J. Autrey Invites Customers to Live BolderBy Jane Whitttington on December 5th, 2017 /
J. Autrey has created a new line of lipsticks that are sure to please customers looking for out-of-the-ordinary cosmetic choices. With colors like candy land (hot pink), conversation (caramel), love drought (grey), purple reign (pinky-purple), and silent killer (black), his lipsticks are not only fashion forward, they are also cruelty-free and designed to last longer and shine brighter than other lipsticks on the market.
Autrey was living in Detroit when, in 2011, he came up with the idea of starting his own line of lipsticks featuring, as he says, “fun and bright colors.” By 2013 he had moved to Grand Rapids and was experimenting with creating lipsticks in his kitchen, which he sold to friends and friends of friends. Eventually, he began selling online though a subscription-based website, Big Cartel.
Around the same time, he became award of SpringGR, a program in Grand Rapids which offers a twelve-week educational program which includes training, mentoring, and networking opportunities for would-be entrepreneurs. It is specifically designed to bring services to underserved, urban populations and communities. He signed up for the program and learned the ins and outs of starting and nurturing a business. SpringGR honored him with the People’s Choice Award and the Minority Business Award, both of which came with cash attached. He used the money to investigate the possibility of having his products manufactured on a scale that he couldn’t match in his kitchen and reached an agreement with a New York City contract manufacturer who could meet his rigorous standards for quality. They helped him come up with both a logo and a design for the lipsticks themselves.
Autrey says, “I have tried to come up with colors that aren’t just the ordinary reds and pinks that most lipstick lines offer. My colors are different and bold. My best sellers are nude and burgundy, but my vampy, dark colors sell well for women who are willing to be a bit edgy. They flatter all women—I’ve scheduled a photo shoot for November and will be featuring women of all ethnicities and will even include some drag queens wearing my make-up.”
Autrey has depended on social media and word-of-mouth to market his products and has also purchased some ads in local outlets and through Google. He has also participated in style and fashion shows in the area and occasionally works as a free-lance make-up artist (using his own line of lipstick, of course!).
He hopes to grow the line and eventually include other beauty products. In the meantime, check out his website at www.jautrey.com, his Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jautreycosmetics, and his YouTube video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aPfSSZ5QgY and Live Bold!