Shay Dekock-Kruger: Painting a World of Glam and Glitter with HOLO EYES
From a single photograph of Hailey Bieber to a thriving eye makeup sticker venture, Shay Dekock-Kruger, Founder of HOLO EYES, from the Penticton Indian Band in Penticton, British Columbia, took her inspiration and built a dazzling community. “When I saw Hailey Bieber’s holographic eyeliner sticker, a rush of creativity surged through me. I knew I could create my own designs and tap into the music festival and nightclub scenes,” Shay begins, her eyes glowing with the same sparkle that characterizes her business, HOLO EYES.
HOLO EYES isn’t just about eye stickers; it’s an experience. Shay’s unique proposition lies in her mobile face paint and glitter bar services. “Imagine being at a festival or a party and getting glammed up in glitter, face paint, and our signature holographic stickers. That’s HOLO EYES for you!” she exclaims.
Currently, Shay single-handedly runs the business, yet her dreams are grand. “Though I operate chiefly in Canada and the USA, there’s demand from the UK, which I’m looking to tap into,” she reveals. With an expansion plan in her sights, Shay dreams of a broader product line, more trained staff, and more festival bookings.
For Shay, the joy lies in creating memorable experiences. “The photoshoots for HOLO EYES, seeing happy customers, it’s immensely rewarding,” she says. However, she has not been without challenges. “One of the biggest fashion brands copied my product and unique packaging design. It was a tough phase,” she recalls.
Being part of the Pow Wow Pitch has been an exhilarating experience for Shay. “It’s a fantastic platform. Beyond the monetary benefits, it offers great exposure,” she shares. In her entrepreneurial journey, Shay has leaned on mentors Madelaine Clerk from Shopify & Stephane St-Hilaire from RBC for pitch guidance and moral support.
When asked about the Indigenous approach to entrepreneurship, Shay’s face lights up, “The essence of Indigenous entrepreneurship is the value of family and community. In HOLO EYES, I ensure that we foster a sense of community. Every product, every photoshoot, and every mobile service is a step towards bringing people together.”
Shay’s experiences have also taught her the importance of a strong online presence. “Good photos and effective website copywriting are paramount. Your product needs to be easily searchable and visually appealing,” she advises.
To budding Indigenous entrepreneurs, Shay offers a pearl of wisdom: “Know your costs. Ensure your business can be a profitable long-term investment. And most importantly, don’t undersell yourself. Initially, you might offer products for free to gather feedback but remember, it’s about scaling up effectively.”
HOLO EYES is not just a business; it’s a vision. A vision of glittering nights, musical festivals, and the joy of community. And at the heart of it is Shay Dekock-Kruger, painting the world one holographic sticker at a time.
Register to watch Shay pitch at the Consumer Semi-Final Online Watch Party on September 13, 2023, at 6 PM ET and vote for Shay to win the 2023 People’s Choice Prize (#37) before September 17, 2023.