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    A selection of iEyeCandy beauty products, including two pairs of false eyelashes and an "edge tamer" for natural hair. Photo by Alyson Dean/Echo Staff photographer.

NCCU beauty entrepreneur keeps her eye(lashes) on the prize

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Being a college student doesn’t mean you have to give up your dreams — psychology junior and iEyeCandy brand owner Robin Mapp can tell you that firsthand.

“I always wanted to own my own business and I chose [the beauty industry] because I like to be dolled up,” Mapp said of her motivation to create iEyeCandy last year. “I know other women do too, so I do it to make them feel like a ’10’ when using my products.”

The brand currently offers affordable and stylish mink eyelashes, lip glosses and hair bundles with plans to expand into skincare.

Of course, being a full-time N.C. Central University student and self-made entrepreneur isn’t easy.

“It’s so rough,” Mapp said of the school-work balance. “Between doing homework, preparing orders or promoting a sale, it can really be a hassle at times.”

To deal with it all, she writes out her problems and converts those negative issues into positive plans.

“I’ve wanted to quit so many times, but that’s not me or my character,” said Mapp, “so I can’t.”

That perseverance has earned iEyeCandy roughly 800 followers on Instagram now over the past year, but getting that many eyes on the business was an entirely different set of problems, especially as she considers “genuine, unconditional support” to be the most important feature of a clientele base.

Robin still remembers when she felt that support for the first time and knew her business could actually be sustainable.

“The most touching memory of my business definitely has to be when I almost sold out of eyelashes during my first pop-up shop,” Mapp said with a smile. “I actually cried.”

It’s not surprising: iEyeCandy’s packaging is gorgeous with glitter-covered boxes surrounding a clear panel to show off the lashes within.

Outside of selling them, Robin knows the technical specs behind false eyelashes as a certified extension specialist. That certification and iEyeCandy are the first big steps she’s taken to reach her goal of making this online business a brick-and-mortar store after graduation.

“In about 2 or 3 years, I plan to have my own suite with other lash techs, makeup artists and hairdressers,” she said.

View the current selection of iEyeCandy products online here.

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