WRITTEN BY Gabby Bellot
A simple Google search of Cloud9 Aesthetics will reveal a business page with several reviews. One from user Jordan Marie reads, “Very good atmosphere, India is amazing at what she does. I got lashes and teeth whitened, very happy with the results! Highly recommend!”
Another from user Kendra Weaver, “India is the best at what she do [sic]..Very professional.. The only person that can touch my lashes.”
India Gray, owner and lead esthetician at Cloud9 Aesthetics, responds to each one with gratitude and warmth; in a response, she notes that the “endless support is never unnoticed.”
Gray provides several insights into the beginnings of her business Cloud9 Aesthetics, discusses her infamous skincare product — the “Vaginal Brightening Bar” — and the growing impact of her brand, as well as her goals for its future.
Gray’s esthetician business blossomed from her love of skincare. A Knoxville local, she was fresh out of Dental Assistant school in 2017 when she started offering lash extension services from her home.
“At the beginning of my journey, I knew all I wanted was my license so that I can offer lash extensions. When I was introduced to skincare, I fell in love,” Gray said.
Gray was unaware of the world and business of esthetics until she was asked if she had her license. She did some preliminary research and found that she was “intimidated by the industry.” This is understandable given the growing boom of the skincare and makeup industry that has occurred over the last several years. However, Gray didn’t let this hinder her dream to enter this arduous world and make it her own.
“I found a school that fit my budget, but the school was in Atlanta. So I made a decision to drive to Atlanta every week. I completed school in 10 months — licensed and debt free!” Gray said, obviously proud of the accomplishment.
Other than lashes, Cloud9 Aesthetics now offers facials, teeth whitening and body treatments — like the “Cloud9 Brazilian Skin Brightening” treatment that brightens the skin of the bikini area.
On top of this, Cloud9 Aesthetics has a line of products that can aid with a plethora of issues that range from lightening pesky dark marks to softening the skin. One of the products is the self proclaimed “#1 Vaginal Brightening Bar,” the brand’s top selling soap that helps even out the skin tone — it now also comes in a Vaginal Brightening Kit, which the website says includes “an Exfoliating Brush, Vaginal Brightening Bar, Even Tone Correcting Serum, and the Brightening Cream.”
The website also claims that daily use of this combination of products will provide results within a week.
When asked how she came up with the concept of a Vaginal Brightening Bar, Gray stressed the importance of knowing your clientele and providing the services that can help them.
“I talk to my clients, and what I have learned is that most of us women go through the same thing. A few of my clients opened up about dealing with ingrown hairs, the pain of waxing and hyperpigmentation that comes with it.” Gray said. The idea just came to her when she realized that correcting the skin was a process and not a simple one-time treatment.
Gray’s entrepreneurial spirit shines through her words as she discusses her business practices. In discussing her Vaginal Brightening Bar, Gray said that honesty is key.
“Marketing an idea to women is fairly easy. All you need is the truthful fact and to let them know the benefits,” Gray said.
Exploring more of this, Gray provided some of her tips for those wanting to start a business like her. In short, “Know what paperwork you need. Get a LLC, Business License, etc. Never sign a contract if you don’t need to. And always think 5 years ahead. Thinking 5 years ahead is what kept me from being stagnant in my growth. Nothing is wrong with failing.”
Her practices seemed to have stuck, and since the inception of Cloud9 Aesthetics, the brand has accumulated over 3,500 followers on Instagram and more than 200 likes on their Facebook page.
On the Cloud9 Aesthetics Instagram, there is an array of skincare tips, and their bio even says “Providing Skincare for All.” This focus on offering services to anyone and everyone is something that Gray is passionate about and is present in her e-commerce practices.
“My goal for my brand is to make everyone feel like they are welcomed. Cloud9 Aesthetics caters to males and females of all ages and races. I like to deliver the messages in a clear way that if you don’t know anything about skin, you leave learning something,” Gray said.
“It’s important that a client or customer understands what my products are because they know how their skin is. So I believe that once a full understanding is made it makes it easier for a product to be used.
The ability to make something as exclusive as luxury skincare more accessible to all is at the forefront of Cloud9 Aesthetics’ mission statement. Gray has done a phenomenal job over the last few years in building a brand that is unique and consumer focused.
Finally, when asked about her vision for her business’ future, Gray said that she has big plans for the business, including possibly going global.
“I want to make Cloud9 Aesthetics a standard of excellence in my industry. Five years from now I would love to have a spa and aesthetics school. As far as e-commerce and branding, I want to be global. I want my products in everyone’s bathroom, in everyone’s travel bag, in every purse. You name it.”
With Cloud9 Aesthetics’ growing popularity and successful business practices, these goals don’t seem so far away.