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The beauty of belief Patricia Douglas spreading her wings beyond Arnett Gardens


Access Financial Services (AFS) Marketing Assistant Leecraft Barnes (right) is enthralled by the mastery of chief beautician and owner of Epitome Beauty Care, Patricia Douglas (left), as she expertly applies make-up to a client with dramatic effect. Douglas was one of two AFS customers who got to share booth space to showcase their small businesses at Expo Jamaica 2023. Douglas’ make-up chair was a hit at the four-day event which saw more than 20,000 patrons passing through the National Arena and Indoor Sports Centre.



If anyone had told Patricia Douglas as a youngster that she would be in the beauty business, and loving it as well, she would have rubbished the prediction. Determined not to follow in her mother’s footsteps, Patricia had her heart set on going to catering school and pursuing a profession in the culinary arts. But after completing a local course and realising the programme was not accredited, the enterprising young woman took advice and decided to use skills she already had.


“I’m not gonna lie, I was disappointed. But at the same time, I didn’t have any more time or money to waste. So, I started doing nails which was something my mother had taught me to do from I was in high school. I was already doing my own nails and my aunty said, ‘why don’t you do other people’s nails because you’re good at it’. And that’s how it started,” Douglas recalled.


Declaring that she always believed in herself, the Charlie Smith Comprehensive High School past student shared how she enrolled at the HEART Trust NSTA to get certified and happily discovered the fascinating world of cosmetology. Fully immersing herself in the curriculum, she mastered make-up artistry, body massage, waxing and piercings. However, upon finishing the programme, she was presented with another hurdle.


“I wanted to establish a shop and I had the space at my father’s house for the salon, but I didn’t have enough money to buy supplies and everything I needed. Luckily, I heard about Access Financial Services, and they were able to lend me the money. I started small and repaid the loan, then went back again and again, until I reach where I am today,” she asserted.


CENTRALISED LOCATION 

For the last six years, Douglas has been the chief beautician and boss lady at Epitome Beauty Care, based in Arnett Gardens where she was born and raised. Her skills have helped her build a solid reputation while her business savvy has opened up new opportunities.


“The people from Access Financial called me earlier this year to invite me to be part of their booth at Expo Jamaica. That was awesome. The experience was great. I felt like I was on top of the world being in that space, meeting different kinds of people. I got a few new clients but several of them were not really eager to come to the shop in Arnett Gardens. So, I decided it was time to branch out,” explained Douglas, noting that she has already secured new shop space in Cross Roads to accommodate clients who prefer a more centralised location. “Access actually gave me that push. They printed brochures and cards for me, and I’ve been using them to attract more customers,” added Douglas.


Since the expo, this enterprising go-getter created another stream of income by transforming a section of her mother’s house into a grocery shop and haberdashery. The 40-year-old mother of three isn’t about to slow down either. Among her many goals is the expansion of a partnership with the HEART Trust NSTA to train students.


“The last batch of trainees was about 15 students who came to do their practicum. They came in small groups so we could accommodate them. My vision is to teach the next generation of make-up artists and nail technicians. This is my thing. Knowledge is for everyone and skill is power. I can go anywhere in the world and make a living with my skill set. I want every young woman to be empowered. My kids’ fathers were always there to support but I never waited on them. I’ve always been independent and determined to create my own path,” said Douglas.


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