Nas’ daughter is carrying the torch for entrepreneurship with a makeup line inspired by her dad’s iconic album, Illmatic.
What started as a simple lipgloss line back in 2014 has turned into a full-blown, expanded cosmetics range—from rose-colored blushes and gleaming highlighters to a lash-lengthening mascara and colorful eyeshadow palettes. Below, CEO Destiny Jones, founder of Matic Cosmetics and scion of the legendary Queensbridge MC Nas, gives EBONY the lowdown on her makeup empire and what it takes for other aspiring entrepreneurs to conquer the beauty game.
EBONY: Tell us about your journey. What inspired your entrée into the world of beauty?
Destiny Jones: I've loved makeup since I was a little girl. When I was around 10, my mom got me a lipstick making kit and I used to make lipsticks for her and her friends. It gave me a lot of pride to see them wearing my lipsticks when they would go out. When I was around 19, I still had a huge love and passion for lip gloss. I always wore a lot of different brands and would mix them together because I didn’t always like the feeling and consistency. I decided to start my own organic lipgloss line, [Lipmatic] and branded it to incorporate New York, hip-hop and the culture that I grew up in.
Describe the brand ethos behind Matic and who the Matic consumer is.
DJ: Matic Cosmetics customers are what I would consider the "around the way girl.” Whether she is glamorous or more into streetwear fashion, she wears anything from high heels to Timberland [boots]. She cares about the health properties in her beauty products and [wants] a brand that represents her culture and style.
We love the names behind Matic’s various cosmetics shades. How do you come up with style names for your respective products?
DJ: The names for my cosmetic products are [inspired] by different elements of New York and reference songs and legendary artists in hip-hop. For example, Ex-Factor Lipshine is named after the iconic song by Ms. Lauryn Hill, and the Jamaica Ave. Jewel Lipgloss represents the part of Queens that I’m from.
What’s your creative process like?
DJ: My creative process is nonstop. I spend a lot of my day creating; from drawing to writing, everything around me inspires me. I like to start out by drawing all of the artwork for my products and packaging. I put together makeup looks in my head all throughout the day. It’s usually when I’m not thinking about anything that I will get a flash or a vision—maybe something from my past or a memory about New York—and that will inspire me to want to create a look and I take it from there.
What are some challenges that you've faced as a young entrepreneur? How have you overcome those obstacles?
DJ: I think the biggest challenge I've faced as a young entrepreneur is accepting that mistakes are a part of growth. I went in assuming that I was supposed to know everything and do everything right, but once I let go of that stress it was easy for me to ask others for advice and help when needed.
What did you learn from your dad about entrepreneurship?
DJ: My dad definitely taught me to focus on what I’m doing and not get distracted by anyone else. I have my own vision and my own road. He taught me to trust myself and be confident.
What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs based on your own journey as a businessowner?
DJ: I would tell other entrepreneurs to only pursue a business that they absolutely love—even if you had to do it for free and would never make a dime off of it you would do it anyway. There are definitely ups and downs in any business but your love for what you’re doing will always keep you motivated. As long as you don’t give up you will reach success.
What keeps you inspired?
DJ: I am inspired by the next generation of young Black women. It’s important to me to be a positive role model and put myself in a position where I’m able to give as many opportunities as possible to like-minded creative young Black women who have their own stories to tell.