glam galaxy toronto

Toronto HR worker's side hustle makes it to one of Canada's biggest retailers

When a Toronto HR worker in the banking industry started up her own small business as a side hustle, getting into one of Canada's biggest retailers seemed like a fantasy.

Now, Glam Galaxy Cosmetics has made it to Winners, and founder Shobana Thangarajah isn't stopping there.

She actually started dreaming up the concept way back in 2019, and battled through registering the business in 2020 and launching in 2021.

Thangarajah initially came up with her ideas as she found she was wanting to switch products too often throughout the day, and Glam Galaxy products are now designed to have more than one function.

For example, she's created a four-in-one lip liner ($23) with four different shades for different events you might encounter in your day, as well as double-ended combination lipstick/liner ($16) and lipstick/gloss ($22).

It hasn't been easy starting up the brand while working full-time, but Thangarajah has relied on her time management and organizational skills, as well as having supportive people around her.

"Rather than watching Netflix or going out with my friends after work, I would continue to do work or even make plans to do work with my friends. Also, I'm a huge agenda and to-do list freak, so I have like three physical agendas, and then my online calendar, and my phone calendar," Thangarajah tells blogTO.

"Every morning I would write down what I need to get done for the day and then on Thursdays I would create a list of things I need to do for the weekend, and then on Sunday I would create another list of things I would need to do for the week."

To some, giving up Netflix and going out seems brutal, but Thangarajah actually insists she feels she has a great work/life balance. She even runs another small event decor business that she started up as a hobby back in university.

"Running this business and having a full-time job does not stop me from going to my friend's birthday party or joining sports leagues," says Thangarajah.

"There may be times where I do pull all-nighters or have breakdowns due to the amount of work I have, but having my extremely supportive older sisters and always encouraging and willing-to-help friends really does make a positive difference."

It makes sense she'd break down sometimes, as she's always vulnerably putting herself out there by reaching out to retailers trying to get her products into their stores.

"I initially reached out to Winners in December 2021 but got turned away, but then tried emailing them again in March 2022 which led me to a meeting with the cosmetics buyer for Winners," says Thangarajah.

Her persistence is steadily paying off, and even after less than a year in business her dream of becoming the number one seller of multi-functional, on-the-go cosmetics isn't seeming so far-fetched. 

Glam Galaxy is launching eye products around fall 2022, and is hoping to expand with multi-functional products in other areas like skincare and brushes.

Lead photo by

Glam Galaxy Cosmetics

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