HOUSTON-U.S. Army veteran Nicole Baldwin, 28, was 4 years old when she was severely burned. She was trying to surprise her grandmother Mary by making her a cup of tea when hot water poured onto her face, neck and chest leaving her with burns.
"It was embarrassing as a kid because kids are brutally honest and they'll ask me, or what happened to you?" she says. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, every day, 435 children ages 0 to 19 are treated in emergency rooms for burn-related injuries.
This tragic incident would later become Baldwin's motivation to launch her own skincare company.
While receiving treatment at the hospital, her nurse grandmother used home remedies to help Baldwin's scars to heal. "She would come home from work and she w
ould massage this formula on my skin and it virtually helped heal all the scaring," she says.
During her deployment in Afghanistan, Baldwin thought about her grandmother's homemade herbal remedies and she started thinking about creating her own. "It was in Afghanistan, that my skin began to shift due to the heat, dust, dirt, stress, all of those factors played on the health of my skin," she says. In 2010, Baldwin decided to follow her grandmother's footsteps and her dream, and launched BIOA Beauty Skincare - Beauty Inside and Out. "I started to think about my grandmother's formulation and I thought to myself…if I could get my grandmothers' formulation to do exactly what it did for my skin, then I might be on to something," she says.
Back in the United States, Baldwin went to the Aesthetician School at Houston Training Schools. "I wanted to get in-depth knowledge about skincare and creating products," she says. Her determination pushed her to continue her dream, researching ways to enhance her grandmother's formula.
Baldwin was also a recipient of a grant from the Women Veterans Entrepreneurs Corp program, which was created in collaboration with Count Me In, a not-for-profit providing resources, business education and community support for women entrepreneurs . BIAO Beauty Skincare line now has three products including, a rejuvenating cleanser, a moisturizer and a facial mask which she sells online at www.biaoskincare.com
Nicole Baldwin's message for veterans:
My message for veterans coming out of the military inspired to start their own business is, go for it. Use that same discipline, the same leadership, the same personal courage, selfless service, all the things we're taught as soldiers. Use that to help you build your business because if at the end of the day you believe in yourself, if you believe in what you're doing, you're going to be successful.
Second Tour is an ABC News digital series profiling the lives of military veterans who are doing unique things in the civilian world, including vets who took on an entrepreneurial venture to create a business, grassroots organization or a second career.