Star Gooch, a sophomore music education major, said she always had a deep-rooted desire to make healthy products for the mind, body and spirit. When she realized just how much she was spending on self-care and cosmetics products, she decided to take matters into her own hands by starting her own cosmetics business, Five Star Beauty.
Currently operated from Gooch’s home, Five Star Beauty utilizes all-natural ingredients — such as shea butter, coconut oil and jojoba oil — in all of its products, including whipped body scrubs, bath soaks, eyebrow/eyelash growth oil and lip scrubs.
“I learned how to make beauty products by watching videos via YouTube and doing a lot of online research,” Gooch said. “I came up with my recipes by figuring out what would be both soothing and nourishing to all my customers’ skin types.
“I did some tweaking and added my own little twist to simple recipes to make them just right. During this process, trial and error was very common ... either adding too much of one ingredient or adding too little, but I was very determined to find what works best to give our customers the best results when using Five Star Beauty products.”
As a full-time college student and an entrepreneur, Gooch said she must have rigorous time-management skills and self-discipline to succeed at running her business. Additionally, all her supplies for her products come out-of-pocket, which Gooch said was challenging when initially launching her business because she had to wait to receive her paychecks from her job at Costco Wholesale.
“Being an entrepreneur, student and working full time can be very arduous, but by God's grace, He continues to strengthen me,” Gooch said.
Rhonda Heyward, Gooch’s mother and regular customer, said her daughter is a “very bright, smart and intelligent young lady” who has always loved taking photos, lip gloss, makeup and other creative outlets.
“[When] it's Mother's Day or Christmas … [Gooch] would make the card versus wanting to go buy a card,” Heyward said. “She was always great at creating her own ideas and thoughts, and that meant so much more [to her] than [wanting] to buy something. She always had that creative side to her and that strong intuition within herself to say, ‘I know I can do this, and I know I'm going to succeed at doing it.’”
Heyward said Gooch is doing a great job at managing being an honors student and businesswoman. She prays her daughter also continues prioritizing her schoolwork as she’s “balancing her scales” running her own small business.
“I felt proud of her for wanting to take that step, and venture out, and actually put the plans into place and then implementing it,” Heyward said. “Once she gets back into school full time, I know that she'll have to probably cut back on [running Five Star Beauty] because the time and effort should be spent on her academics. For her to continue in honors courses and do what she needs to do to successfully graduate, that’s the main goal.”
While Gooch launched Five Star Beauty at the end of June during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said, the only challenge she faced due to the pandemic was the longer shipping and processing times for her labels and ingredients.
“To ensure my customers’ complete safety, my surfaces are always cleaned and sanitized before I start,” Gooch said. “I always wash my hands before working and wear a mask and gloves while I am making, filling and packaging products.”
Currently, Gooch sells her products mainly to her friends and family, although she hopes to sell to Ball State students throughout the school year. Heyward said she uses Five Star Beauty’s sea salt bath soak and strawberry and bubblegum lip scrub, but her favorite is the whipped lavender buttercream.
“When you put [the lavender buttercream] on, it's a light texture, and then, of course, I can smell the lavender, and it's a calming effect,” Heyward said. “It has lavender essential oils, so I enjoy that.”
Maurice Higgins, who is also a regular customer for Five Star Beauty, has supported Gooch and her business since the first time Gooch mentioned it to him. Higgins said he likes how every product is homemade and the precise measurements of each ingredient.
“The rosé oil is my most purchased item because it really helps my skin and is a great moisturizer before I put my makeup on,” Higgins said.
As she runs Five Star Beauty, Gooch said, she thinks of new ideas every day of how to improve her advertising and shorter process and delivery times. Gooch said she also hopes to continue selling products to new and established U.S. customers, and she wants to eventually sell Five Star Beauty’s products worldwide.
“In five years, I hope to see myself as a music educator,” Gooch said, “but I still want Five Star Beauty to be thriving with a warehouse and a team.”
Contact Sumayyah Muhammad with comments at email@example.com.