Cherlyn M. Carby was born and raised in Queens, NY by her parents who are natives of Jamaica. Cherlyn has a combined 20 years of experience in the Legal and Finance Industry. Her passion for Entrepreneurship led her to start her first business Lush Party Event Rental, which she operates out of New York City. Her second business venture Skylar J’s LushUs Kids is a natural hair care line formulated for children. Cherlyn is passionate about serving others and since 2018, she has volunteered at Restore NYC as a Mentor in the Entrepreneurship Lab Mentoring Program in partnership with New York University, dedicated and committed to the wellbeing of sex trafficking survivors. Cherlyn currently holds a B.S. in Finance from Gardner-Webb University and an M.A. in Organizational Leadership and Management from Liberty University. Cherlyn is now in pursuit of her PhD. in Public Policy at Walden University. Cherlyn is a mother of two beautiful children, Christian and Ryan Skylar, and currently resides in Virginia.
What is your connection to Jamaica?
My parents are natives of Jamaica. My Mom is from Mandeville, Manchester and my Father is from Red Hills, St. Andrew
Are you a business person or entrepreneur or both?
At heart, I am an Entrepreneur. When my father migrated to the United States he started his own distribution business. He would run the business during the daytime but at nights and on weekends he was a musician. I believe my exposure to his work ethic and hustle developed an overwhelming desire to one day have my own business and work for myself.
What was your profession before you started your kids hair care business?
I worked as an Analyst for an Investment Consulting Firm in New York City for nine years and prior to that, I was a Paralegal for ten years at one of New York’s Elite Top Law Firms.
Who or what motivated you to go into business?
My motivation came from the Most High and my passion for LushUs Kids is rooted in a deep desire to set up generational wealth for my children and their children. The intent is for LushUs Kids to become a household brand that will outlive many generations to come.
As a working mom, I struggled with finding kid-friendly products that were gentle on my daughter Ryan Skylar’s hair. I was overwhelmed and exhausted from buying the adult version of natural hair products because there weren’t many options for children. I decided to create my own product line which would offer other working moms the option of selecting a brand formulated for children that included natural and organic ingredients. Within six months I was able to create a product line and bring LushUs Kids to the marketplace in July 2021.
Did you face any challenges in mobilizing your capital?
Absolutely! Sharing your business idea with people is one thing, but having them believe in it enough to help fund your idea at an infant stage was a great mountain to climb. I had to work two full-time jobs for eight months while running my Party Rental business and attending school just to bring LushUS kids to the marketplace. At times it was intense but the results made it all worth it.
Tell us about your business?
Skylar J’s LushUs Kids is a natural and plant-based hair care line formulated for children. Our products are safe to use from young children up to mature. The ingredients were intentionally selected to aid in the problem of dry and brittle hair that plagues many natural textured hair children. Jackfruit, Sea (Irish) Moss, Mango, and Castor Oil are just some of the ingredients we use in our formulas to help hydrate and moisturize children’s hair. We currently have a line of seven products in our Tropical LushUs Collection. All of which work together to keep hair healthy.
Many businesses have a moment they call their “big three breaks”, whether it be a news story, a big contract etc. Have you or your business had that “big break” yet?
Celebrating a successful on-line launch in July 2021 was one of my biggest breaks. LushUs Kids was also received recognition with “Black Women-Owned” an organization that helps give exposure to Black Women-Owned businesses and helps them increase their annual revenue. Lastly, Investing in the Curate360 platform, which is an Incubator that helps my brand become retail-ready.
Currently what is your biggest business challenge?
My biggest business challenge is transitioning from making products at home to solidifying a Manufacturing Contract. The second business challenge is attracting a more global audience with my products. According to Forbes, statistically black female entrepreneurs launch businesses at a higher rate than white men, however, many are not able to run mature businesses due to dropout rates caused by obstacles accessing capital.
Other than the money what types of satisfaction do you get out of your work?
I love to see other people using my products and am satisfied with the results. For me, there is such great satisfaction in that as it is like fuel that drives me to push even further within the business.
What motivates you on a day-to-day basis?
My faith in the Most High.
How do you motivate people that aren’t close to you and enable them to see your vision?
Transparency goes a far way in business and I believe sharing my story of how LushUs Kids came into existence helps other people see my vision. I used to be an impulse shopper and product junkie buying products and putting them in my daughter’s hair. Making purchases based on how the package looked and not paying attention to the ingredients. Doing it this way was not helpful in caring for my daughter’s hair so I made the change to focus on growing her hair in a more healthy way, which meant doing my research on ingredients that would help provide a solution to her hair problem.
How do you remind yourself of what’s important?
There are times when I sit back and reflect on what’s happening in the current season of my life. During those moments I go back to my Journal and review my priorities and goals.
What time do you wake up and do you have a routine?
I start my day between 4:30 am and 5:00 am most times without an alarm. Once I’m up, I will have a morning devotion and then get ready for my day.
Do you have any hobbies?
Yes, I love the outdoors and learning history. In my spare time, I am visiting museums and landmarks with my children.
If the economy crashed hard and there was no more room for you in the business sector, what would you do with yourself?
While the entrepreneur within me is always looking for a new opportunity, I would also focus on my other business, Lush Party Event Rental.
Seven days, six nights, all-expense paid, my vacation destination Is…
Definitely, Maldives and I may not come back.
My favorite guilty pleasure is…
Warm Dutch Apple Pie with Vanilla Ice Cream