Schenika Quattlebaum is the founder of Natalia Me’Gan Hair And Beauty. But before she became the CEO of her own beauty company, she was healing from an abusive relationship after failed attempts at suicide. Schenika turned her pain into her passion and embarked on an entrepreneurial journey to launch her own cruelty-free beauty collection.
Launched in 2018, Natalia Me’Gan Hair And Beauty has been used by celebrities like Mariah Carey, Jennifer Hudson, Shoshana Bean, Meg Thee Stallion, Naturi Naughton, KJ Smith and Reginae Carter. Following that success, the collection became available on Walmart.com.
We caught up with Schenika, who was recently recognized for the She Is Monumental award by PRAISE 104.1 FM, Majic 102.3/92.7 and URBANONE at the “She Is” Empowerment Summit during Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Here’s what she had to say about using her platform and story to encourage other women through beauty.
HelloBeautiful: What empowered you to leave your abuser?
Schenika Quattlebaum: I called my children one day and told them that even if I am not on earth, ‘I will always be with them.’ I will always love them and will be their guardian angel. Hearing their response and how worried they were, something clicked in me, and I knew I had to fight my way out. At this point, I had tried to commit suicide three times, and each time was a failure. So I knew then I had a bigger purpose
HB: What was the biggest lesson you learned from that relationship about yourself?
SQ: One of my biggest takeaways is what didn’t kill me made me stronger. The cards have always been stacked against me in life. But through it all, I came out on top. I remember hearing I’d never be anything, no one else would ever want me, how ‘ugly’ I was, how I’d never amount to anything. You know when you start hearing this daily you start to believe it.
I lost myself while in that relationship. I felt as if I needed him as if without him, I couldn’t live. WRONG!!! Part of my healing process was learning who Schenika really is. Was learning not to constantly blame me it had nothing to do with me it was him: his insecurities, his actions, and his choices.
HB: How did surviving that relationship lead you to the business owner you are today?
SQ: I always had a love for makeup. Even as I child, I would play in my mom’s Fashion Fair. It wasn’t until I became an adult that wearing makeup took on another meaning for me. I literally could not leave my house without makeup. I needed it to cover my black eyes and bruising on my face and neck. I remember hearing people say, ‘Why are you wearing makeup you’re too pretty to wear makeup?’ I said then I want to create my own cosmetic line to enhance our beauty. We all see imperfections in ourselves. At the end of the day, we are all beautiful makeup is just a beauty enhancer.
HB: Tell me about your cosmetics line and the products/ services you offer:
SQ: Currently, we offer: lipsticks, lipgloss, matte liquid lips, various eyeshadow palettes, duo highlight and contour sticks, 8 color blush palettes, mascara, and over 30 different styles of mink eyelashes.
HB: Tell me about your products being available on Walmart.com.
SQ: OMG! We secured Walmart during covid in April of 2021. It was a work in progress that started in 2020 we were on lockdown due to covid. Even now, it’s so surreal to go to their site and see my brand.
HB: It’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month. What do you hope other victims and survivors take from your story?
SQ: I pray my story motivates them and let them see that no matter what you’ve been through you can still come out on top better than you’ve ever been. I want people to know they are not alone, it’s not their fault, and it’s so much more life for them to live.
HB: Why is it important to you to use your voice on this issue?
SQ: I never intended to tell my story. I was so embarrassed and didn’t want the judgment of others. But I remember my prayer was for me to walk into the life God had planned for me, not the one I planned for myself, and the floodgates opened. I clearly saw my purpose, and it is bigger than owning a cosmetic brand. My purpose is to share not only the brand but the story behind creating it. I pray my story helps anyone who is currently or has been in a domestic violence relationship.
HB: What was it like winning the She Is Monumental award?
SQ: It was like a dream come true. Me the underdog, the one who was counted out in life, the one who didn’t know her own worth, the one who was brutally beaten at least 4 times a week, the one who tried to commit suicide three times for me to be chosen for this honor it is truly mind-boggling. I find myself still just going into my home office and staring at the award like wow, you are Monumental. It is such an honor that I do not take lightly. In looking back over my life and all I’ve had to come and being honored with this award, all I can say is thank you, God, and stay tuned I still have a lot of work to do and a lot of people to help.
Shop Natalia Me’Gan Hair And Beauty here.
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