Founder’s/Owner’s story and what motivated them to start the business
After honing my skills over 15 years, I now specialise in creating makeup for ladies who don’t wear it often. I mostly work in the bridal industry and attract brides seeking a very natural look for their bridal makeup and hair.
It’s not a hobby it’s my job
After 15+ years in a deeply unsatisfying senior HR career, I was given the opportunity to take redundancy.
I hadn’t given a career as a makeup artist a single thought at this point in my life but I knew I felt unfulfilled creatively. After taking some time out and realisiing I wanted to work for myself, I decided to try a makeup taster course and within 1 hour I knew it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my working life
I was 38 years old when I commenced my training. My expectations were high as was my need to hit the ground running and make some money. I was lucky; I was trained by and assisted makeup artists who were already successful in their own rights. Makeup artists who I could aspire to and learn from.
I qualified and then assisted on all manner of jobs from crime tv programs, to dramas, fashion shoots, beauty shoots and bridal.
The challenges the business/market is facing
When people see your job as easy, fun, glamorous and sociable they think your job is just a hobby and ask “but what’s your real job”? They don’t see the hours stood on your feet working without a break, managing difficult relationships, insecurities and that’s just bridal work. The hours of research and planning that can go into makeup design, the cleaning and hygiene practices or the continuing development to ensure your skills stay relevant. Let’s not forget the ongoing battle with social media filters and photoshopping that give unrealistic expectations that we then have to explain things like skin texture is completely normal. It’s simply a case of its makeup therefore its fun and not a real job.
The opportunities the business/market is facing
5 questions to ask yourself before investing in an education as a makeup artist
Are you willing to regularly justify the value of what you offer to clients? With the costs of creating and maintaining a pro makeup kit increasing almost daily and a saturated market of newbie artists willing to work for peanuts do you have the tenacity to keep going when you feel like giving up?
Are you prepared for the quiet periods and the clients who will ghost you? You need a pretty tough skin as a makeup artist; clients will ghost you or cancel your services without any thought to that’s how you earn your living. You need to have multiple streams of income to ensure you can pay your bills whilst you establish yourself in the industry
What makes you different? Having that much competition in your field provides an opportunity to really stand out from the crowd. What can you do that creates a niche so that clients actively seek you out, rather than you being one of many?
Can you leverage trends in people lifestyles to your advantage? Thanks to the covid pandemic peoples lifestyles have changed. More people are choosing to wear less makeup day to day, nights out are more of an event so they want their makeup doing and after nothing more to do for 2 years but watch you tube makeup tutorials they need help applying the techniques to their own faces
Are you resilient enough to work in the makeup industry? You need to develop a tough exterior and get back up each time you are knocked down. People often don’t think before they speak – saying I can get my makeup done cheaper, or can you just do my eyes as I don’t want to pay for a full face. Being asked if you’re available for a job and then having to chase a decision because they booked someone else and didn’t tell you. Work suddenly drying up but bills still needing to be paid. It can take an awful lot of self belief and tenacity to work in this industry
Advice to others about business
What every successful entrepreneur wants you to know
Good decisions come from experience and experience comes from making poor decisions. Don’t make decisions from a position of scarcity or because you feel desperate. Prepare for the quiet times, plan your response and take action from a position of strength
Set boundaries from day one. Your clients will respect you more for setting limits and implementing boundaries. They will respect your business acumen and you will have a better relationship as a result
You can’t please everyone. Not everyone who contacts you will be your perfect client and that’s ok. Your perfect clients are out there, you just need to let them know you exist
Decide how you want to present your business to the world and stand by it. Be authentic, honest, real.
Most people are good at some thing and not others. Leverage the skills of others in areas that you’re not great at rather than waste countless hours trying to do everything yourself
Follow me on instagram @nataliewmakeup https://www.nataliewillingham.co.uk
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