Updated: Mar 2, 2022
"We had the good fortune of connecting with La’Toya Manuel- Durham and we’ve shared our conversation below." Interviewed / Blog by SHOUTOUT ATLANTA
Hi La’Toya, what is the most important factor behind your success?
"The most important factor behind my success/ the success of my brand is to live the rest of my life fulfilling the purpose that God created me to fullfil, and to help women see just how beautiful they are, by enhacing their natural beauty.
Often times we live our lives without discovering what we were created to do. I lived years with a talent of artistry in beauty, unsure of what I was to do with it. I was living a life just beyond the surface of what I was capable of becoming. It wasn’t until I realized that there was so much more to me than just talent. There was a gift, a gift freely given to me that was meant not just for me, but to shared with a multitude of women just like me. Now I just needed to find out how I would share that gift.
I was good at doing make up, hair, nails, lashes. If you could name it, I probably could do it. Years ago I had a dream that I would be a business owner, In that dream I saw the name of the business, I saw success, and I was excited. At the time I was in beauty school, and went on to become General Manager at Ulta Beauty. I loved my job, but I knew there was so much more in store for me. While working at Ulta, I came in contact with many beautiful women struggling with being confident in who they were. As women we often struggle with trying to be the image of beauty that society has deemed a woman should be, instead of embracing the natural God given beauty that we already possess.
The most important factor behind my success, and the success of my brand is to share my gift with every woman that I encounter, to remind them that they are beautiful. and they are fearfully and wonderfully made. Seeing my clients walk a way with a boost of convidence makes my heart happy, It fullfills me, and it also assures me that I am walking in my purpose." Interview conducted by SHOUTOUT ATLANTA
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
"Vertueux Lash Studio is more than just a space where women can come to get their lashes done. I specialize in lash care and lash health. What sets me apart from other lash studios is my commitment to making sure my clients understand that having healthy lashes is just as important as having and maintaining beautiful lash extensions.
I am most proud of how far my business has grown in just a years time. I am proud of myself for believing in myself, and going for what I believed would become a thriving business. I am excited about my vision and future growth of Vertueux Lash Studio, and how it will continue to create a culture of natural beauty for todays woman.
I began my journey in the beauty industry in 2010 after finishing beauty school. After graduation, I became General Manager at Ulta Beauty where I remained for 7 years. Working at Ulta allowed an opportunity to learn about beauty products, trends and influencers. It also opened my eyes to how fast the beauty industry was thriving. There were so many components connected to the beauty industry, skin care, hair care, fragrance, along with many others, and from those trends new cosmetic movements were being produced. I was fascinated with all that I was learning and took this opportunity to secure all the tools available that would later develop my brand.
Getting where I am today was not easy. It has come with some wins as well as some losses. To overcome challenges I had to master how to be confident in my gift, and understand that my work was an art. Two artists can look at the same image, and paint a different picture; still there is beauty in each picture.
The biggest lesson learned in this process is to never compare my journey to that of another. I had to learn that my road map to success will be different than another, but that did not mean success was not my destination.
What I want people in the world to know about me and my brand is that I am a woman who had a dream, a woman that had a vision and stepped out on faith to make it happen. I had the potential, all it took was a little faith and support. I am a woman now living the beginning of my success story, and I want her to be inspired to do the same. My brand is a testimony that every woman is all things Virtuous: praiseworthy, honorable. angelic, immaculate noble, pure, and admirable." Interview conducted by SHOUTOUT ATLANTA
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
"There are so many people that supported me, and believed in my business endeavors, however none of this would be possible without my amazing husband. This shout out goes out to Mr. Benod Durham, who supported me mentally, spiritually, and financially while starting my business.
When I started my business, my husband and I had just relocated from Wilmington Delaware to Atlanta in the middle of the pandemic. My job had no opened positions and there was no way I could transfer. To be honest, although I was working in a field that I was passionate about, I was burnt out from working sales/ retail management. I reluctantly shared these feelings with Benod, unsure of what his response would be. To my surprise his response, “what do you want to do?” I’d already been certified as a Lash Technician, but was not able to fully perfect my craft because of the high demand of work.
Starting a business is not easy. There were times when I wanted to give up, and weeks where I may have made just enough profit to purchase materials to work through the following week. My husband continued to support me, motivate me. I am blessed to have him in my corner as my motivator and biggest cheerleader!
Thanks babe!!!" Interview conducted by SHOUTOUT ATLANTA
Blog Credits SHOUTOUT ATLANTA
Image credits Reaux Woods Photography Vertueux Lash Studio