Being A Make-Up Artist

 

10262155_10156598114755556_910807236022384390_nContinuing with my theme around Celebrating Success and Cheerleading, I am going to be talking to the Make-Up Artist, Alanna Flanders-Doughty.

I first met Alanna a few years ago when I participated in a styling makeover which was a collaboration between my hairdresser, a stylist, a photographer and a make-up artist (Alanna).

Alanna was just embarking on her journey as a Make-Up Artist (just over 3 years ago) having left behind the security of a full time job.

I remember really enjoying hearing about all her plans for work and the various training she had done and would continue to do.  I also remember that one of the big challenges she also faced was to learn to drive.

That was 3 years ago now and through Social Media, her website and sheer hard graft, I have seen Alanna turn her business into a roaring success.  She has worked in magazine and television and has the most amazing portfolio.  She is also travelling all around the country in her own wheels!

Of course, this success doesn’t come handed on a plate and Alanna has been tireless in her efforts to build a reputation in the industry and this is one of the things I have admired most about her.Painted09.jpg

Photograph : David Bradford

Alanna, you chose a path into an extremely competitive industry, tell us about how you managed to get a breakthrough?

A lot of hard work. When I first started I knew no one in the industry at all. I had to start from scratch. I began by building my portfolio which involves meeting up with a new photographer, model and stylist to get pictures. You are all working together to create some nice images for your portfolio. You have to do this quite a few times to start with to build up enough sets to make a nice portfolio website for yourself. Whist doing this you need to get yourself out there by assisting other established make-up artists to learn how to work in different environments. All these things help you build your profile. It takes time but soon all these people you meet will start offering or putting you forward for jobs. As you can imagine it does take a long time and lot of people aren’t able to make it work. I’ve been very fortune to make it pay off a lot quicker than some, I guess I just really wanted it and knew I could do it.

I often see you make references to Make-Up Artist’s being expected to work for nothing in exchange for the prestige of working for a ‘brand’.  This is of course a common problem for small businesses.  How did you deal with that when you were starting out? 

I simply said no!  The unfortunate thing about these make-up schools is that they aren’t teaching the students the rights and wrongs of this job. So when you leave it’s pretty much up to you. A collaboration is the only thing you should do unpaid, everyone is doing it for pictures and no one is making money from you all working together. When a brand approaches you this is a different story. No matter how new you are you do deserve to be paid. The promises of exposure simply aren’t true. Be true to the industry as accepting these kind of jobs doesn’t help us to move forward.  You are worth it.

What advice would you give to other small business owners starting out alone? 

Never give up. Nothing happens over night. It really does take a lot of hard work. You will have knock backs and in the beginning you might feel like you have made the wrong choice but keep going. If you love and enjoy what you are doing, the money will follow.  Fortune favours the brave.

alanna

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

Oh gosh their have been so many I just enjoy getting up everyday and doing what I love. I’m very lucky. I’ve worked with some celebrities, commercials and at The BAFTAs. It has all been amazing.

Who/What keeps you accountable and motivated? 

I have to get the work myself. No one is going to do that for me. Even when I’m not out on set I am still working from home promoting myself and doing admin. I will still get up and get dressed for work every day.

What stopped you from giving up?

I just knew I could do it. Everything I’ve done in life I have done to the best of my ability.  No matter how hard it was in the beginning I knew I could make it work. Going back to my 9-5 desk job just wasn’t an option for me. I was enjoying what I was doing and I wasn’t prepared to give it up. I’m very stubborn and headstrong! 

You will have seen my recent post about Cheerleaders.  Were you lucky enough to have the support of others? 

If I’m honest, I was surprised about the support I’ve received from some people but this has only made me even more determined to keep going. I think things like this do show you who matters. I am so grateful to those who have shown me support, ‘ve received some lovely messages and compliments from those least expected. My fiancé, mum and dad always tell me how proud of me they are and are amazed of how far I’ve come in this time.

Any further goals you want to share?

I’ve got a very long list of goals for this year. It’s the first year I’ve actually written them down. They are on my fridge and I look at them everyday. They are really ambitious so I’m hoping I will have a few ticked off soon.  As for what they are well I would like to keep that to myself for now!

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Photograph : David Bradford

Alanna, thank you so much for taking part this series.  It sounds as though you have some exciting plans on your list of goals.

It must be a wonderful feeling to be able to look back and reflect on how much you have achieved.

I have to say, I’d book you out every day to do my make-up if I could!

You can find out more about Alanna’s work on her website.

Alanna is the last of my three lovely local ladies who have participated in this series.  You can read more about the others here :

Heather Waring – Walk to the Rhythm of Your Heart

Laura Piercy-Farley – Sharing the Success of E18 Yoga

Thank you so much for reading.  All comments are welcomed and will be responded to.

Nicky

Sharing the Success of E18 Yoga

Laura posed

Over the last couple of weeks in my blog I have talked about Cheerleaders and Celebrating Success as part of a series and challenge to celebrate International Women’s Day.

I also mentioned the fact that we never have to look far for inspirational people and how we are particularly well served in our local area for such people.

I am delighted to say that in my blog today I am going to be talking to the lovely Laura Piercy-Farley, the owner of E18 Yoga, about her business.

Laura runs Yoga classes for children and adults as well as personal one to one classes and a pregnancy yoga class at the weekend.

One of the things that has always struck me about Laura is her energy.  I often wonder how many hours there are in Laura’s day compared to everyone else’s.     As well as working full-time, Laura is involved in and can turn her hand to so many things.

She works full-time in a very demanding role, has two grown up sons and manages to play netball, run Yoga classes, crochet and be very active in the community all at the same time.

The biggest surprise is that Laura is due to retire from the City of London police force in June so there is lots more to come for E18 Yoga.

It is clear that Laura is passionate about her classes and the children and adults that she teaches.  She takes a genuine interest in everyone and the children absolutely love her.

 

Laura

Over to you Laura – exciting times ahead, how did the Yoga idea come about?

I started attending yoga class with a wonderful lady Kay Russell after a sad event 14 years ago  to help me deal with depression. I found it so helpful I wanted to share my good experience with others so I trained for four years, whilst working as a riot officer, to teach others.  I have been teaching 12 years (you start teaching half way through your training as a student teacher).

My first yoga classes were to my fellow riot officers! I thought if I could teach them I could teach anyone!

Yoga has become more and more popular in recent years, it’s a wonderful form of exercise.  What would you say are the main benefits?

Balance is the main benefit of yoga, exercise is a by product of yoga! Yoga can bring balance to the mind, body, breath  and heart. You become stronger, more supple, focused, relaxed and dare I say happier, well at least you do in my classes and we spend a fair amount of time laughing!

One of your really successful areas has been working with children.   I know that you have seen really positive results?

Children are a complete joy to teach. I don’t know the exact science behind why yoga is so good for children, however you see a shy child blossom, an angry/sad child be able to better deal with the emotions raging around their bodies and a happy child become happier and more confident. I trust my yoga children to catch, teach and lead me in yoga (see Video of Trust link below)

 

You are an avid user of Social Media sharing lots of useful information around Yoga and well-being.  Has this helped with launching your business?

I get more enquires via social media than any other medium. I will be launching yoga video bites via Facebook soon watch this space!

Another lovely thing about you is that you actively support others with their ventures too.  I have talked about Cheerleaders throughout this series.  Would you agree that you are one?

I like to help local businesses and local yoga teachers, I am a great believer in the rule of three, ‘What you give out free you get back threefold’ .

Whilst I am still working I sometimes get offered classes that I can’t cover I look to local teachers to offer them the work. I know that once I retire that this will come back to me. I am also happy to promote business through my class network.

Who are your Cheerleaders for when things don’t always go to plan?

My biggest cheerleader is my husband.  Without his help I would not be able to teach my classes. He cares for our sons, cooks the dinner, walks the dogs,  does my accounts, maintains my website and much, much more. He also attends my Monday class with our son and gives me honest feedback.

Leaving the security of employment can be life changing but also daunting – has this been a concern for you or is it celebrations all the way?

I have loved being a Police Officer and feel very privileged to have completed my full service of 30 years. It is very unusual for a female officer to reach this milestone.  

I am now ready for the next chapter of my life, spending more time with friends and family, exploring my yoga practice and teaching more yoga!!! Oh and learning the piano, ballroom dancing, Spanish, tennis and the list continues!

Up until now, the Yoga has been a part-time business for you.  What plans do you have for E18 Yoga once you are officially retired?

This was an area of dilemma for me as I like to be busy. I love teaching a variety of yoga class from prenatal all the way through to Fab & Over 50.

However, I have decided that my area of expertise is really teaching yoga to children. I am going to offer yoga to schools as an enhancement to the curriculum. Including Inset day training for staff and how they can use yoga to create a calmer more productive class environment and teaching the children how to use yoga to balance their school days.

I already teach afterschool yoga club at two schools in South Woodford which I love. Those are the children whose parents see the value of yoga, but there are lots of children in school who would benefit from yoga whose parents would never think to send them, i want them to benefit from yoga as well.

I am already in negotiations with a local school to volunteer an hour a week to help children 1-2-1.   Fingers crossed.

YOGA
Ben Stansall / 07875 583086 Yoga students practise ‘Downward Facing Dog’ during a yoga class at Wood Street Police Station in the City of London on July 23 2008.

Laura, thank you.  I really appreciate the time you have taken to share more about the E18 Yoga journey and being part of this series.

I wish you all the best with your exciting plans!

You can contact Laura and find out more about E18 Yoga here.

I hope you have enjoyed reading this as much as I have.  As always, your comments are welcomed and encouraged on the blog.

Do stop by again next week when I shall be talking to another local entrepreneur.

Nicky