Dominique Lopez

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Dominique Lopez

Year: Junior

Major: Business Management

Involvement: BSU, BSU Dance Team, Fashion Club, Resident Assistant

Why Iona?

I have a twin brother here, and he committed to Iona for soccer first. I literally decided on National College Decision Day at 11:59 p.m. where I wanted to go, and it was because of him. I also did the Gael Spend-A-Day when I was in high schooland [the student I shadowed] was one of the best peoplejust by the way she talked about Iona, and even when we were sitting down having lunch, her friends were so inclusive. I really liked it, and, plus, I’m a city girl. I went to high school in the city, so I didn’t want to be too far away from my city, and it’s also such an easy commute to get home.

Why did you choose your major?

I always had this in my head: I never want to work for somebody, and I’ve always wanted to be a leader. I like to say I am multitalented. I never thought that me sitting at a desk or taking orders from someone else would work for me because I always want to do something new. So, it started with me doing people’s makeup and  now I want to drop my own cosmetics line. I think having a business background is a great way to enter that world.

What is Makeup by Domm?

So, Makeup by Domm was not a thing until my senior year of high school. At first, makeup was only a thing I did on myself. I feel like every girl goes through seeing her mom put makeup on, and every picture day she would sit me down and do my face. I just love everything about it. At the beginning of high school, I used to take her stuff when she was at work and practice, and I actually started getting into it my junior year but just on myself. My friends started to notice and ask me to do their makeup. There was a lot of trial and error – when I look back at those pictures now I think they are the most disgusting thing ever! But over time, I got better and better, and people started asking me if I take appointments. So, then I thought maybe I should. I didn’t start taking appointments until my senior year of high school, and then I think things really picked up when I got to college because now I have this whole kit and chair.The progress from my freshman year to now has been insane, because I do a lot of photoshoots to see my progress and I really wow myself. Makeup by Dommreally became something when I got to Iona. I have done a lot of work for sorority outings, grad pictures, graduations and formals, so I feel like Iona helped Makeup by Domma lot.

How did you win the PINK GRL PWR award?

So, anyone can tell you, I am obsessed with PINK. […] So, one day I opened the PINK app, and I saw they were starting a new competition. They were awarding $10,000 to 20 girls who were into entrepreneurship, and the rules were you have to submit a video describing what is your company and goal. From there, you would answer a few questions, primarily about woman empowerment, which I thought was really cool. And they just wanted to hear what you would spend your $10,000 on. I didn’t tell anyone at first, so I planned a photoshoot around taking prom clients so no one would  know why I had a videographer come in. And I recorded the whole process of the photoshoot because I thought the best way for me to explain what I would do with the money is for them to see exactly what I do. So then I put a voiceover over the video explaining my company and what I would do with the $10,000. […] After submitting the video, it was quiet for a while. As it got close to the end of semester, I kind of forgot about the contest. It was funny because a day before I was told I was a finalist, I was telling my friend that I probably didn’t get it, but I wish they would email me! But then, the next day, I got an email that I was in the top 50. When I heard that, my heart dropped. […] I told my parents, and they were like “wow,” but I was so nervous. But they kept telling me that if I could beat out a couple thousand girls, I could beat another 30. I received an email that I had to a video interview with them, so they could narrow down their choices. […] So when I did the interview, the interviewer told me my video really stood out and she remembered “Makeup by Domm,” and that felt so good to hear. And then she goes, “I just want to call you and tell you that you won.” I couldn’t even cry because I was just so shocked. It was just really mind-blowing for me.

How did you play a part in starting the BSU Dance Team?

The idea popped up from two students, one who graduated my freshman year and one who still goes here, and they brought it to a girl who is really well known for dancing. She became a captain on the team and choreographer. It started with her, and from there different roles began to take place. So while I didn’t help found it, I was one of the original people that was on the team. It was really cool, especially when we wear our BSU sweaters and people recognize what we started.

Why did you decide to become an RA?

My RA! I had Justin Henry as an RA, and he was just so involved. I just wanted to be like that person where I can make an impact on my freshmen so they could say they enjoyed their year and their RA helped them transition. […] I’m actually in the Living Learning Community (LLC), and I was in that my freshman year, so I love being in charge of their floor. I was in their shoes, so I’m like anything you guys want to talk about, let’s talk about. I know exactly what you guys went through.

What’s your favorite experience from Iona so far?

Starting the BSU Dance Team and dancing at the fashion show and the basketball games. That was really different for me. I had been on dance teams when I was younger, but I hadn’t taken themseriously or considered myself a dancer. When [the BSU Dance Team] was doing tryouts, I wasn’t even trying out; I just went to support, and we ended up joining the team. Just knowing that we started something from scratch, and know we’re joining the big fashion show at Iona and doing the basketball games at Iona where almost all the students come out. It was really exciting for me… and nerve-wracking!

What are your future goals?

Another reason I came to Iona was for the five year program. So, I plan on getting my masters. I also plan on using my resources, like the Entrepreneurship office, as much as possible in helping me start my company. I would also like to get my doctorate in business online at the same time as working on my brand and starting my Makeup by Dommcosmetics line.

 

 

What is any advice you have for freshman and women who want to be entrepreneurs?

Don’t be afraid. I feel like that’s what held me back during my first semester. Don’t be afraid to brag about what you do or throw yourself in the conversation. […] Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people. My spring semester when I actually started telling people I do makeup, I was getting booked and people were recommending me. We can’t expect everyone to know what we do, and you shouldn’t be afraid to brag about what you do because it’s who you are- it’s your craft. Eventually, people are going to know what you do. Especially for freshmen and girls, it’s a little hard because almost everyone does the same thing nowadays. There are so many makeup artists and hairdressers, but, at the end of the day, everyone is still going to need a hairdresser or makeup artist or fashion designer or stylist. So there’s never too many in the same industry.