Hi, guys, my name is Hazel and I'm a face painter based in Nottingham, and this is my first blog, it might be a tad long but It explains how I've got to where I am today despite all the knockbacks life has thrown at me. Some of it is business-related but mostly personal. I know some people have been through similar things so wanted to share my story as I know some may relate.
My face painting journey started almost 5 years ago in 2015 whilst I was studying Fine Art at university. I had been struggling to find a part-time job that I not only enjoyed but was also flexible around my other commitments. I was then introduced to the idea of face painting when a university friend suggested it to me whilst at a career fair where there was a stand that said face and body painters needed.
My first ever set up (photo below)consisted of a simple Snazaroo starter kit. I managed to get my first Face painting party within 2 weeks of setting up a Facebook page. The first year was slow and consisted of mainly pay per face charity jobs and the odd family party. At the end of my first-year face painting my mojo and passion felt like it had gone with the loss of my Grandma at Christmas. I felt like I'd been focussing too much time on other things and not enough time on my family and friends. The face painting was put to one side, not totally out of the way but not advertised whilst I focused my attention on more important things.
18 months had passed by, I'd done 3 parties and a few charity jobs while also focussing on my family and the loss of a second Grandma(Nana) all whilst attempting to finish and pass my degree.
July 2017, I had graduated from university and that's when it hit me, time is precious. Time shouldn't be wasted doing things you don't enjoy, as tomorrow is never promised. This sudden realization had come after losing 2 of my family members within 18 months of each other. It's not something that you just push to the back of your mind.
I had something I needed to prove, needed to prove it to myself, could I really set up again, but this time put everything I have into it? I spent a few weeks researching events, companies and anywhere else that I could advertise. I got leaflets printed, business cards handed out and emails sent out to anywhere that was local.
It took a month or 2 but I got a party just before Christmas and was booked for a super busy Christmas fayre. These 2 jobs then rippled into a few more jobs through recommendations. Although this was shortly followed by having to look for a part-time job in the new year to help me along financially. The start of 2018, and a retail job wasn't something I really wanted as it meant working weekends, but it was also the only job offer I got. With this part-time job, I could only take on a few face painting parties and jobs on my free weekends. In the end the retail job wasn't for me and I handed in my notice after 7 months of trying. This meant I was back to the one thing I enjoyed the most, face painting. I not only enjoyed being self-employed but I also really enjoyed the satisfaction when a kid would have a beaming smile after looking in the mirror.
A new logo and slight change of business name were needed as another Face painting business had set up with an almost identical name. The new logo was professional and stood out on my business cards, flyers and banner. This new branding bought in new customers and potential clients, from local businesses to council jobs. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere with several bookings in the diary for the end of the year and into 2019 from paid jobs to private bookings as well as charity jobs. In comparison to some face painters, I felt like I was still lacking in terms of the number of bookings I was getting. But at least I was trying the best I could, I didn't drive so most of my jobs were local. I start getting more and more jobs booked in for the spring months as well as a few outdoor events for the may half term. My best and busiest weekend so far was the May bank holiday (photo of set up below) when the weather was perfect for the local beer garden and their family weekend event.
More recommendations and bookings come in and it looks like I have a summer of jobs to look forward to, or maybe not. The one aspect of my life that has always been there, but I've tried not to let it ruin my plans is my disability. At 3 months old I was diagnosed with a condition called Hydrocephalus (water on the brain) explanation of that and it's treatment here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hydrocephalus/
In August this year, I was rushed to hospital with all the signs and symptoms that my VP Shunt(link above) had failed and I would need immediate brain surgeries. All summer plans and jobs had to be canceled which was upsetting at the time but I knew my health was far more important than a few jobs. Two weeks in hospital and a further month recovering at home and I was straight back into painting at a booking that had been pre-booked months in advance.
So if you’re still reading and I haven’t bored you yet, what I’m trying to say is that even when it feels like nothings going right whether it’s business, family or health-related everyone has the chance to pick themselves back up again and carry on. But if you’re lucky enough to get a second chance at something, don’t waste it.
Happy Painting <3