Oh, man! Where shall I start?!
Michael and Anita Bohannon opened the doors of Bovanti Cosmetics & Spa initially in the nineteen -eighties.
This was during the time that Luke and Laura ran General Hospital, just to give you an idea of how long ago this luxury conglomerate has been around. I was about five-years- old at the time. Dude, that’s over three decades!
Bovanti Cosmetics is actually the third echelon business that expanded since Avon and the infamous Mary Kay. Look, I’m not trying to break hearts or upset anyone cause I’m sure this next statement is going to be an all-out culture shock. However, I’m not a fan of Mary Kay, and I’m not a big fan of Avon either, although they did step their shoe game up by a small scope. Bovanti on the other hand, we’ll talk about my reasons for being so smitten with the brand in a little while. But, let me just give you a little more history about the company.
As I said, Bovanti Cosmetics originated moons ago in Atlanta, Georgia. They’ve become one of the largest dimensional companies since—since… Nothing comes to mind. Bovanti is a beauty oasis in addition to a resort without the benefit of staying overnight. I’m pretty sure they aren’t turning anyone away from showing up three or four times a week. “Aaaall are welcome to come into the light.”
So, that’s the history of the parents. The Georgia store is still the central location. However, the business is entirely too large for the A.
Look, folks, we are talking about a million dollar international corporation. They’ve kept it in Atlanta for as long as they could until their daughters decided to hone into their passions and become the Bovanti brand.
The Bohannon’s entreprenuel genes trickled down like sweet honey, and stuck to their business perceptive daughters, Marquis and Marquel Bohannon.
Both girls are co-owners and operators of the second generation Bovanti Cosmetics & Spa at the Four Seasons Mall in Greensboro as well as the newest location at Northlake Mall. “Marquis and my goal was to always expand Bovanti and make sure that everyone knows about it. We are constantly passing out cards and talking about Bovanti. We do anything we can to make sure people know about our Brand,” says Marquel.
Talks about the store opening, stroked Charlotte with a Tsunami blow. “I wouldn’t say that getting into the Charlotte market was easy. I actually wanted to get into Northlake Mall two- to- three- years ago. And the opportunity was here but the location that they assigned us, to lease out, just didn’t feel right. We waited. God was telling us that this is not the right time. He was telling us to get ourselves together because we would’ve had to leave our Greensboro store. Now, we’re in a place that we can run both locations.
The Greensboro store can run on its own and we don’t have to be there,” says Marquis. The beauty spa isn’t even open yet and it’s collecting attention by the minute—Thank God I was in on this. Ya know? It was a no brainer when brandUscript pitched the story to me; I was delighted to speak to the successors. These young women are inspiring, pleasant, and influential. Its big news to get a Cosmetic and day spa at such a prevalent and popular location. The demographics alone are going to keep the Entrepreneur-Beauties busy for at least five-years.
My rhyme and reason for being so favorable over the Bovanti product is simple. The make-up isn’t overbearing. A little dab of eye shadow, one layer of foundation, and a hint of lip-gloss, will set your sexy to one hundred on the I keep it poppen- odometer. The cosmetics are lightweight. The lip-gloss isn’t sticky or too dark, even though the shade is a little obscure in the tube. Looks are truly deceiving. I prefer natural earth-tone make-up. Let’s say that you have an overnight guest—a nightcap. Of course, you get up before him and wash your face, brush your teeth, apply a little eye shadow, as well as a thin layer of lip-gloss, and then hop into bed while hiding a few tic-tacks under the pillow (you’re welcome newbie’s) so he can awaken to sheer femininity. “He, actually thought you woke up like dis.” Their products look natural. Secondly, I think when you enlist in makeup artistry or skin health; it should be from the best source. The girls matched their Bovanti foundation to my complexion and they hadn’t met me in person until the day of our interview…The women are extreme experts and that won me over lickety split.
Marquis and Marquel granted me a walk-through of their store before it was finished. I saw the before and I cannot wait to catch a glimpse of the finished product at their Grand Opening…
Collective responses from the Bovanti clan:
When we think about our parent’s occupation, we don’t want to do what they did. So, what were you thinking? Well, that’s actually a typical answer. My sister and I, since three and four, have always been in the business with Bovanti. Our parents didn’t force us at all. It was something we wanted to do. We started doing makeup around thirteen and fourteen. Our parents found out that we could sell, and that we could really do this.
We could sell it, but we could not wear makeup at all. Our mom trained us on how to do the makeup and we took it to the next level and learned how to do it a little more along the way. You know, doing trade shows and things like that, you kind of pick up certain things and techniques. We were always going to classes. You gotta invest in yourself. That’s what our parents tell us all the time. You gotta invest in yourself,” both girls echo the same sentiments. “I told my dad at the age of four that I wanted to take over Bovanti, and he said ‘Marquis, you don’t have to take it over. I’m gonna give it to you,” laughs Marquis.
How big was the support outside the family when you decided to take over? “Actually…” responds Marquis. “Our friends in college supported us. In school, Marquel and I would setup in the student center every Friday— although we are doing makeup classes now. We were doing makeup classes in college. We would setup, do a makeup tutorial, and then we’d teach them about the products, and show them the particular products they need for their skin. So, we’ve been doing this a long time,” Marquis explains. “I was a freshman and she was a sophomore. I was teaching the whole freshman class on how to do makeup,” Marquel harmonizes with her sister.
So, do you think passion is what drives most entrepreneurs? “Yes. You gotta do what you love. That’s the only way that you’re gonna have fun while doing it. We loooove doing makeup,” exclaims Marquel. “I’m the business side and she’s more the creative side. That’s the difference between my sister and I. We just had a Beauty and Masters Makeup class that we offer. It’s a four hour hands-on class. She is the talent and I’m the one putting it together behind the scenes and getting the people to come to class,” says Marquis.
Do you feel that since you’re sisters, your business is thriving better? Absolutely, because we’re sisters, we can do a lot more. We are able to actually communicate very well. When there’s opportunity for growth with me, my sister has that and vice versa. Two heads are better than one. We work very well together and that’s what allows us to succeed even further. We have that sisterly bond and that’s something that our parents instilled in us at a very young age.
So what’s different from Macey’s, Ulta Beauty Bar, and Mac? I think what sets us apart is that we’re family owned and operated. Number two is that we like to focus on bringing out the star in you. Each person that steps into Bovanti is going to feel like a celebrity regardless if they have money or not. We travel around the country, inspiring women through our cosmetics, education, and my mother is also a motivational speaker. She just wrote a book, “Secrets From a Beauty Star.
So… The million dollar question. When we think about business as an African American, and especially young women, how has that been for you both? “It’s been really good. Marqui and I are so young. Everyone look up to us because we are owning our business and things like that. We’re really big about inspiring our youths into becoming entrepreneurs. Me and Marquis teach a class on entrepreneurship. We’ve taught a few classes at Bennett College. We just like to give back to our youth. Especially to our young girls, cause you can become an entrepreneur. You can motivate someone else. You can do it yourself.
Look, if you really want to hobnob with the girls, come out to their event this Thursday from October until. They have a glam-day set aside just for you!