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By Echo Menges
Local entrepreneur Olivia Trujillo, 27, of Edina, has officially taken the plunge on a brick-and-mortar storefront in Edina. Trujillo opened her shop, Copacetic Cosmetics, to the public last week, on Tuesday, August 3, 2021.
Trujillo founded the company on July 1, 2017, which, until now, has been an online only store.
“In-person selling was never enough. If I did not have a website, I would not have a business,” said Olivia Trujillo, owner of Copacetic Cosmetics. “This just isn’t the kind of business you would find in a rural small town. We stick out like a sore thumb.”
Trujillo and husband Chris have spent the last four years building up the business from their home. The success of the online business has pushed them into a storefront, but not because the company needs the exposure. The storefront is merely a perk.
The main reason behind making the move was to expand the online business. They needed more room to mix, package and ship products, which are being ordered from customers worldwide. And, they needed more space to be able to take on more employees.
Copacetic Cosmetics has found a home east of the Knox County Courthouse in the old filling station on Highway 6/Lafayette Street, which once housed Lone Star Physiques. The west side of the building has been made into a boutique style storefront to showcase Trujillo’s cosmetic and nailpolish line of products. However, the real magic is happening on the east side of the building where Trujillo has increased her ability to produce more products for her online customer base.
This move is just one of Trujillo’s recent success stories. Last year, her company reached a profit margin that allowed her to hire her husband full time.
Husband Chris was working at a well paying job at the Smithfield plant in Milan, MO, and had been employed in factory work nearly all of his adult life. On July 1, 2020, exactly three years after opening her online business, Chris began working from home with his wife.
“He was working 12-hour-days at factory jobs, and I was home with the kids and selling makeup,” said Trujillo. “He quit on our business’ anniversary. I needed help so bad. He was coming home from 12-hour shifts helping me as much as he could, and going to bed and doing it all over again. The business started blowing up September of 2019. We were making a nice profit and we knew we had enough for him to quit his job. We wanted to make sure it was going to last.”
Trujillo counts bringing her husband home to work full time as her favorite success thus far.
“Him getting to quit was the best day ever,” said Trujillo.
The Back Story
Trujillo has always been an entrepreneur. She was a small child when she started her first business, and has always been encouraged by her Grandmother Pat Shultz.
“I would help Grandma at the flea market. And, instead of getting paid, she would buy different kinds of treats, bubble gum, candy bars and Slim Jims, and I would take those instead and sell them on the school bus. I have no idea how old I was. I grew up at the flea market,” said Trijillo.
She was in elementary school when she started honing her salesperson skills on gum sales.
“I was making 25 cents per gum and would sell out. I was getting a pack of gum, 18 pieces, and selling all of them for 25 cents. You know gum at school. Everyone wants gum,” said Trujillo.
Trujillio’s childhood business ventures continued as she grew up.
“Hitclips. It was only like 45 seconds of a song. Everyone loved them. I would buy them in three packs and sell them individually. My grandma took me to Walmart and my Mom was like ‘where did these even come from’. My grandma didn’t know she was funding my side business. If I was paying $15 for three, I’d sell each one for $10. I was making sure there was a profit. That was middle school,” said Trujillo. “My Mother and my Grandma have been huge supports always cheering me on and preparing me for a bright future.”
In high school, she continued to hone her business skills as an active and outgoing teenager.
“I was in 4-H all the way to the end, Honor Choir, Drama Club, and I started the Anime Club. Maybe that was it. I took every one of my Aunt Judy Shultz’s classes I could. She was the business teacher at Knox County High School. I only took the electives I had to, and took extra business classes, english, math, science,” said Trujillo. “I was planning on going to college. I never wanted to get married. I took all kinds of extra classes for college. I had scholarships.”
But her plans changed when she decided to marry her high school sweetheart and chose to start a family instead. She and Chris met during the summer of 2011 after she returned from Upward Bound summer program at Truman State University, and just before each of them started their senior years of high school.
Makeup and nailpolish were not in her orbit in high school. However, after high school, she started getting into nail polish.
“I was pregnant. We were living in LaPlata. I was home alone and had nothing to do,” said Trujillo.
She grew out her nails and went deep into the nail polish abyss.
“It was a hobby that I found when I had a lot of free time, and so I invested all of my time into it. I was doing glitters and stones. I grew my nails out long. I had so many nail polishes,” laughed Trujillo.
In 2012, not long after graduating from high school, she developed a passion for mixing her own unique colors of nail polishes, before marrying Chris in 2013.
“I had been buying a lot of polish. I had over 600 bottles of nail polish. People started mixing different pre-made nail polish. They started making kits with prepackaged glitter, clear and colors,” said Trujillo.
She joined an online group and connected with other polish enthusiasts, and began creating her own.
She started dumping out bottles of polishes and cleaning the empty bottles to mix her creations for her own personal use while planning to market them in the future. Eventually, she discovered she could buy bottles on Amazon, and that served as the catalyst to start selling her polishes.
“It was so expensive. There was no room for profit. Bulk is always better. I learned if I need a hundred bottles of something – I buy a thousand,” said Trujillo.
She started selling online and augmented her efforts by going to just a couple of vendor shows. Her first nail polish venture was at the Rutledge Flea Market in September of 2013.
“Between 2013 and 2016, I started loving makeup. I had a massive $7,000 collection,” said Trujillo.
She started doing other people’s prom makeup in 2015, and invested heavily into high end cosmetics.
The following year, she started gathering supplies to make her own makeup, and launched Copacetic Cosmetics the year after, in 2017.
“I had a very ambitious launch. Most companies probably only had eyeshadow or lipstick,” said Trujillo.
She opened her online sales with 18 products and insists that was not too many.
“I love making things. I have a lot more products than many of my competitors just because I’m constantly making new ones,” said Trujillo.
She was using a card table at her house as a mixing station – at first.
“A month later, I thought I was so professional because I got a desk,” said Trujillo.
Her original packaging was printed on cardstock.
“I wanted my own packaging, so I just did it myself. I designed it myself. I would print it, cut it and assemble it. If the size wasn’t right, I’d do it again until I got the perfect size. It would take hours to do,” said Trujillo.
As the first two years of operations progressed, so did Trujillo’s business skills. She figured out packaging, pricing, shipping domestically and overseas.
The Trujillo’s built a building on their property for added workspace in 2019, which the business quickly outgrew. After spending over a year looking for a building on the Edina Town Square, they settled on the old filling station. With the help of Trujillo’s Grandmother as a financial backer, they made the big move.
Today, Copacetic Cosmetics has two full-time and three part-time employees with an online customer base the company can be proud of.
“The reason I think the business is doing so well is because I try to treat my customers the way I like to shop,” said Trujillo. “I keep my profit margin reasonable and have good sales for new products. I have a supplier in China that buys wholesale to sell our stuff there. I’ve let go of opportunities from not being able to supply as much as international customers want. We had a customer in Australia that wanted 5,000 (makeup) pallets,” said Trujillo “We had to turn that down. At this point, we just needed something bigger.”
“It’s crazy that this is in Edina,” said Chris Trujillo with a smile. “We ship using our local post office. They usually know when we have a sale.”
Copacetic Cosmetics is located at 403 East Lafayette Street in Edina, MO. The store is open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Saturdays from noon to 5:00 p.m.
You can visit them in person or online at copaceticcosmetics.com.