Name: Catherine Bailey

Age: 40

Job title: Make-up Artist & Hair Stylist

Time in current role: 5 years

Catherine is a freelance Make-up Artist & Hair Stylist. Visit her website here

Why did you decide to start your business?

Having done a degree in English Literature at Durham University I went into publishing and worked first in editorial and then in publicity for a few small book publishers. I used to love my job but gradually became disenchanted and rather bored with it, so when my job was threatened with redundancy I decided to jump before I was pushed! I took a course in make-up artistry at The London School of Beauty & Make-up almost on a whim, as I’d always been obsessed with make-up, and I never went back!

What are the key functions of your role?

I do make-up and/or hair styling for about five clients a week. On my ‘days off’ (no such thing really) I do admin, invoicing, accounting, PR, blogging, social media etc.

Talk us through your typical working day

There is no typical day really, and I only work 9am-5pm if I’m doing a commercial shoot. I mainly work on weddings and events at weekends.

Your favourite part of the job?

The best feeling in the world is when someone arrives feeling nervous and looking a bit dowdy or tired, and they leave feeling wonderful and loving their new look.

…and the part you could do without?

The constant uncertainty of never knowing where I’m going, who I’m meeting or where the next job is coming from can be tough. And I can never fully commit to social plans at weekends!

How would your clients describe you in three words?

Professional, positive and a calming influence.

Plans for the future? 

I’ll definitely continue working in this area, developing my skills and meeting more people in the industry. I’d like one day to run my own small make-up agency.

Do you have any advice for other aspiring entrepreneurs?

The first year is nearly always a rough ride, both mentally and financially, so you must keep believing in yourself, even if others think you’re crazy. You must have a second income stream and/or lots of savings to keep you afloat in your first and second year of business. Mine only really took off in the third year. LLY

Posted by:Carly Lewis-Oduntan

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