Today we’d like to introduce you to Larrell Thacker.
Larrell, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I pretty much started by accident. Around 2013/14, I wasn’t even into makeup; no more than the average girl in my opinion. I did my makeup for special occasions, or parties, but never anything super fancy or good for that matter. Even though my makeup skills were minimal, my friends still asked me to do their makeup. I still remember when my entire kit could fit in a small clutch size box, brushes included. Fast forward to January 2015 and something in me finally said stop playing, hone in on your talent and get this business started.
Now, when I say stop playing, I mean even though my skills were mediocre, everything I did (in college) had something to do with makeup. Marketing projects, website creating, accounting projects, etc. It all revolved around the makeup industry. So, I knew I loved the industry, I just wasn’t sure in what capacity I was going to enter it in. Now, at this time, my makeup was still a bit above average, but I had to find some way to practice and get experience. So, by May, I took every extra dollar I had, about $400 and bought any and every makeup product I could.
My goal was to do 20 faces for free just to get used to doing other people, but that turned out to be harder than I thought. See with buying makeup, it’s different if you’re an artist; you have to buy items for all types of shades, types etc., so if you’re not careful you will buy everything you see and unless you have a long list of clients, that is not good for your bottom line. Now, not only was it hard to get volunteers, it was hard to fully stock a makeup kit with $400. I took a one on one artistry class with a great Houston based artist named Denise Wedderburn, and she really got my confidence up, and my skills in line. After that, I became a makeup apprentice under another great artist name Dawn Vasquez, who really helped me learn how to become a professional artist. I’ve taken more classes and am getting more clients, but I’m excited about where my business is heading.
Has it been a smooth road?
Absolutely not. The biggest struggle is the initial investment and building clientele. Like I said earlier, buying makeup when you’re an artist is difficult. You want to make sure you have as many products for all types of clients and occasions. For the first year, you really don’t make any money because everything you make goes back into your business. Buying more products, more brushes, more everything. Clients are another struggle, Everyone does not trust your skills when you’re first starting off. Even after you build clients it now becomes a problem of pricing. Makeup is the skill that many people love, but not many want to pay for, so its hard (in the beginning) to find a price that clients are okay with, and you still can make money from.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
I’m a freelance makeup artist, which means clients hire me for their makeup needs. that could be a wedding, birthday party, company headshots, prom, etc… I specialize in natural looking, fresh makeup. I think what sets me apart is that my clients feel special and beautiful from within after sitting in my chair.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
I feel like Houston is a good place for a makeup artist, that are serious about their artistry. Houston is so big that there are always people who need our services and as long as your professional and good at what you do; the clients will come.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: makeupbylarri_