At a very young age Kat DeJesus was mesmerized by the art of makeup. A self taught makeup artist her expertise comes from 15+ years of working in the retail and commercial world of the industry. Her motto is “Love is in the details and good skin prep.” Read our interview with the lovely Kat below…
What motivated and inspired you to start your own business?
You get to a point in your career when you want to stop working for others or helping others profit from your hard work and talent. If that isn’t motivation enough… I don’t know what is.
Tell us about your business.
I’m a professional makeup artist that specializes in commercial and beauty.
Are you currently running any promos/contests/giveaways that you would like our readers to know about?
Not at this time but I plan to in the future. I will be starting a blog in the next month or so and the details will be linked to my professional website if anyone would like to stay in the loop!
2 published covers for Design Bureau Magazine. As well as published work in Dark Beauty, Elegant, Schön, Wonderland, GlassBook, Tipsy, Sicky magazines to name a few. Youtube makeup tutorials for a summer campaign partnered up with SugarGamers and Kryolan City Chicago. And a few articles on tips and tricks for Groupon Beauty.
Where is your business based?
Currently I travel throughout the midwest with plans to expand to the west coast.
What were the first few steps you took to get your business up and running?
The first step was actually believing that I could do it. You can’t get anywhere doubting yourself. The next step was researching and networking. You have to get out there.
What has been the most effective way of raising awareness of your business and getting new customers?
Word of mouth to this day has been the best way to gain new clients. If you do a great job and back it up with professionalism and kindness people will remember you! Social media has been the second biggest tool – you are your own best marketing tool. Don’t be too humble, you have to stay fresh in people’s minds so it’s ok to talk about what you do!
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
I’m a new mom. My son is 9-months old so the biggest challenge right now is being both a professional makeup artist and a super mom.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I’m very lucky to be surrounded by a great support system. My fiancé is in the freelance industry as well so he understands the hustle of networking and unconventional hours. I also have amazing friends and family that believe in me and support my career so they help with our son as much as they can so mommy and daddy can keep working.
How do you keep motivated through difficult times?
Hobbies! I cosplay (dress up as fictional characters at comic book conventions). So creating costumes and designing makeup and hair keeps the creative juices flowing. I also dabble in homemade skincare. My fiancé always asks me what chemical concoction I’m making next. I have a pretty extensive collection of carrier and essential oils. I am constantly learning new skills and techniques to make sure my work makes an impression. I try to take advantage of educational seminars or conventions that come my way and challenge myself by working with new photographers and doing collaborations to step out of my comfort zone.
How do you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
I’m all about the details. I try to stay a step ahead of the art director or photographer on any little thing that might need to be corrected. I’m also known for my energy, optimism and professionalism. I try to maintain a positive attitude in any work environment. Talented makeup artists are a dime a dozen so the impression you leave can make or break you.
What is the best advice you have received recently?
Your vibe attracts your tribe. If you want to stay motivated and positive, surround yourself with people who are too.
What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
Even if you’re scared or don’t know how to start – you sometimes just gotta take the leap of faith. Don’t be afraid to reach out to strangers and make cold calls either.
What is your favorite business tool or resource?
Books! “Color” by Betty Edwards, “Making Faces” by Kevin Aucoin “One woman 100 Faces” by Frances Tallot and “Makeup: The Art of Beauty” by Linda Mason.
What social media outlets do you use? List them below.
What is a good article or book you have read recently?
“Social Media” by David Kelly.
What are you currently learning about for your business or looking for help with?
Blogging, analytics and brand marketing.
What are your goals for the next few months and how are you striving to achieve them?
Looking to get into expanding my brand into different media outlets. I’ve started taking marketing and media classes. I’m also looking to get a majority of my work in publications this year. Currently have a story in Elegant magazine another soon to be released in Nasty magazine.