IMMOKALEE — Vanessa Billie has always been passionate about beauty and cosmetics. In May, she turned her passion into a business and created Billiee Beauty, an online make-up store.
A 2015 graduate of Immokalee High School, Billie has since graduated from the Academy of Glam in Cooper City and the Florida Academy in Fort Myers, where she became an esthetician. Now that she is in the cosmetics industry, she is no longer a practicing esthetician.
Her make-up consists of cruelty-free, mineral infused, vegan cosmetics that include lipsticks and eye shadows in an array of colors. The patchwork packaging makes the product distinctly Seminole.
“Sales are going well and I’m getting a lot of support from the community,” Billie said. “I want to inspire youth that we can all do something. Whatever your passion is, follow it and we can all be something.”
Through her cosmetics, Billie hopes to share a bit of Seminole culture. One of her products, an eye shadow combination is called Medicine and has the following description:
“Inspired by the Medicine Wheel, which represents how life is interconnected and also the stages of life. Being a Tribal Member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, I wanted to represent us in a way we’ve never been represented before, I wanted to give all my native beauties a palette that is close to home.
A palette we would be proud to have in our collection. I also wanted everyone to be able to see us for who we are and also share a part of our culture with you. Hope you love this just as much as I do.”
Billee Beauty had a booth at the Spirithead Summer Challenge on May 30, which attracted a lot of attention and buyers. Raised on the Immmokalee reservation, Billie lives in Lehigh Acres with Joel Cardenas and their 7-month-old baby Khaleesi Cardenas.