Brianna Brass was always interested in beauty.
She was 7 when she began offering services, such as pedicures at a very reasonable price of only $3, to friends and family during Thanksgiving.
“When it was time to kind of put funny ironic childhood money-gaining skills into practice, skincare and aesthetics was that route I wanted to get into,” she said.
Now at 32, she’s the owner of Velvet Truth Esthetics, a solo woman-owned skincare and waxing service located at 7 W. Central in Pearl River.
The business was named after her mother, Velvet Boden, who passed away at 33 from lupus.
Growing up in a time when the internet was not as prevalent, Brass read everything she could about skincare from devouring the pages of “Seventeen Magazine” and “J-14.”
Launching her own business didn’t come easy though.
She worked odds and ends jobs from being a lifeguard, to doing door-to-door sales, to babysitting just to name a few.
A Maryland native, she lived in Syracuse before settling in the Big Apple to live with her aunt in her early 20s.
“It was a lovely opportunity to be in New York City in a pivotal time in my life where those opportunities are a little more prevalent than in an upstate situation,” she said.
It was here that she went to esthetician school, an education that specializes in skincare, at Aveda Institute to earn her New York State Esthetics license.
After graduating, she began working for major brands, such as Kiehl’s, at their flagship store, and VMV Hypoallergenics, where she honed and harvested her skills along with her previous work experiences.
“Working for big brands and seeing how things are run in every aspect of any business, I felt prepared after the pandemic to launch my own business because I saw the return investment in myself, what I’m capable to do, the skill set I have and what I’ve accomplished in every job from slinging pizza slices to slinging skincare in New York City,” she said.
In 2020, despite the pandemic, Brass persevered.
“I’d rather put all my money into working for myself than continue to work for someone else and I was willing to take the risk,” she said.
“I really do thank the community for taking me in and allowing my business to flourish,” she said. “It makes every single thing I’ve gone through or every single hardship, every single obstacle worth it.”
She shows her appreciation for the community by donating to causes such as We Fight A Girl, a group of women in Rockland County who fundraise for breast cancer awareness, as well as other local organizations.
Her goal for next year is to collaborate with a women’s shelter to provide services once a month to help women feel their best.
To learn more about Velvet Truth Esthetics, be sure to visit her Instagram page @velvettruthesthetics.