Kween Kare Cosmetics

by Terry Watson | July 16th, 2018
Tociana ‘Kween Love’ Watley (Photos by J Humble Photography)

Tociana ‘Kween Love’ Watley (Photos by J Humble Photography)

According to Tociana ‘Kween Love’ Watley, every woman should be treated like royalty. She has a special affinity for her African American sisters who tend to carry the world on their shoulders. We assume roles as activists, caretakers, confidantes, counselors, and teachers, just to name a few. With all the colorful crowns we adorn, who wouldn’t want to be pampered from time to time? Kween Kare Cosmetics was created on a whim, but has turned into so much more.

Tociana has always thought of herself as a hustler. In addition to the countless unpaid roles she’s had, she was also a babysitter, a special needs teacher, a nanny, and a Uber/Lyft driver. She even attended nail school at one point. For some time, she flourished in her individual jobs, but an unfortunate incident while driving Lyft caused her to question working for others and her sense of freedom. “This older man white assaulted me so I pepper-sprayed him and I ended up getting a charge instead,” she remembers. Because she had recently joined a nanny service with many potential clients, the unresolved charge resulted in her losing the clients and forced her to reevaluate her career path.

While in between jobs, she had extra time on her hands and decided to research ingredients in the bath and body products she used daily. She discovered that many of them are unhealthy, so she sprang into action. “I started making my own toothpaste, and my boyfriend and I started using it,” says Tociana. She noticed her teeth were gradually becoming whiter, even though she already considered them to be a healthy shade of white. She also noticed that they weren’t as gritty and grimy after eating. They stayed clean throughout the day. Forging ahead, Tociana researched how to make her own face mask and was again pleased with the result. In conversation, she mentioned her new endeavor to close friends and family members and they inquired about purchasing her products.

The 23-year-old expressed to her boyfriend, Markise White that she wanted to consider starting a business. He simply said, “Go for it!” Tociana could not have been more excited. With an investment from him, she quickly took to Fiverr to create her first logo, started building a website, and browsed sites for packaging. In January 2017, “Kween Kare Cosmetics, LLC” was born. The logo includes a crown atop the ‘K’ in Kween because Tociana wants her customers to think of themselves with high distinction. She makes a point to practice self-love and encourages her customers to do the same. “I refer to most people as queens and kings because that’s what we are. And that’s the way they should think of themselves,” says the young entrepreneur. She has adopted the name ‘Kween Love’ to promote the feeling within herself and to lift others with the same ideals.

During the creative process, Tociana still juggled babysitting jobs around the clock and eventually landed a job at a call center that seemed too good to be true. It paid well, but to her, it felt like a prison environment after some time, with no windows, scheduled eating times, and security equal to ‘Fort Knox’. That job didn’t last long, and leaving would allow her more time to cultivate her growing passion. When she was ready for her line to expand, Tociana tapped her Chemical Engineer mom to assist in selecting the best organic ingredients to use. And because she’s a graduate of Meredith College, she is privy to certain published research that helps with the process.

To date her bestsellers are the toothpaste and the body butters, though her line includes mouthwash, lip balm, and hair and face masks. Her first event was in Burlington and was a complete success, selling out of most products. “There were people arguing over the toothpaste because I didn’t bring enough. I was able to take their names and ship it to them later,” she laughs.

Tociana’s current adventure is far from her original goal of owning a practice dedicated to children with autism with her younger sister. She attended Meredith College and graduated in 2016 with a degree in psychology. In the fall, she will attend North Carolina Central University in Durham to work towards obtaining her MSW (Masters of Social Work) while her sister attends Columbia University in New York City, aiming for the same degree.

It’s evident that this young businesswoman has a promising future. She’s faced a few hurdles but that doesn’t stop her from stretching her legs to jump over them. She encourages anyone with an idea to move on it. “Don’t short yourself. Shoot for the stars,” she advises. With the support of God, her village of family and friends, including her king, Kween Love is spreading healthy products to as many people as she can and she won’t stop until everyone feels like royalty.

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