July 3, 2020

The Tart Peach: Side-hustle turned full-time business

“If you’re curious about anything, you can really start exploring from anywhere.” Jordan Penix, Capital University alum class of 2016, is certainly living her own words. Her interest in natural lip products has turned into a successful business just three years after she first started handmaking her lippies.

Lipstick has always been Penix’s go-to makeup product, and she first became interested in clean beauty when she looked up the ingredients of her favorite brands; if there were any listed, they generally numbered over fifty.

Her own lippies, for comparison, are made with under twenty ingredients and are free from any synthetic fragrances.

It took her quite a while to perfect the process—the waxes and butters used have to be melted to a precise temperature, and dye must be measured exactly to produce a flawless color. Now, Penix estimates that she can make about twelve lipsticks in thirty minutes.

Penix began selling her lipsticks on Etsy, a niche craft website that features mainly handmade products, and when demand grew, she started a website.

She also sold her products at craft shows; at one show about a year ago, Penix met Dimi Boutselis, the creator of vintage clothing and handmade jewelry brand dabl. The two were casual acquaintances until this past summer, when, coincidentally, both of them began exploring storefront locations on High Street in Clintonville.

Dimi Boutselis, left, and Jordan Penix, right, in front of their new store. Photo by David Butler.

Penix began seriously considering expanding her lipstick business after her full-time position at an event venue was cut in July. She had already been running The Tart Peach for three years, and so she thought, “Maybe I should just make this side hustle my full hustle.”

Penix and Boutselis had coffee and discussed their “pipe dream” of opening a store. Together, they started making plans and ordering furniture, and on September 21, dabl x THE TART PEACH opened at 3171 N High St.

Lip products are featured on the shop’s left wall, while clothing racks make up the right. On tables in the middle are featured a rotated assortment of products, selected by both Penix and Boutselis.

The shop is next door to a beauty salon, which has brought in walking traffic, Penix said. And behind the retail section of the store is a work-station, so when business is slow, she can pass the time by designing her next shade—Cocoa, a rich brown perfect for fall, is out now.

To shop or to find out more information about The Tart Peach, head over to Penix’s website.

  • Emily is a sophomore English literature major at Capital, and a reporter and distribution manager for the Chimes. When she's not carting papers around campus, Emily enjoys watching Jeopardy, bothering her cats, and eating mac and cheese. edietz@capital.edu.

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