Esco’s foray into shock-free beauty | Way of life
Artist, producer and songwriter Esco Da Shocker is well known in the music industry. As a member of the iconic dancehall duo, Leftside and Esco, the artist has marked the local entertainment scene that will be there for years to come. This brand was only consolidated when he ventured into music production, working on projects like Bounty Killer, Agent Sasco, Sean Paul, Buju Banton and more. But the music lover has a whole new life outside of the music world that many would be surprised to learn. After all, this industry is widely seen as female-centric. Yet the artist born Matthew Thompson considers himself a shrewd businessman. With this solid foundation, he ventured into the beauty industry and is the owner of EC Makeup Bar.
As the son of Marlene Abdul-Gray, master makeup artist and managing director of The Beauty Spot Ltd, Esco said The Sunday Gleaner that the beauty industry was as much a part of him as music. “I have to thank my mother for my involvement in the beauty industry. She was already part of it. I saw his love and passion for it, and as I became more popular in entertainment, making money here and there, I wanted to get into other forms of creation as well as business, and I thought this industry would fit well into my projects. ,” he said.
When all the pieces came together organically, Esco said he jumped at the chance. “The opportunity arose, and I just invested in it, to build my own thing and I’ve been in this business for about five years now,” he said.
With a die-hard fan base, you’d think Esco would have reservations about going into the cosmetics industry. But, as the stubborn individual that he is, the musician has not let stereotypes or perception take him away from intelligent entrepreneurial engagement. “It was actually more of an encouragement than anything else (getting into a female-centric business). I work a lot with female dancehall artists, I produce a lot of female music. I’m a man who is lifted by women. everyday. I have a daughter so I was excited to get into something that I could sell to the ladies and help them be their best, ”he said, adding that there was no apprehension.
“I had no reservations because I was so focused on building a distinct brand of music. We were in the process of creating a high-quality, first-service makeup brand that had nothing to do with Esco or dancehall. In addition, when you develop your entity, you do not wait for validation from others, ”said the businessman. The Sunday Gleaner.
Esco shared that he has also seen the importance of having multiple streams of income. “I was all about having this backup plan, and I feel like every artist who is conscientious and knows what they’re doing should know they need to invest in areas outside of music,” Esco said.
He said the pandemic has shown the need to diversify. “I mean, if that’s one thing the pandemic has shown us, it’s that we have to have a next creation, something else that’s separate and doesn’t depend on hit songs, tours or performance, ”he shared.
Yet like every other industry hit hard by COVID, the beauty industry has suffered heavy losses. Esco admits that between the entertainment sector lockdown and work-from-home arrangements, EC Makeup Bar has been hit hard by the pandemic. “It has been horribly difficult because this industry has been directly affected by COVID-19. The people are inside; there’s no reason to wear makeup, and even if you were going to work people were doing the bare minimum, so that hit us hard, ”he said, revealing that the location they expanded to the pre-pandemic was to be closed, forcing them to move to the New Kingston Business Center.
But with the entertainment industry reopening and the country moving towards a semblance of normalcy, Esco says business is on the road to recovery. “We came here on faith, and it was worth it. The financial recovery part has been slow and steady, for which we are grateful, but in any case, profit or loss is something I love to do, and so the sacrifices will always be worth it ”, did he declare.
With things improving now, Esco says he is looking to hire more staff for his position and that he currently has space for at least one more nail technician and “someone with skills. in make-up and eyebrows “. It is also considering a possible expansion in the near future. “I want more, you know, franchise-style locations. I would like to have one or two more small boutique type stores in Kingston and then a full service store in another parish. But where we really are right now is the increase in staff.