We had the good fortune of connecting with Ava Rodriguez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ava, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Oh gosh, where do I start? I’ve had the dream of starting my own business since I was in high school, I just wasn’t sure what that business would be. I’ve had a couple of other entrepreneurial ventures before starting Hunney Cosmetics – a children’s boutique and a handmade bow shop. I quickly realized I was not passionate about either of them though! Hunney Cosmetics originally started as a retail beauty brand with a few wholesale orders here and there… but through those wholesale orders I found a true spark of joy and excitement. I found what I was most passionate about, helping fellow beauty entrepreneurs make their mark in the beauty industry by supplying them with quality skincare and cosmetic products. After just a few months, I rebranded as a wholesale and private label cosmetic company and it became my new mission to create an avenue that would help others succeed. I know the struggle of having limited time as a business owner and the challenge of finding a trusted vendor that also doesn’t break the bank. It was important to me to model my business around the challenges beauty entrepreneurs face when entering the beauty industry on a small scale with limited resources.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Hunney Cosmetics provides wholesale and private label products to entrepreneurs in the beauty industry. We carry a variety of skincare items such as facial and body oils, beard oils, moisturizers, and even pigmented lipgloss formulated with mango butter as our special skin-loving ingredient. It makes it easier for busy entrepreneurs to start their beauty line or expand an already existing one without having to formulate themselves! Our wholesale products can be used as is when received but also offer enough flexibility to be customized by our customers by adding fragrance, flavoring oil, or even skin safe colorant, depending on the product. With our private label product options, customers are able to save time(and money!) by taking advantage of having label-ready products mailed to them. All they have to do is add their label and they’re ready to start selling! We take pride in providing consistent, high-quality products that serve a purpose for our customers. The overwhelming positive feedback my business has received by customers that have used our products to start their business, has been humbling and inspiring every step of the way.
Starting a wholesale/private label business has definitely had it’s challenges because you always have to be prepared for larger orders. This means always having lots of inventory and packaging on hand, as well as having a large workspace. I am also working directly with business owners who are trying stock their shelves in a timely manner, staying on schedule and making sure I have all the needed supplies takes a ton of coordinating and planning. I’m definitely learning the importance of discipline and organization through this journey.
Overall, this journey has been a huge opportunity and I am so grateful that I have chosen this path in life. It’s amazing working with other beauty entrepreneurs and also seeing their growth! It’s so rewarding watching others succeed and knowing that I was able to help them somewhere along the way. I couldn’t imagine my career any other way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Wow, this would be such a fun time! There are so many places I still have yet to explore myself. As a lover of thrift shopping, I would plan a day for us to go to as many thrift shops and vintage shops as possible! We’d visit a few in Montrose like Pavement and Leopard lounge, and of course stop to take some instagram worthy pictures in front of the art murals nearby. Then we’d head to brunch at The Breakfast Klub for some amazing chicken and waffles, so good. The next day we would visit The Museum of Fine Arts and maybe even drop by The Museum of Natural Science to visit the butterfly exhibit. Towards the end of the week we’d of course go to an Astros game and drink overpriced margaritas while share a huge bucket of popcorn. And lastly, we would picnic and take pictures at the Gerald D. Hines Waterwall park.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Starting a business at a young age has not been easy, especially while attending college full-time with a toddler. I have to give thanks to my wonderfully supportive mother, Gina, who initially sparked my desire to become an entrepreneur. She is the owner of our local family business, La Colmena Mexican Candy. Seeing her hard work and having the honor of working along side her during my teen years gave me the confidence to begin my own journey. We have faced many challenges together over the years, and her support has been essential in my life. Lastly, my 3 year old daughter, Aleida Arielle, has completely changed me into the person I am today. I am so grateful for her unconditional love and support of me, even at such a young age she is so encouraging and yells, “Go mama, go mama!” when she sees all of my business orders packaged up.