With a goal of sweetening the lives of others with her global cosmetics brand, Cashmere Nicole launched cosmetics line Beauty Bakerie in 2011 to serve her smudge-free sweets to the world. With success online and distribution at several retail outlets, Nicole, 33, decided to open her flagship retail store earlier this year in Westfield Mission Valley mall. She runs the company headquarters out of San Diego.
From as early as she can remember, Nicole, a new resident of Rancho Santa Fe, has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and an appetite to start a business. But it was nursing that launched her professional career, where she began bedside and eventually ended up teaching.
"It was the culmination of each discipline within the field that contributed to my in-depth understanding of people, our bodies, and how we react to changes," Nicole said.
As a breast cancer survivor, Nicole's own health was threatened at an early age. Through this experience, she found out just how tough she can be when facing opposition.
"I learned that something — even if it kills you — can only defeat you if you let it own your mind," Nicole said. "When you are face to face with something that has the potential to kill you, you meet yourself."
Nicole had more than just herself to consider when battling cancer. As a single mother fighting for her life, she learned the best way to teach her daughter was to lead by example.
"When I wanted to be weak, I refused," Nicole said. "When I wanted to cry, I pushed harder. When I wanted to quit, I evaluated the weight of quitting, only to find that it would be harder than to keep going.
"I can't go out into the world and change lives if I didn't first try to change my own or enhance the quality of life for my daughter."
Nicole's cancer story, which included multiple occurrences, even caught the attention of Beyoncé's team, and led to Nicole's first-person narrative being featured on the pop singer's website.
And Beyoncé is not the only celebrity familiar with the cosmetic brand. Beauty Bakerie has teamed up with Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas to create a special gift set of their Lip Whips (five for $80).
"Gabby has a sweet nature, so being around her feels like I'm around my own family," Nicole said. "Collaborating with her was a piece of cake."
Beauty Bakerie's popular line of no-smudge Lip Whip liquid matte lipsticks ($20) and Flour-Setting Powder for long-wear foundation ($24) are favorites among their primary consumers: 18- to 24-year-old women. The entire brand and product packaging align with the bakery theme — named for or inspired by desserts, pastries and all things sweet.
Among Nicole's other favorite products are the Sugar Lip Scrub exfoliant ($12) and BROWnies eyebrow gel ($16). Now sold in more than 100 countries worldwide, Beauty Bakerie cosmetics can be purchased at Forever 21, Sephora, ASOS and QVC, among others, in addition to online and the Mission Valley store.
Nicole's desire to create positive change in the lives of others, along with doing good in the world, also meant ensuring Beauty Bakerie is a cruelty-free company, not conducting any product testing on animals.
"I've never been a fan of gaining from someone else's plight or loss," Nicole said. "Animals play a large role in our world, and we don't hold the power to say that they're not worth fighting for."
With Nicole's personal philosophy of helping "others," she and her daughter regularly go online to GoFundMe and randomly select people to help.
"I believe that we have more to gain in giving than in receiving, so I'm always looking for someone to give an opportunity to (through a job), someone to donate to, or someone to inspire or encourage," she said. "We give to organizations that assist homeless women, and women fighting or recovering from breast cancer."
And, in true do-good fashion, Nicole also challenges others to be sweet and sweeten the life of someone else every day.
Beauty Bakerie (inside Westfield Mission Valley): 1640 Camino Del Rio N., Ste. 344, Mission Valley, 858.703.6003, beautybakerie.com