By: Sofia Coleman, Contributing Writer
Featured image courtesy of accessmatized.com
When it comes to mobile businesses, Takia Ross wants to give the essence of work-on-wheels a whole new meaning.
Ross, the owner of a Baltimore-based makeup studio called Accessmatized, came to Towson to speak on her entrepreneurial experience Sept. 11. Her lecture, which took part of the ongoing Entrepreneurship Unplugged series held at TU, was full of advice on work, business, and life.
The Accessmatized makeup studio was started by Ross in 2013 “by accident,” according to the owner herself. Ross shared on her business’ website how the business began as an outlet for her creativity while also serving as a source of encouragement for those she worked with. That exact passion for expression led to Ross owning the business of her dreams.
Accessmatized provides various services, including makeup for special occasions, photoshoots, and auditions, as well as classes for those wanting to learn new techniques or just looking to establish a personalized routine. Additionally, the makeup studio also offers the option of mobile appointments, allowing for customers to easily receive aid with their makeup needs.
The mobile service Accessmatized provides, “Pretty Mobile,” takes place aboard a deep purple refurbished MTA bus, complete with red-carpeted steps and plush interiors. During her presentation at Towson, Ross talked of the various trials involved when it came to securing mobility for her business. She recalled risking everything by bidding on the old bus, how it was having to learn how to drive a vehicle of that size and do various maintenance tasks, and the process it took to fully reinvent the old MTA bus into a tasteful makeup studio.
After recounting her long road to success, Ross began to impart the lessons she learned onto the Towson students attending her lecture. Ross asked the students, “Are you gonna do it anyway?” when talking about starting up a business. She referenced having to give up several things, like her job and some relationships for her business, and that it was incredibly difficult to make ends meet at some points.
Ross also told students to “do it scared,” in reference to the destructiveness of fear and self-doubt. Paying homage to a Will Smith YouTube video on fear, she explained that making scary decisions in business was healthy. According to Ross, making those fearful decisions will be risky, but no loss comes from trying an avenue and having it not work out.
Being okay with failure was another one of Ross’ larger points. She told students to “fail forward” in business endeavors, because every failure counts as a learning experience to better your business practices. Without failure, she hinted, she would not have gotten as far as she did with her business.
On the more technical points, Ross urged students to leverage what they had at any time they could. She explained how plugging your business and getting the rights to the name are incredibly useful in building a company. She also told those attending that “your network is your net worth,” citing that networks keep a business going and help it to grow. Her own network, a BAIL team (which stands for Banker, Accountant, Insurance agent, and Lawyer), helped her business grow by sending pitch competitions, where you pitch business ideas and are awarded with cash prizes. Her team also helped Ross to book clients and speaking gigs.
Nyjah Armani, an attendee of the lecture who owns a plus-sized clothing store called Nazw, spoke of the positive impact Ross’s lecture had on her.
“Now I feel more motivated,” Armani stated. “I have tips that will help me move forward.”
Professor Jan Baum, director of the minor in entrepreneurship and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Towson, described how Entrepreneurship Unplugged provides future entrepreneurs with “experiential learning,” and that, “these speakers are live case studies for what they’re reading.”
You can follow Ross and Accessmatized on social media @accessmatized, and on their website accessmatized.com.