After a stellar career of 15 years in sales and marketing, Joycelyn Larkins decided to use her skills and passion to start her own organization in 2011. She is the Chief Executive Officer at Lashes and MustASHES (LM), an Atlanta-based special event production company that enhances the cigar smoking experience of their customers. It brings the premium cigar lounge to the events to wow the guests and put together an event to remember Joycelyn likes to think out of the box and creatively utilizes social media, product marketing, segment collateral development, and her sales experience to help the brands and consumers.
Joycelyn grew up in a single-parent household that taught her responsibility from a very young age. From working, getting the driver’s license to taking care of the house and her younger brother, she learned everything. These tough lessons made her who she is today. Prior to Lashes and MustASHES, she had a very successful corporate career. Her company entrusted her with new projects and the responsibility to execute them successfully. Soon the company was acquired by a larger entity, and she was promoted to a new role on the national level. Once they started moving towards a different direction, Joycelyn quit and after a brief stint in the industry went on to become an entrepreneur. Although there has been a decrease in her salary from the corporate, the freedom and flexibility that comes with the entrepreneurial life has given her time to be with her children. She could stand by them during the most impressionable middle and high school years. This has even given her children a chance to witness her life as an entrepreneur.
Talking more about her organization, she says, “Lashes and MustASHES has been the market-leading purveyor and curator of the upscale portable cigar lounge luxury lifestyle for corporations, non-profits, individuals and brands. Each event is customized for bespoke activation & designed to WOW guests. Each VIP Hospitality Environment for our clients is designed by our experienced team in Atlanta for the premium cigar and pipe tobacco elite and novices and non-smokers who enjoy the lifestyle, delivering expert perspectives, meaningful insights, and advice.” They bring the consumers a luxury cigar lifestyle that includes elements from all walks of life. From cuisines, travel, fashion to autos, yachts, and real estate LM offers everything. In the advancing digital era, Joycelyn and her team consider social media an effective tool for grassroots marketing and advertising of the brand.
The customer response has been excellent both domestically and abroad. Lashes and MustASHES have several awards to its name. They are globally awarded for being a Portable & Mobile Cigar Lounge Experience provider with worldwide recognition. They provide clients and brands with unique access to the target customers in the luxury segment. When asked about the challenges she faced initially, she says, “This is a niche luxury line of business that I started during a recession, so securing business was a challenge”. Presently, getting access to capital poses a challenge every now and then for her organization.
Joycelyn’s business speaks volumes about her dedication and hard work she has put into it all these years. She thought of a different idea, something she actually enjoys, and single-handedly built a legacy out of it. Addressing the professionals who wish to use their passion to own a business someday, she says- “Success is measured in many ways. Many of us are conditioned to believe that it’s money. As we live, we discover that time is that one precious gem that money cannot buy and is indeed priceless. Use your time in the world to do what you enjoy”.