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Ziye, 20, launches lipstick line as part of I Am Enough brand

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Months-long process: Ziye Burgess (Photograph supplied)

At 20, Ziye Burgess has launched a lipstick line that speaks to women’s empowerment.

It’s on the back of I Am Enough, the clothing and handbag brand she started with her mother, Angel Burgess, and her sister, Zoya, last year. Their idea was that it would empower females frustrated by the “overwhelming and unrealistic” expectations society puts on them.

The 18 shades of lipstick and lip gloss however, are all Ziye. Three palettes are available: Glorious, Empowered and Enthusiastic.

The three lipsticks and three lip glosses in each boast names such as “Grateful”, “Kindness”, “Amazing” and “Fabulous”.

“I’m actually studying, but I don't start school until August,” said Ziye, who is on course to become a lab technician. “So because I'm having a break right now it was really a good time to just try something new.”

Before the family left Bermuda for the United Kingdom in 2016, her mother owned A2Z Fashions, a women’s clothing store on Queen Street.

In England, Angel put her entrepreneurial skills to work again, sourcing dogs for animal lovers in Bermuda through her company, Puppy Love.

“To be completely honest I wouldn’t have done it without my mother. She does all these entrepreneurial kinds of things and she really just set me up for it. She knows that I've always been into that type of thing and she just gave me the opportunity to do it,” said Ziye.

Putting it all together was a months-long process that began with selecting colours and shades of colours and then choosing an appropriate formula and suitable packaging.

Ziye was grateful to be able to rely on her mother’s experience in creating a product from scratch.

“It's the craziest thing because you know how children think their mom knows everything? My mom actually knows everything,” she laughed.

“She knew what to do from beginning to end. She literally coached me through the whole thing – she knew exactly how to build a brand, she knew how to market it, she knew exactly how to get people to put in pre orders; how to get people excited about it before we even dropped it.”

Something for everybody: Ziye Burgess hopes to inspire women with her lipstick line (Photograph supplied)

The range of colours were thought through so there was something that would appeal to everyone. The products were then tested to ensure they were not harmful to skin and wouldn't stain or dry out lips.

“Whether you’re light-skinned, dark-skinned, White, Black, Hispanic … the colours will look great on your skin,” Ziye said.

“I choose all the colours myself. I just wanted it to be something for everybody. So that's why we have clear in there, we have nudes, we have reds, and then we have colours that are a little bit different: golds and stuff like that. There’s literally something for everybody.”

The business woman is “really proud” of what she has accomplished and that she was able to tie it in with I Am Enough. Each palette comes with a reminder: “Hey Sis, Remember you are enough.”

“That's why we made the palettes the way that we did and [why] the individual lipsticks also have empowering names.

“The whole thing is definitely about empowering women; that’s the type of message that we want to send out,” said Ziye.

In August she heads to Jamaica via Bermuda to complete her studies as a lab tech. While it is her Plan B, it’s an area that is of interest.

“I’m really excited about that. My goal was to just have a degree in something that I find interesting just in case I do need something to fall back on or in case I do decide that I want to go that route,” Ziye said.

“Testing products, making sure that things are safe for people, that's something that I find interesting, and that's also something that I found really important when making the lipsticks. My whole family has sensitive skin, the last thing I want to do is put out something that's supposed to empower women and then everybody's breaking out.”

What’s been most fascinating to the young entrepreneur is seeing how much work goes into products that people take for granted.

She believes people would be surprised, for example, to see all the behind-the-scenes effort that her mother puts into her company, Puppy Love.

“From a distance it looks, not completely easy, but I feel like as a customer you obviously just buy [an item] and don’t really think too much about what goes into it,” Ziye said.

“I never really noticed how much you actually have to put into a business – the hours, the effort, the blood, sweat and tears.

“People wouldn’t think it’s that serious because it's just lipsticks, but it is. And it's hard and it's a lot to think about. So I think that's probably the one thing I learnt – it's just not as easy as it looks.”

Visit https://imenough.co.uk/

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Published April 29, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated April 30, 2024 at 8:04 am)

Ziye, 20, launches lipstick line as part of I Am Enough brand

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