Tell me a bit about yourself
At night I design and create both liquid lipstick shades and highlighter drops. I plan to open my own cosmetic line. During the day I’m a gear-shaper at Ontario Drive and Gear.
I’m 23 years old. For the past under a year I’ve been running my own cosmetic booth as a vendor at Brampton flea market as well as working full time as a CNC* machine operator at Ontario Drive and Gear.
I moved from my hometown of Bolton to Waterloo. When I arrived there I went to an employment agency and they sent me to become a CNC operator but not directly. I was originally supposed to go to a company to crack eggs and put them in carton, separating first the yolks and the whites. But when I got there they had already filled that position. So the agency then sent me to a machine shop, Ontario Drive and Gear. I started off on a 4 month contract as parts washer and deburring finished parts. After 4 months they hired me on full-time and trained me as a machine operator. My machine is called the TOSS and it’s a gear shaper.
My Business: NOVA Beauty Cosmetics
My cosmetics are 100% natural, vegan-friendly, and I’d like to say they are different from others. As of right now I have 5 liquid lipstick colours and 3 highlighter drops.
At Ontario Drive and Gear I work 5 days a week in the machine shop. My shift is 2 pm until 10:30 pm. There are 3 women on my shift along with 30 guys. There’s lots of overtime and so I usually stay longer because I use the extra money to put into my business.
At the Brampton Flea market I sell wholesale makeup. Then one day I got the idea of creating my own brand. A fellow machine operator at Ontario Drive and Gear is also a girl, she actually went to school to become a CNC operator, but the great thing is that she’s got every shade of lipstick under the sun. I thought I could be the one to supply her with more lipstick. She’s my number one customer. She’s the one I can fall back on. She tests all my products for me.
What keeps you up at night?
I’m always thinking of different ideas, and thinking of that shade of colour that works the best, and what product to use. The big market is for mascara. But I wanted to go for more color, adventure and fun. For lipstick there are a crazy number of palettes, different contrasts, hues and glitter. There’s a broad spectrum of different creations that I can jump into. Whereas mascara is pretty straightforward and less fun.
What was the best piece of advice you ever received?
You miss 100% of the chances you don’t take.
What was the worst piece of advice you ever received?
I want to say the worst advice I’ve ever received was to get a job but I don’t know how to explain that. I just love building my own dream.
* Computer numerical control (CNC) is the automation of machine tools by means of computers executing pre-programmed sequences of machine control commands.