Berkeley Today Stories

AiJane Zhumatayeva, Berkeley College alumna

Berkeley College Alumna Taps Entrepreneurial Spirit to Launch LuRey Cosmetics



AiJane Zhumatayeva graduated from Berkeley College with a B.B.A. in Financial Services in 2012. It was during a finance internship at The New York Times in 2010 while taking classes at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan that she realized what she wanted to achieve from a professional career. “After that internship, I realized that a corporate job wasn’t the right fit for me,” she said. “I wanted to do something that encouraged entrepreneurial spirit.”

A resident of Brooklyn, NY, Ms. Zhumatayeva put her entrepreneurial spirit to the test when looking to create an affordable eyelash-boosting serum. “When I tried a prescription eyelash-boosting serum, the results were unbelievable,” she said. “However, not only did you first have to see a doctor to get a prescription, but the product itself ran for about $130 per bottle. That’s when I made a decision to create a formula that will be affordable and won’t require a prescription.”

Shortly after graduating in 2012, Ms. Zhumatayeva co-founded LuRey Cosmetics, where she currently serves as the Product and Brand Management Director. After developing its own eyelash-boosting serum, the cosmetic company expanded its skincare line with more high-quality products.

Ms. Zhumatayeva credits the guidance she received from professors at Berkeley College with preparing her to run her own business. “I’ll never forget the time my professor, Joanne Snider, invited me to a Financial Planning Association meeting,” she said. “It was my first networking event, and she personally introduced me to every single member. To this day, she continues to push me outside of my comfort zone.”

Close up with AiJane Zhumatayeva

What does success mean to you?

Success to me means being able to wake up every morning and do the things I love.

What initially inspired you to enroll in Berkeley College?

I chose Berkeley College because their business professors have real-world experience in the areas they’re teaching.

How did Berkeley College prepare you for success?

Berkeley has allowed me to develop a business-oriented mindset. Professor Ira Weissman used to say in class, “If you don’t know your numbers, you don’t know anything.” He not only taught me how to create financial reports, but also how to analyze and make decisions based on those reports and numbers.

In which way(s) do you see yourself being successful in the future?

I see myself being a successful leader and creating new innovative products in the beauty industry. We are also continuing our skincare line, working on new product launches, and updating our website. I look forward to seeing LuRey Cosmetics carried by other retail chains like Ulta and Sephora.

What advice would you offer today’s college-bound students?

Make learning a habit because education does not end after graduation. I also encourage everyone to talk with different professors and find someone that you click with. It will not only change your life, but it can also help you find a connection that you can reach out to long after college.

What was your most memorable moment at Berkeley College?

I had a lot of great moments, but none of them will compare to being inducted into the National Honor Society.