurant noticed my love for my side hustle and took away my pay without telling me. I quit. I struggled. I went back. I got sexually assaulted by my boss. I quit, pressed charged, waiting on this case to finish. I’m still struggling. I’m still working on my dreams. I’m still making it happen. I now have over 60 products; I have created my vision and it is becoming clearer and closer every, single, day.
I pray this shines light on some people to never give up and never go backwards. Keep pushing and thriving to become your authentic self. The flowing mechanism will treat you far better than forcing.
PS My business is just beginning. I have so much in store for the future!