Meet Conesha Spillman, the maker behind Coneshe's Skin, and native of Long Beach, California. Before launching her skincare line, Conehsa worked as a CNA and Medical Assistant before sustaining an injury.
Conesha believes that what you put on the outside also effects the inside, she wants you to feel as unique as the skin you’re in.
"Because we are more than just soap; we are a movement."
Read full interview below.
How’d you get your start? What inspired you to start your creative enterprise?
I started making lotion bars and oatmeal soap out of my kitchen in a two story apartment building when I became frustrated by the costs of commercial products. I started reading up on natural oils and things to apply to my skin. I never was big on natural or organic products until I saw from my own recipes that they do work for eczema and other skin conditions. (My son and I both suffer from eczema) I watched tutorials on how to make lotion bars and soap making for 3 months because I was told I was out of my league for trying to attempt this. Well, thank you for the negativity that I was able to turn into positivity. My Taurus bull horns were up. I made my first batch of lotion bars and was amazed at how my and my son’s skin started to glow again and how deeply moisturized and conditioned our skin became.
Then I started making hot processed soap and baby, let me tell you! I started giving it to my family and friends and to my surprise they asked for more! Coneshe’s Skin was born! When I started soaping I imagined what I would like to buy and what herbs and oils do what on your skin. Then I had to try many, many recipes before I found one that was a hit.
I love beautiful things so that’s what you see in my work. I started selling at Long Beach farmers markets. I took a leap of faith while my family wasn’t understanding why a woman who had worked over 15 yrs in the medical field would trade that in to work at a farmers market. I believed in myself and regardless of the gossip I stuck to it. Those same people watch me as I laugh all the way to the bank now. Never let anyone tell you what you can’t do. Focus on your goals.
"I love beautiful things so that’s what you see in my work."
What gets your creative juices flowing? Has rejection ever affected your creative process?I always create what’s in my heart and soul when I’m making soap, not what I see others do. It may resemble others but Coneshe’s Skin is truly from the heart and soul. My goal for my enterprise is and always will be to see people happy and their skin healthy and beautiful all over the world. That’s it. I have been rejected and at first I was like, okay. Then I started to see some of those other soap companies in stores like Whole Foods and Lazy Acres and I learned it wasn’t because they had fantastic products it was more of a “who you know so you’re in'' type of situation. From then on I never paid them any attention but they all watch me now. I have given them all ideas.
Starting a creative enterprise is hard, what advice would you give to those with similar aspirations?
I would tell anybody: don’t listen, just keep moving forward. Your greatness will come one day and it won’t be because of who you know. You want your success to be real EARN IT. Don’t cry every time someone says “no”. It may be for a reason.
The manager at MADE, Heather Kern, helped make my brand. I was so nervous to meet her. I told my cousin visiting from Chicago, you’re coming with me! I met this tall, beautiful, redhead. She gave me a chance at MADE. I had to come and introduce my products. I did pop-up shops and when it was time I got my products in the store. It was MADE that helped build Coneshe’s Skin all the way down to how to label packaging and how to do gift sets for better sales. Heather taught me a lot and I give MADE the most respect and love! Even if I wasn’t at MADE, I know, and the world should know who had my back and who MADE Coneshe’s Skin!
Describe your day at home or in your workspace? What other skills or crafts have you been working on?
When I’m in my soap kitchen I’m always listening to music. It has to be good music! My favorite artist is YG 400 not because he’s cute but because he tells the story of his life when nobody believed in him. When he found he could not trust people, he lost close friends because business is first. So I listen to a lot of his music. I love dancing so you can find me creating my best work like my “California Beach” scent, because of who I was listening to at the time.
I have been working on herbal tea blends, soap making classes, a men’s line called Sagghard562, and my newest business venture, Coneshe’s Sweetz.
In my spare time my dream was always to open my own tea shop with Jazz music. That’s my goal!
How do you envision your brand growing in the future?
"I see it in Paris, London, Africa, and Spain! That's how I see it."
What holds more value for you: creativity or knowledge?
Knowledge holds more value to me because with the knowledge you can create beautiful things at a no-fail rate and learn. Yes, you should have training so all your questions are answered.
What are some of your favorite local shops, eateries, and drinkeries?I’m a local so I support and shop local businesses. My favorite boutique is Hobo Jane and of course MADE. Really, that’s the biggest tourist attraction in the city for gifts. You can find me eating at Louis Burger or at Bake and Broil in Bixby Knolls for the best desserts. For a martini, I go to Tequila Jacks.
If you could move to any other place in this or any universe where would you go?
If I could go anyplace in the world or create a “Conesha World” it would be a beautiful place like a tropical rainforest in Georgia or Paris where envious, racist, and narcissistic people could not live; Only those with love and clean energy for one another.