After graduating college, the intense feeling of anxiety sticks around for most students. Graduating college is exciting but leaves students questioning what’s next. Sometimes the best option is to sit down, take a breather and figure out one’s passion.
University of Northern Colorado alumna Natalya King struggled with finding a job straight out of college when she graduated in May 2018. She graduated with her degree in communication and a minor in business. King applied to over 50 job positions. Only two managers replied to King explaining the positions weren’t open at the time and she would have to wait. One manager who called her about an open position said to King only personality and experience matters when building a career. At this point, King had to figure out how she would pay for rent and take care of her one-year-old son Eli Johnson.
King gave birth to Eli her junior year at UNC. At this time, she was focused on her main priority, which was raising Eli while staying in school. According to King, continuing to play volleyball was challenging because of her baby bump. While she was pregnant, she and another teammate, who was carrying as well, wore bigger jerseys for their baby bumps which caused unwanted attention.
“After the bigger shirts didn’t fit us the coaches didn’t let us change into anything else,” King said. “I mean, being in a larger shirt and the other sports teams walking past, seeing that was kind of embarrassing. It’s obviously embarrassing in and of itself because I wasn’t married, I didn’t have my life set, I was still in college and I didn’t know how I would do anything.”
She said it was much easier raising Eli with the father’s help, and it was a milestone for both of them. While King was in class, close friends would volunteer to babysit Eli in case of conflicting schedules. She was breastfeeding at the time but would have difficulties leaving Eli throughout the day. Separation anxiety made it hard to focus in school for her. Eli began to take up most of her attention, but school work was piling up.
King would try to sit Eli in front of the T.V. to distract him for a few minutes but when he got fussy, she had to give him her undivided attention – even more so when he got sick. Teachers were understanding about King’s situation, but the coaches refused to allow her to miss practice.
A year after giving birth, King graduated on May 6, 2018 and by June 28 had invested all her graduation money into creating her own business. BodyLove by Tal is a vegan, organic and cruelty-free skin care line. King said her goal is to make sure people are treating themselves on the outside as well as they are on the inside.
“Our skin is our largest organ, so a lot of people don’t understand the damage they’re doing to their skin when they aren’t putting pure products on their skin,” King said.
The recipes King uses for her products are both self-taught and ones her mother has used before. King has over 15 different types of natural oils she uses in her products. She has been creating organic products since she was in high school for personal use.
Each month King promotes a new fruit or vegetable face mask for the month. This past December she had a cranberry face mask which increased her sales. King sells her well-known acne face system as well as body soaps, deodorant, body butters, body scrubs, bath bombs and more. King is able to customize each product based solely on a person’s preference.
Online and in-store allows customers the ability to customize their own body butters, scrubs, bath salts, face serums and other products to their liking.
“I will make a product specifically for someone because everyone is different, and this is what sets me apart from everyone else. If someone has eczema, dry skin, oil skin or they are allergic to something I can take that ingredient out and do something else,” King said. “Any skin problem someone has I can create something for them that will soothe or help heal the issue.”
King said her goal was to be able to make enough money for rent and didn’t expect to be doing well. Within seven months of starting her business, King has made over $40,000, been a guest on CBS4 Denver and will be featured on the Everyday Show on Fox31 Denver. She said being 22-years-old and a mother has been her biggest obstacle. King said she needed to ensure she was present in Eli’s life while building her company from the ground up.
Without the help of her friends and family, King said nothing would have been possible. She said college, middle school, and high school friends as well as her family were buying her products. King’s family became a strong support system for her and her son Eli.
“My mom is my biggest inspiration,” King said. “She literally is why I am doing this, and I learned everything from her. She’s self-taught. She’s done my website and a lot of my designs.”
King hopes to one day have her own wellness center and skin consultation company. For more information, students can visit bodylovebytal.com. King has her social media pages on her website, so future customers can read testimonies from current customers about their skin care journey. The store is located at the District Shops in the Cherry Creek Mall.