We had the good fortune of connecting with Tonjaya Baird and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tonjaya, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I was born in the small town of Topeka, Kansas, but raised in Kansas City, Missouri. I grew up in a single parent household, so things were not always easy to say the least. I watched my mother work extremely hard, and make unbelievable sacrifices to ensure my younger sister and I had everything we needed. She has always inspired me to work hard, be brave and to go after every dream that comes to my mind. Most importantly though, she instilled resilience into me as a young girl, by being the best role model I could have ever asked for. All in all, my mother is my rock and definitely is the reason I am who I am today.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
What sets Tonjaya Cosmetics apart from other cosmetic brands, is the fact that I take pride in all the ingredients within each and every product I make. What inspired me to create my brand was coming to the realization that I was constantly spending tons of money on high end cosmetic brands, who’s products contained harmful chemicals and toxins I was unaware of. As a college student majoring in public health, I was determined to combine my love for health and passion for beauty to create affordable luxury cosmetics that contained natural ingredients to empower others to use cosmetics as a tool to enhance their beauty from the inside out. I started this journey October of 2020, by researching day in and day out the benefits of different natural ingredients within cosmetic products. After a few months of non stop research, I finally began putting my knowledge to the test by formulating a variety of products to try out. I am most proud of being able to master the perfect vegan and cruelty free non-sticky lip gloss formula. All of my hydrating lip glosses are infused with top essential oils to lock in moisture, leaving you with soft healthy lips even after you take it off. I officially launched Tonjaya Cosmetics on March 5th, 2021 and have been loving every moment of it since. However, this journey was far from easy, there was a lot of trail and error that went into it. I have been able to overcome all the challenges I have faced this far as an entrepreneur by focusing on the bigger picture, and not getting discouraged by minor setbacks along the way. In the end, my mission is to have Tonjaya Cosmetics be known globally as a household brand, that delivers high quality cosmetics made with love without breaking the bank.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I moved to Tucson, Arizona in June of 2017 to attend the University of Arizona. Since then I have grown to love it and appreciate all the unique things the small college town has to offer. My favorite restaurant to eat out at would be Azian. It’s an Asian restaurant that serves a variety of Korean entrees and BBQ. I am obsessed with their fried sushi, and would highly recommend it to any sushi lovers out there. Another great spot I would recommend to go eat at would be Frankie’s South Philly Cheesesteaks, you definitely will not regret it! When it comes to the best activities to do within Tucson Funny Foot Farm is a must stop. It is a petting zoo that will blow your mind and keep the family entertained for hours. I love how the staff gives a tour and provides you with educational facts about all the different animals. I have been about a hundred times now and still can’t get enough of it. Lastly, its only right that you visit A mountain if you ever get the chance to. A mountain is a prominent landmark for hiking and watching sunsets in the Tucson mountains on the west side of downtown Tucson.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Without my mother Tonja Fisher molding me to be brave, kind and hardworking I would not be where I am today. That is why I want to give a special shoutout to her for being not only an amazing mother, but an awesome supportive friend as well.