Inspirational Interviews

Inspirational Interview With Makeup Artist & Beauty Brand Owner Cherry Marshall Of Donerry Elegance By Lizzy Lozzo

August 10, 2017

‘I hate holding people responsible for my mistakes so I try so much to stay within the capacity of my own decisions and allow nothing to limit me – Cherry Marshall.’      

Cherry is a very fun and bubbly personality, her personality goes really well with her brand as makeup is all about feeling good and that is what she stands for.

Cherry is really good at what she does and her brand (Donerry Elegance) is on the rapid growth.

She is someone that comes across so confident with or without makeup. I believe a lot of people will love to know more about her and possibly pick up some tips from her and her experience so far, which is why I decided to interview her.

Below are the questions Cherry was asked and she has answered them with so much humour and great details.

1. Tell us about Donerry Elegance and how it all started?
I am a Mary Kay beauty consultant but found the makeup products expensive for many people especially back in Sierra Leone. I tried so hard to perfect my makeup skills just to enhanced my own beauty not having to go pay a makeup artist all the time when I want to go out to important events.
My husband saw my struggles and encouraged me to go for a makeup artist course and there I actually gained a qualification and so that was a plus on my side as my intention was just to go and perfect my personal skills but the qualification gained was one I can use as a business also.

I then saw some products at a good price and thought I could buy them and sell them. I bought 5 eyeshadow palettes and sold them, they went so fast within days. With that money, I bought a few more and people bought them too. The products were good and so was the price.
My husband was very supportive and then he was able to source larger quantities without branding at a good price. We added our own labels to them to make them our own, it was like a little factory at home. We added some brush sets as an additional product and it just went on from there.
Basically, it grew from a small idea, selling a few eyeshadow palettes and the growth and sales have funded then next stage in the business.

2. When was the 1st time you realised you had no limitations to pursue your dream?

I have realised I have no limitations since growing up having to do things on my own. I should say I am a very hard nut to crack especially when it comes to making my decisions towards my life. I hate holding people responsible for my mistakes so I try so much to stay within the capacity of my own decisions and allow nothing to limit me.
I remember someone asked me what if your director of Marykay finds out about your business? I told them I really do not mind as I am sure Marykay also might have started the way I did and will have no regrets to stop selling Marykay, if they wish.
In regards to Donerry Elegance, it makes it even easier when my husband gave his full support and attention to the ideas I had and got fully behind me. With the two of us complementing each other we knew we were a winning team.

Our skills and experience are quite different and added together the sum is much greater than you might imagine. Sometimes in life somethings are far not our goals and vision but they happen if you place yourself in the capacity of accepting and taking chances and not be afraid to fail.

3. Tell us more about why you decided to call your brand ‘Donerry Elegance’?
The Donerry part came about when my husband and I met, the love was so great and I was so sure he is the man I want and want to spend my life with. I then combine our names together. DON & CHERRY = DONERRY.
We then started vlogging and named our YouTube channel DONERRYBW and our joint Facebook page is also DONERRY. So it was now a brand name of us two if I should say.
At first, we started calling the makeup brand ‘Donerry Beauty’ but it seemed that so many people were using beauty all the time so we brainstormed something different. We looked for something that stood for beauty but would stand out and so we settled on ‘Donerry Elegance’ and the strapline “Go beyond beauty – aim for Elegance – Donerry Elegance.

4. Cherry I know this is a personal question and you don’t have to answer it. You embrace family value so much on your social media, especially when it comes to you and the Love of your life Don. Can you tell us why you have decided to share this part of your life with us?
I grew up in a family of love and that is what I have embraced my whole life time existing on planet earth. I knew the value of family been together in love and oneness.
I have gone through a lot in life since I lost my dad and if it was not for those family values. I would have been lost in life’s direction. knowing people care for me unconditionally especially my mum.

I have always shared a lot of my life on Facebook and it was just a natural thing for me to do. But when it comes to me and my husband Don, our stories are similar. Been divorcees and we both are just happy together. I decided we were right for each other I shared our relationship on Facebook and the reaction and response was overwhelming. And for the continuity, we thought our story was different from the norm and so we share pictures on Facebook as a medium of telling our stories as we vlog our life and put on our YouTube channel.

Also, we do it just to give out positive vibes to other people who would have gone through the same or similar situations that one can raise up and find love and be happy again.
Life can be greener on the other side we need to go beyond our self made barriers. And without not being boastful I am like a private confidant to so many young and old women doing some counselling and advising on situations and get great feedbacks. I am not perfect but sure can help out .

5. What are some of the obstacles you have faced with your Donerry Elegance Brand and how have you overcome them?
Starting a new business takes time, effort and an amount of money. Luckily, I had the time and energy to start it plus the backing of my husband and I have been very careful on managing the money side – only using the profits to reinvest and get the business to the next stage.
Sourcing good quality products is a big challenge and to get around this we order samples and test products thoroughly before we add them to our range. In fact, I test all the products personally for a number of weeks before we even consider adding them.
The cost of shipping the products here plus the import tax and other hurdles is also a challenge but luckily my husband handles that side.
Having a website can also be a big challenge but we are in a good position because Don is an eCommerce expert and built our initial website for almost no cost. He then designed and added everything to our new site which saved a lot of time and money.

6. What have your learnt so far?
I have learnt that when opportunity knocks don’t ignore. As beauty was not my ever planned or dreamed vision. But it came as an idea and gave it a try and I have seen the growth .
The main lesson I have learnt is that one has to position there life for greatness and make them happen but do it in a good and planned way.
Building a business from scratch takes a lot of time and hard work and you have to stick to it. There would be so many distractions but pursue you and do you .

7. What makes you smile or how do you make your love ones smile :)?
I am naturally a happy person as I normally say to myself ‘I a loner so I know how to make my world a happy place.’ But not to get this twisted I love being among people who live life freely and don’t judge. Two things that makes me smile Abi my miracle baby, ( NOONE WILL UNDERSTAND) Don Marshall my amazing and super Man he loves me unconditionally. Traveling gives me the biggest smile too .
[Not sure on this one]

8. Cherry I know you have an online store but are you considering having your own makeup stand in one of these big departmental stores some day?

It is something we would seriously look at if the opportunity arises. To have our products and brand in such a store would be amazing but for now, our business model is to buy direct and sell direct. That way we can cut out the middle person who adds cost and complexity to the business. Keeping it lean allows us to offer our customer great products at great value.

9. What advice would you give to upcoming makeup artists or makeup brands?
Just go for it. Work hard to achieve your goals but make sure you know what your goals are and that they are actually achievable.
Make sure that you have a brand identity and promote yourself through results and use your network as much as you can.
Don’t underestimate the power and help that social media can give you and your business and don’t be afraid to ask people to help and support you and your business.
Don’t be afraid of critics as they are always there even if they see the good in you, they will try to brand you differently. Because I have the experience of people telling other people not to buy my products. I have had people laugh at my work but hey, that does not dampen me it makes me fight out more. Do you with close Ears.

10. How can we find you on social media?
Our website is
Facebook: Donerry Elegance
YouTube: Donerry B&W

Thanks so much for your constant support, stay turneddddd for more posts and always feel free to send a request or recommend someone you would like us to interview.

Please connect with me on my social media pages, you can find the links on my website.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Syl Lemeh August 10, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    A very candid and inspirational interview. Definitely on their way to bigger and better things.

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