It’s the most wonderful day of the week! On Wednesdays, we share the story of a Boss Babe we admire. I met Stephanie Paul of SMP Makeup Artistry earlier this year when I attended a girls weekend getaway in Orlando hosted by Cassandra Vancuren of Ever After Vintage Weddings and Rentals. The event was full of amazing women business owners from the Tampa Bay & Orlando area and amongst them was Stephanie. Not only did she help us all look our absolute best before taking gorgeous headshots with Lucyna Aleksandra Photography, but she was sweet & relatable. I hope you enjoy hearing about how her love of makeup began as well as some of her future goals, like working on special effects makeup. During our interview she mentioned how impressed she was with the grayscale makeup in Game of Thrones, so we look forward to seeing her try something like this in the future as she expands upon the types of makeup she offers. Enjoy her words, Boss Babes! xx
Tell us about yourself and what you do!
I'm an artist, lover of makeup, the arts, traveling (and experiencing) the world and different cultures, adoring wife to a wonderful man & three darling fur babies in beautiful Tampa Bay. I specialize in hair and makeup for events, largely weddings. I also work on location for many different kinds of photo shoots.
How did your business begin?
I've been artistic my whole life, I loved to draw and paint as a kid. I developed a love of makeup at a very early age, which likely spawned from drawing and a love of movies. I grew up in Atlanta and started applying makeup as a hobby for friends in high school. As I continued on through college, I started getting hired for weddings and events on the weekends. I believe that is when I truly realized I loved the industry, I loved the art, and I wanted to continue to pursue it - for real. My husband and I moved to Tampa in 2009, where I attended cosmetology school and became a licensed esthetician. I worked in the spa industry for a few years, but missed working weddings and being on location for various photo shoots. My love of the industry and much support from family and friends gave me the courage to begin my own official business.
What’s 1 challenge you’ve faced and 1 success you’ve had since you’ve created your business?
A challenge has been being patient with the growth of my business. I've had to learn it's a process that depends on many factors, such as: working with clients, communication, being professional and consistent, and meeting expectations. One success that comes to mind is general, but powerful. When I reflect on how far I have come since I first started out officially, it makes me thankful and proud. My success shows in happy clients and confidence from fellow artists.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received and has it come in handy for you?
From a personal business standpoint, growth shows in many forms. Good advice in my business (or many) is to be patient, remain consistent, stay true to yourself, and never stop learning.
When are you at your happiest?
I am at my happiest when I'm traveling with people I love or when I am able to make a client look and FEEL their very best - which also allows me to exhibit my own creativity.
What do you tell yourself when things get difficult?
I remind myself how far I have come, and I think of the people that love me and believe in me.
What are you grateful for?
Aside from the amazingly supportive family and friends in my life, I am thankful for my artistic abilities and that I still have the desire (and appreciation) to continuously love what I do after all these years.
What’s 1 personal goal and 1 business goal you plan to accomplish this year?
A personal goal would be to prioritize my health, which has not be a major focus for me recently. One business goal (aside from continued growth) would be to continue to branch into new and different areas of the makeup industry, i.e. special effects, editorial work, etc.
Where can you be found on a Tuesday afternoon?
I don't have a fun answer for this question, as I maintain a part time job during the week to help support my business needs and my desires to travel.. so, I'd be at my office job, likely wishing I was on location at the beach.
How about on a Friday evening?
Most Friday evenings I am prepping my kit and getting to bed early for an early morning wedding! Saturday night I usually enjoy dining out or making dinner with my husband, sharing a good bottle of wine, and catching up on a movie or show.
A Sunday morning?
Sunday morning I like to sleep in, run errands (groceries for the week, etc.) and get things done around the house.
Finish these sentences:
I love: making people feel good and helping them see the beauty in themselves.
I’m always looking for: more opportunities to learn, grow, and LIVE!
My inspiration is: fellow artists. From famous makeup artists working tirelessly on movie sets to the talented co-artists I've worked with for years. Artists that help and support their fellow artists in a industry that is as rewarding as it is challenging. People that chase their dreams, no matter the hurdles.
I’ll never: sell myself short, dissuade someone from chasing their dreams, or regret efforts made that bring happiness to myself, or others.