After a few years of employment in the beauty industry, Gladys Wanjiru decided to pursue a solo adventure as a makeup artist.
At first, she relied on friends and referrals from satisfied clients. But when the pandemic hit two years ago, she harnessed the power of social media to market her business and struggled to attract customers.
The 28-year-old has gained 28,000 followers on short video sharing app TikTok where the Nakuru-based freelance makeup artist is called ShishDavis.
She says the job is not for everyone. She advises that once you have gained experience and expertise in your area of interest and believe you can do it on your own, it might be the best time to get into it. entrepreneurship.
“Starting a makeup business is quite an investment and the moment I convinced myself to quit the job where I worked in the beauty industry, I knew I was taking a big risk as I had to use all my savings to buy a decent product. my makeup bag and client list weren’t very promising. I took the plunge and can say the bet was worth it,” she says.
The start wasn’t so good that she hadn’t built up a proper clientele when she quit her job.
She never pocketed a single client until a month after she started. It was a client she had once cared for while she was still working.
To boost the business, she had to go the extra mile and advertise on social media platforms. She uses TikTok and Instagram, describing them as a great source of customer traffic. Both beginner and pro makeup artist content including tutorials are very popular on these apps.
“I communicate on these platforms with my potential clients for make-up services or make-up courses. I try to follow the trends and post as often as possible creating fun makeup transitions or very simple makeup tutorials just to show people that it doesn’t have to be as complicated as it sounds” , she says. .
Wanjiru specializes in glam or beauty makeup. Her makeup style is an almost skin-like finish, meaning it’s not heavy or cakey. She says she likes her clients to feel light on their face when they put on makeup.
“Everyone is beautiful and makeup should be used to complement that beauty and not as a mask. That’s what I believe in and that’s my motto when it comes to makeup,” she says.
The venture is not without its challenges, however. One of his most important tasks is to convince a client of his charges or why he should pay for his transport if he prefers the services in places of his convenience.
Another challenge is managing self-doubt as an entrepreneur.
“When someone trusts me to make them cute, it doesn’t matter how many times I’ve done it before, but there’s always that little voice in my head that makes me think I messed up or the customer is wrong. “Maybe not happy with that final look. Plus, it’s not a predictable line of work with business going up and down. It can be stressful, but the trick is not to lose hope,” says -she.
Along the way, she learned several business lessons that can inspire future entrepreneurs.
She gives advice on building self-confidence and identifying the service or good they have to offer in the market.
The passion in income
Market research is a key aspect of entrepreneurship, she adds. Passion, she says, can easily become a source of income. She advises entrepreneurs to have a backup plan in case things don’t work out.
“Before venturing into makeup, I knew my passion was there and I followed it. However, there were doubts. For example, I didn’t think I would be good at it or that anyone would pay me to do it,” she said.
“When I was unemployed, I tried to do everything for two years except follow my passion and nothing worked. When I faced my doubts and followed my passion, everything started to fall into place,” she says. Money maker.
She says every entrepreneur faces their own set of challenges and sometimes she wishes she had more than one source of income. She is, however, adamant that she cannot return to work.
She reinvests all profits back into business as she is focused on growing the business and has future business expansion plans. “I plan to have a well-stocked makeup store that sells makeup that suits everyone’s budget, because I believe all beautiful women should be able to afford makeup. Additionally, I plan to create my own beauty classes where you can enroll and learn how to do makeup for yourself or as a makeup artist,” she says.
She was lucky enough to work with two makeup brands in the country and is currently under contract with a certain makeup brand for a few months.
When she is not in business, she teaches make-up lessons. She also has a YouTube channel where she posts weekly vlogs where she shares her life with her subscribers and also offers makeup tips.