Small Business Owner Profile: C. Dawn

Tuesday, 04 January 2011 13:52 Written by  Tiffani Alexander

"After Affects is a creative line of natural skin care products dedicated to healthy skin care, but most importantly, moisturized protected skin."

cdCreated by C. Dawn, After Affects Natural Skin Care Solutions began when the mother noticed the dry skin of her family members. While her parents taught her the importance of hydrating the skin with water, the soaps and lotions that she was using on her family’s dry skin were just not cutting it. Eventually, she discovered all natural products, which did the trick for a while, but did not provide lasting results. The solution: to make her own skin care products. Here, C. Dawn tells GlossMagazineOnline (GMO) about her journey and the creation of her company, After Affects Natural Skin Care Solutions.

GMO: What made you decide to start this product line?

C. Dawn: The males in my family have really dry skin, but it really kicked off with my youngest son. I started noticing that his knees and his feet had an alligator feel to them, and I thought it was kind of strange for a baby to have that texture to his skin. So we started looking for lotions that would help and took him to the doctor, who suggested Aveeno. I tried a lotion that was geared toward baby skin and it seemed like it was doing something, but within half a day, I would notice that his skin was looking ashy again.

C. Dawn continued to test out different products on her family members and became frustrated with the results. She couldn’t seem to keep her son’s skin moist, she even tried Cocoa Butter, which didn’t work, and stopped using baby oil after she researched what was in it online––mineral oil.

GMO: So what did you do?

C. Dawn: I ended up going online and researching blogs, etc., to find out what creams other people with similar skin issues were using that may help. For the most part, I didn’t find anything, but I came across this one company, and most of their stuff was natural and so I decided to try a couple of their lotions. I could see the changes in my son’s skin, and we used that brand for about six months. But after a while, I started to notice that the baby’s skin wasn’t taking to the lotion anymore, and I couldn’t figure out why.

GMO: Frustrating! What did you do then?

C. Dawn: At a point it was like, okay, instead of shelling out all this money, maybe I can make my own concoction. That’s when I got into looking at the natural products and at the ingredients that where used in them. I went online to look at vendors who sold shea and jojoba oils, and then as I continued researching the oils, I found out about other oils that were not in the brands I was using and decided to try those. I got them in the mail and then just started playing with them and seeing what combinations worked on his skin and since none of them clogged the pores, I knew this was good for him. I came up with an oil form and I tried that on him [my son] for about three weeks and his skin was getting back to the way it was when I started using the first natural product. Then I started to notice that I didn’t have to use it as often.

After the success with her son’s skin, C. Dawn started sharing her products with other family members and friends. They worked wonders on her mom’s problem areas and her friend in Michigan actually replaced the creams subscribed by her doctor with C. Dawn’s creations.

GMO: What was your process like?

C. Dawn: The thing was, I didn’t want a solid cream; I wanted something lighter. I started thinking about the cooking I do, when I make frosting, and decided to try to make a frosting cream. I started whipping it by hand but that got tiring and I moved on to the hand blender and I got it to a consistency where it would melt on your hand. I started using it on myself, just a little bit, and it lasted. I didn’t use water.

GMO: What made you decide to sell the products you made at home?

C. Dawn: People started telling me how much they liked the products and how it sank into their skin. My girlfriend was like “Girl, you need to market this!” My fiancé’s mom told me I had a customer for life.

The budding businaaess owner knew she was onto something with products that were causing quite a positive stir. However, she wanted to do more than sell lotions and creams; she wanted educate people on what is in the commercial products that people use every day. “People don’t know that mineral oil is in their skin cream,” she said. “This stuff is found in oilrigs: Is this what we really want on our skin? It’s that quiet secret that no one really knows about. Petroleum doesn't sink into the skin; it just sits on top of it.”

GMO: Your background: Do you have any experience with creating lotions, soaps, etc? Dermatology?

C. Dawn: No. I did a few months of research before to see if I could create the products on my own, and from there it was just trail and error: Trying out different formulas, what I call recipes because they made me think of food for the skin because a lot of the oils [I use] contain regenerating properties for the skin. I also learned about petroleum and mineral oil and how they add to the aging process.

GMO: How long have you been in business and how are things going?

C.Dawn: Five months.

GMO: Where can the After Affects product line be found?

C.Dawn: We have a Facebook page: and the website:, which is currently being built.

GMO: What is your favorite product from the line? What product is a fan fave?

C.Dawn: The body butter. I’m still in the process of informing people about exfoliating in order for the skin to receive the moisturizing products.

GMO: I have combination skin, both dry and prone to breakouts, what would you recommend for me?

C.Dawn: The face smoothie with jojoba beads in it. You cleanse your face first and then you use the product and it opens up the pores.

GMO: What products do you offer currently, and what products will you be unveiling soon?

C.Dawn: We have the Body Butter, Face Butter, Body Smoothie, Foot Smoothie and Body Serum. I’m currently making natural soaps, and I am looking to introduce those next year.

GMO: Do you have plans to expand the line?

C.Dawn: I actually did a prototype of shampoo that we are using in the house right now. They like it, you don’t have to use as much and it’s not as thick as the commercial brand, but it lathers just like it. I’m looking to do a baby line and something for young folks––do some fun scents for them. I’m also trying to see if I can do a body wash.

GMO: What has been your biggest challenge, and what advice do you have for other woman who have an idea and want to start a small business?

C.Dawn: The biggest challenge is really just getting the information out there to folks and kind of opening their minds because we have become so conditioned to believe in one way where products are concerned.

I was blessed. My fiancé has his own business, and I had my parents’ backing––that was my saving grace. Those who have that fire burning, any obstacles, if you have a support system, you really can move forward. If it’s something that you’re really passionate about, do what you need to do.

Tiffani Alexander

Tiffani Alexander

Publisher and Editor in Chief of (GMO), Tiffani Alexander came to Chicago in the fall of 2004 to pursue her Master's degree in Arts, Entertainment & Media Management at Columbia College Chicago. Tiffani earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the University of
 Maryland, College Park. She has worked for both Cygnus Business Media and Maher Publishing before embarking on her dream to start her own magazine. In addition to publishing GMO bi-monthly, Tiffani freelances and works as an editor on a legal journal in Washington, DC.


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