We had the good fortune of connecting with CaSandra Cantue and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi CaSandra, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When I was in the brainstorming phase of my business, I looked at the product as a resolution. I asked myself, “If there was one product I could change in my makeup kit what would it be?”. Of course, I had a few items on my list. I wrote down notes on my least preferable items and what I would do differently. Following that, I performed a financial analysis on my items to see which would be the best product to start with and went from there.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a full-time Contract Specialist for an engineering/construction company. I have been in the procurement profession for two years. After graduating from Texas Southern University in Spring 2017, I returned to my hometown, Beaumont, TX to care for my mother and to set up her care plans. Life took a twist in August and what I thought would be a six-month return stretched to eighteen months.
At the time my collegiate specialty was in forensic science which was not the easiest field to get into without experience, so my first job was in retail. I had hopes of working in the cosmetics department but was placed in accessories. Every day I applied my makeup as if I was at a beauty counter, slowly getting the attention of workers. I put in my two weeks’ notice to my job and attempted to move back to Houston in May 2018, that failed. I applied to our local MAC counter and got the job. I watched amazing artists work and enhanced my skills until I had an opportunity to move back to Houston. In January 2019 I received my first job offer in Houston, TX, and was able to transfer to the MAC Pearland location. Once settled, I freelanced on my own time to build my clientele, and the rest is history. I rebranded my MUA business in March 2020 with a logo and service site. From there I began to brainstorm on my first beauty product. October 1, 2021, I released the Her Canvas by Cantue beauty blender. November 2021 my product became available in its first storefront in Well You Studio located inside of Salon Meyerland.
Resiliency. I am where I am today because I never gave up no matter what life threw at me. That decision did not come without sacrifice, there are times I wish I could have more personal time but I have to work to keep the business going.
One lesson I learned is to stay hungry! Success is not obtained by complacency. Keep working towards that next level, it’s in arm’s reach if you keep striving for it.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite topic! I am a foodie, really a taco connoisseur lol. El Borreqo Taqueria in southeast Houston is my all-time favorite! We would start with a Friday night lineup at Olive and Twist then make our way to Grooves of Houston or Ador. Start Saturday morning with a hot yoga class at Black Swan on Kirby. Of course the most important meal of the day. Brunch! Taste Bar and Kitchen, Snooze’s, Tony Mandola’s (when they were open), Grace’s, On the Kirb, Lost and Found, Max Wine and Dive, Seaside, Chapman & Kirby or Address, any of those locations would suffice. I would take them site seeing to of course see the campus of my alma mater, uptown to the Galleria area, rice village, and the graffiti sites. Hopefully, catch a pop-up shop, and tour the museum district. For after-hours fun we could hit Cider cade or bar hop Midtown, have to grab a hot dog from Yoyo’s! Late-night depending on the vibes, I would recommend Seaside, Local Seat, Cru, Atomic Bottle, Nomad, Address, Ador, or Prospect Park.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to shout out my cousin, Natasha Colbert, owner of Kay Elaine’s Beauty Bar in Baytown, TX. She started her own thriving beauty business and helped me to start one of my own. My friend, Diamond Small, owner of Diamond Elizabeth handbags, was a guiding voice during my planning process as she went through the same process as me. I would also like to thank the below business owners for their contributions:
Olivia Madison-Logo Design
CreaSeans by Isean- Custom Product Prints
Trill Reality Studios- Photo Event Space
Damion Oliver- Creative Director
Loondon Graphiz/Photography- Prints
Well You Studio- Store
1927x Productions SeanK. Photography Trill Reality Studio