Saturday, 12 February 2011

{Supplier Spotlight} Make-up by Katy

1. In just a few sentences, could you describe your business? 

My name is Katy Messer and I'm an internationally travelled make-up artist
with over 15 years experience who specialises in Bridal Make-up.

2. When did you set your business up?

I officially went 100% freelance in Feb 2010 having worked as the
International Make-up Artist and Trainer for a make-up artist brand for 7

3. How did your business Start?

I got into make-up straight  after A-levels and started doing Bridal make-up
as soon as I had enough in my kit. After years of freelancing on and off in
between working alongside big artistry brands, I decided that the time had
come to go it alone. I was turning down SO much work as I was commited to
travelling and my heart has always been in Bridal Make-up. Plus, I got
married myself in Oct 2009 and I had a husband at home who I'd much rather
be with! 

4. Why did you set up your business?

I am passionate about what I do. I put my heart and soul into my work. I'm a
self taught make-up artist who has worked alongside some of the greatest
artists in the industry therefore my standards are high! In my years I've
seen some appalling artistry and some very upset and distressed brides. On
the same thread, there are some incredible artists out there who can make
magic with make-up. I wanted to be up there with them, offering a service
that is second to none.

5. How many employee's are there in your business and who are they?

Officially it's just moi! My husband does a cracking job of the heavy
lifting of my kit (which weighs a ton!) but I don't pay him so he's not an
official employee ;)

6. How did you decide on your business name?

This was tricky. I'd spent 13 years building my reputation in the industry
as Katy Messer but I knew that one day, I'd get married. So I decided on
Make-up by Katy, hoping that I'd become so famous I'd not need a last name
like Madonna! Now, I use my married name Angelidi for everything else and
Messer for work. 

7. What's the best thing about your business?

The end result is always an amazing feeling. But the relationship that is
built up with people in the process is second to none. Make-up is a really
intimate process and someone who starts out as a stranger at the beginning
is often a friend by the end. I've lost count of how many people tell me
that they have had a bad make-up experience or couldn't bear the thought of
having their make-up done and then having seen what can be achieved, do a
complete turn and love how they look. It all harks back to the bad
reputation that make-up artists have for just slapping it on. Not all of us
do that. There is so much more to it than that!

8. What do you find most challenging about your business?

The problem with the Make-up Industry is it is so varied. There are people
out there who charge hardly anything for their services and unfortunately,
the end results can reflect that. Not all the time but the majority of the
time you do get what you pay for. I know that I have placed myself somewhere
in the middle. I don't charge a fortune but I'm not one of the cheap ones
and I feel that's deserved as I'm experienced and good at what I do. It is
sometimes seen as a 'hobby' industry and I've had to explain to people that
this isn't something I do on the side whilst having a 'proper job' in the
week. It is a skilled service that we provide and we charge accordingly for
our time. And also, for the massive amount of expensive product we use.
Make-up isn't cheap to buy! 

Another challenge is the double bookings! Sometimes I can get 4/5 enquiries
for the same day and although I know this is expected, it's so frustrating!
If I could clone myself I would. 

9. What have been some of the greatest rewards from your business?

The looks on their faces when they see themselves in the mirror after seeing
themselves. It's the most amazing feeling. I had a bride who'd lost both
parents and had an awful time of it in the run up to her big day. She was
riddled with self doubt but we became so close that I stayed to help her
into her dress and she was so beautiful and happy with how she looked, I
cried! She didn't, but I did!

Getting respect from others in the industry also provides a boost. I've
recently been asked to do the make-up for some very important people in the
industry and I'm nervous but ecstatic to have been asked. 
10. What's the best thing your business give to its customers?

100% high standards at all times. I give every person who sits in my chair a
tailored, perfected look. I am not just there to make you look pretty. I
have knowledge of photographic make-up, how to make it work in all the
different lightings. I have worked with brands on product development so I
can give the right product advice. I work to make your features more
symetrical which in turn makes you more photogenic. My make-up is designed
to make each person feel confident yet like them selves. I'm reliable,
honest, efficient and I listen!

11. Do you have any top tips for choosing a Make Up Artist? 

Look at a make-up artists work, and I mean look really closely. If they only
have full body shots on their website, ask to see a closer face shot. If
they can't provide that, ask yourself why. Have a trial, it's worth paying
out to see how he/she will work with your features. Be both honest and open
minded. If you've always worn the same lipstick, don't let them talk you out
of it, but listen if they suggest trying a variation on it that might be
more flattering. Have images ready to show them. It's so much easier to show
than to describe. Then, there won't be confusion and mis interpretations.
Don't go for the cheapest because they're the cheapest. If it's their work
that you love then fantastic, otherwise, keep searching. This is the person
who is going to be responsible for how your face looks on the biggest day of
your life!

12. What three pieces of advice would you give to anyone who wants to run
their own business?

1) Plan ahead. If you're leaving a full time job to go freelance, you may
want to cut down to part time first and have the peace of mind that is a
regular salary for a while before going 100% on your own. It may not be
necessary but then you won't be putting too much pressure on yourself to
cover all your bills. This can push you to lose sight of what's important.
2) Be realistic- You probably won't take any money from it for at least the
first year. There is so much money that is needed to invest in starting up!
Save save save save save and then it will enable you to plough what you earn
back in for advertising, printing, website set up etc.
3) Remember why you did it, enjoy it and don't let it get you down! There
will be challenges and there will be incredible highs! It can be a
rollercoaster of emotions and worries and then exhilleration. If you don't
lose sight of why you did it, because you're passionate about what you do
and GREAT at your job, it'll be worth it.

13. Where can I find out more about your business?

My website is and you can follow me on Twitter at or good old fashioned telephone (+44) 07738

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