Published on Feb. 26, 2020
Audacity to Achieve
Student Monica Silva runs her own makeup business, inspiring others.
By Crystal Yeung
Photos and Illustration Courtesy of Monica Silva
Senior Monica Silva is in the process of making lip gloss.
Having to set up inventory, reply to DMs through her Instagram, package orders, hand-make her own products, and mail them afterward by herself, senior Monica Silva is an aspiring entrepreneur.
Silva has been running her makeup business, Audacity Cosmetics, on Instagram since Oct. 2019. However, she had planned it for a year and eight months. She is also a freelance artist in addition to her business. Silva had legalized her business under the state of California through her LLC (limited liability company) which gives her ownership and limited liability. Her products include a variety of vegan and cruelty-free beauty products, such as her top-selling lip products and lashes. Silva accepts orders online using direct messages through her Instagram, @audacitycos. Orders came flushing when Silva uploaded a video on TikTok that obtained more than eight million views, gaining recognition for her business.
Silva always had a passion for art, photography, entrepreneurship, and cosmetology. To combine everything she loved into one, Silva followed her parents’ footsteps in entrepreneurship as her father is a chef who runs his own catering business and her mother is a self-employed housekeeper.
“I finally realized cosmetology was my [career path] because I enjoy photography, modeling, makeup, being creative, and also creating digital designs,” Silva said.
By running her own business, Silva had gained many followers as an influencer and became an inspiration to others. She has gained almost 200,000 followers on Tiktok and 30,000 on Instagram and is still counting.
“I received thousands and thousands of DMs regarding people saying [that] I’m an inspiration to them [and] a really good role model for them, and that I have inspired them to start their own business,” Sliva said.
Not only has Silva’s works impacted her followers, but she also affected her close friends. Senior Eryll Flores has been friends with Silva since sixth grade and has seen Silva grow as a person since starting her business.
“Personally, I feel like watching her grow from the quiet kitten in the class to being this really preppy, upbeat girl has made me happy because I get to surround myself around her and her energy feeds my energy, and it just makes me happy to be with her,” Flores said.
Being a senior in high school, Silva understood how difficult it is to balance her school work and business. The time for her business at times can come in conflict with her school life.
“I know that my business is important and that I understand that I started my career before graduating, but school does come first and the reason why I started my business was so that I could [be] able to afford school in the future,” Silva said.
Juggling school and her business can be difficult, and adding onto the load is the pressure she received when not everyone is satisfied. Silva received questions through her DMs regarding her decisions such as when is she going to release a certain product or why did she decide to release a product.
“I remind myself that it’s my business, it’s under my own terms, [and that] a lot of people will say a lot of things,” Silva said.
Silva feels grateful for all of the support she received, especially from her family and friends. One of her close friends, senior Frances Li, has been friends with Silva since freshman year in high school.
“Her actually making the products and seeing her presenting [them] to me, I was just like ‘wow, you can actually do this,’ and it’s amazing to see,” Li said. “She’s had different ideas, but those never really went anywhere, so then her trying this new thing, especially with TikTok...it really helped her.”
Although Silva has struggled to make her dream come true, it all paid off at the end as she now feels like she can empower everyone through her business.
“I named it Audacity Cosmetics because ‘audacity’ means the willingness to take bold risks,” Silva said. “And I want to spread the message to young girls and to the pride community, to all people of all colors of all races, of all ethnicities so they can be themselves no matter what.” •