Every beginning has a story...
If someone told me a few years ago that I would start a business I don't know if I would've believed them. I've always had ambitious goals, some lofty and others totally achievable; however, launching a whole brand was never one of them.
In short, this came about as a way of filling my own need as well as those of other makeup wearers and users. I couldn't find the caps to my pencils and looking back now, I'm not sure what I did to get by other than going out and buying a new pencil at times - especially the ones with sharpeners, those were like gold!
I've soiled many a makeup bag along with fingers, and my favorite white pants, a casualty of a capless pencil rolling around on my driver's seat. I'm sure you can relate, I feel your pain.
There was a catalyst beyond that though that prompted me to launch because of a sense of urgency. In October 2019, a month before we opened, my son Marcus who was an eight year cancer survivor diagnosed at age 5, was given 6-12 months to live without a heart and lung transplant.
We'd received so much devastating news over the years but by the miraculous hand of God and excellent medical teams aiding in his treatment, Marcus always managed to pull through even the scariest of times. He was a survivor and so was I.
After a violent physical attack just 3 years before his Leukemia diagnosis, I was able to escape from an abusive relationship. A year later my mother was diagnosed with mixed Alzheimer's & Dementia and I helped care for her after Marcus was in remission for some time.
That lingering fear of the unknown with Marcus however, prompted me to step out on faith and launch Captivate It in hopes that if Marcus did not make it, he would at least be a part of its humble beginnings. He, Courtney, and Kristen (my two daughters) were my cheerleaders, sorters, packers, you name it. We worked as a team and I included them in every step of the process.
I even snapped a shot of Marcus helping me stuff bags at the Hollibabe Wonderland Event Dec 2019 which is featured in the "Our beginnings" slideshow on our homepage. After a long day of medical appointments he assisted me at a booth I was operating during a holiday event. I'll never forget that day.
Fast forward, I had to put the business on hold due to a progression of Marcus' advanced lung disease and congestive heart failure, as well as the advent of Covid-19.
A few short months later, Marcus earned his wings on July 29, 2020 at the age of 13 1/2. We'd just moved across the country in hopes that he would qualify for the heart and lung transplant but he didn't make it.
He was happy and always encouraged me when I would talk of restarting the business and I promised him that once we got settled we would.
So here I am today, keeping the promise I made to my baby while showing my girls how to endure and survive some of the toughest of life's storms with patience, strength, and tenacity.
As a single mom receiving public assistance, I knew I had to find a way out and demonstrate that to others.
I'm not a corporate face, I'm a mommy of 3 - one in Heaven - with a dream and a little bit of courage. My hope is to demonstrate to other domestic violence survivors that they can in fact find their voice and identity again. After Marcus passed, I'd lost my hope; but I can truthfully say that as of now, I am rediscovering my purpose and calling.
I want to give back. In fact, I have to. That is the heart of Captivate It's mission because it's at the forefront of my heart.
I know the fear of contemplating leaving an abusive relationship. I know the worry of making ends meet because I chose to stay by my son's bedside instead of work so that I could be an active participant in his treatment and provide him the motherly comfort that he needed to get through those horrific days.
Given that I know the needs, my goal now is to put myself in a position to fill them and allow others to partner with me in the journey. Captivate It is a vehicle for me to do this. Through tears I write this and through tears I will rise. God's grace is sufficient for me.
In Marcus' honor I am launching a foundation to help meet the tangible needs of families who are enduring the fight with cancer. It was in my heart before Marcus passed and I will not let it go until it comes to pass.
Thank you for joining the Captivate It family and for deciding to help do your part by shopping with us. Make a purchase. Save a life. Captivate moments. Captivate opportunities. Captivate your beauty, after all, it's yours!
Do you believe in being a champion for a cause? Well now more than ever, small businesses are in much need of your valued and continued support. Captivate It was founded by Antoinette Smith, mom of three.