The UK version of the Apprentice is now in its fourth week and it is one of the few TV programmes that I HAVE to watch! The mix of the comedic and the commercial is a winning formula and although I sometimes berate the efforts of the hopeful apprentices (why do they ALWAYS ignore the market research garnered from the focus groups ????) – I love the business tasks, as I am passionate about commerce and entrepreneurship as mentioned in a previous post.
The beauty industry is one of the most dynamic sectors in the world and I have always admired the fact that Black women have made and are continuing to make an impact on this multi-billion pound sector.
These women are an immense inspiration – the fact that they have reached the pinnacle of their professions, that many of them are pioneers an innovators that are changing the very essence of the beauty industry motivates me to reach for the stars and work hard to achieve my own business ambitions, to be (which I will tell you all about very soon….).
Of course, I decided to create a Pinterest board to recognise these leading ladies!
The board includes British MUA extraordinaire, Pat McGrath. Hailing from Northampton, Pat is currently Global Cosmetics Creative Design Director for Procter and Gamble the company behind some of the world’s most glamorous and powerful make up brand names – Max Factor, CoverGirl, SK-II and the recently launched Dolce & Gabanna. Previously, Giorgio Armani hired Pat to design his makeup line. Constantly in demand by top celebrities such as Madonna, Oprah, Jennifer Lopez, Scarlett Johansson and Jennifer Aniston, McGrath’s editorial work with top photographers like Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue and American Vogue continually breaks new ground. McGrath has attributed her creativity to her mother, a devoted who was a keen follower of fashion and would quiz the young Pat on the different shades of eye shadow. “She trained me, basically, to do the shows, right there… look at the pattern, check the fabrics, look for the make-up – and begin,” she told Sarah Mower in Vogue in 2007. “She was always mixing up colours because there wasn’t anything out there for black skin,” added McGrath in an interview with TIME magazine in 2003. McGrath has been called the one of most influential make-up artist in the world by Vogue magazine.
Despite being in demand at all the major fashion shows she also finds time to be a role model for young black women. Read more about what she has to say about this role here.
As I celebrate these women who are at the top of their entrepreneurial game, I also wanted to showcase the up and coming Black British female movers and shakers that I have come into contact with as I am really excited to see young women of colour take control of their futures and live their dreams.
I asked her a few questions about her business. I hope that you are inspired!
BPL: Hi Beverly! Tell me about your business and what inspired you to start it?
BC: Make Up:F.Y.I is a make up event company that seeks to hold events for women who love all things beauty. From the absolute novice to the esteemed make up professional, Make Up:F.Y.I events bring women together to share knowledge and of course apply make up. I set up the company because I have always had a love for make up but like many women, I needed help in application. What better way to learn than at an event that you can attend with your friends and leave looking glam and well informed. In addition having tasted a piece of the beauty pie in previous jobs I had to find a way to feed the addiction!! Jobs in beauty are much desired but sometimes not the best paid so I had to make my own ‘dream job’ and I believe I have achieved this with Make Up:F.Y.I.
I get to indulge in beauty and put use to my Journalism degree by writing about products that I and many others love. The first event was held in Piccadilly, London in July 2010, where attendees came along and were shown how to create sort after looks by make up artists. More events are planned for the future as well as tutorials and a website which are both coming soon.
BC: Never never, never give up. It just took one moment for me to go from a wannabe beauty company owner in my head to CEO and Founder in reality. Find the time for your beauty passion and soon it will become a way of life, weaving its way around your everyday responsibilities. Take time to research the market and know exactly what you want to do and who your target market is. Network and speak to others in the industry for guidance. Lastly you are a walking, talking brand so if you are going to get people to take your brand seriously, you need to take your brand seriously.
BC: My favourite beauty brand is NARS. I love everything from the vibrant colours, variety of textures and products. Its just such a sexy and chic brand.