It was four years ago today that I opened the doors of Authentic Beauty.
Five years ago I decided I wanted it and was willing to do something about the dream I had been living with most of my adult life. It’s funny that the original blog about the day I said goodbye to my former life still lives and will forever live on this site. (Say Goodbye to Olde Towne). You will hear inspirational speakers and business cheerleaders state that in starting a business you have to row away from the shore and be willing to lose site of it with only the vision of where you want to go in mind. That’s exactly how it’s done. You have to have faith in yourself, in making decisions when it’s scary to do so, you have to inspire others, you have to ask for help, you have to REALLY want it and you have to get up day after day in the face of the possibility of failure and keep taking action. But the really important part: You let go completely of what you know.
It’s funny that the first blog post was written on November 2, 2007. Many of you know the extended version of the story. The short of it: We signed a lease (in 2007) on a building that didn’t get building permitted until 10 months after the lease was signed. And once it was approved the building required too much work for it to be financially feasible and I had to walk away. In doing so I had no home-no place to work. I was lucky enough to have had three amazing salon owners to allow me to see clients and regroup; Richie Arpino, Jeff South from Intrigue and Todd Suttles. I rotated between three locations trying my best to keep the dream alive. Meanwhile my original team who helped me create the vision walked away and I was even sued by people I trusted with my life. It was a desperate time. I just kept moving forward and took one step at a time.
In September of 2008 Todd Suttles asked me if I would be interested in renting the front area of his salon. It had been his reception area and he decided he was going to downsize. As scary as it was committing to a fixed expense I knew this was a good offer. The location was perfect. There was natural lighting and enough space to grow. I signed the lease and painted the walls.
Now here it is four years later. I own the entire business at 4674 Roswell rd. Todd Suttles moved on and left me with the entire space. We have 7 incredible artists, a lash technician, a director of operations, 2 estheticians, a spray tan room, 6 hairstylists, a graphic designer and a LOT of other people who help to bring this vision to life. Today I am in awe. I didn’t want a party. We are having a staff training and learning how to custom blend lipsticks. I want to sit and reflect and drink champagne with my team.
Today also happens to be the day we are expecting the compact for our makeup line to arrive. I have been working on developing this line for 2 years. The packaging will be environmentally friendly. I REFUSE to make something that can’t be recycled or biodegrade. The prototype is bringing my future, The launch of Authentic Beauty Cosmetics. This line will be non-toxic AND of the highest quality possible. There have been so many people that have been instrumental to our success. I am afraid to start naming names because I will forget someone I am sure. When I look to the future I am clear. I believe this year will be the best one yet. Makeup Lounges and beauty Bars are gaining momentum. We will have our 3 in 1 Magic Foundation ready for sale, our signature looks will be happening, we will renovate the salon and we will be ready to expand to location number 2. I want to thank EVERYONE who is a part of this. I cannot transform the way the beauty industry does business on my own.
The events and accolades over the past 4 years:
Makeup Artist for Eve Ensler, playwright Vagina Monologues and momma to V-day #onebillionrising
Most Eligible Shoot Jezebel Magazine Makeup Team 2008
Featured Beauty Shopper Jezebel Magazine 2008
Q100 Shout out from Jessica Dauler as the Brow Guru of Atlanta
Makeup and Brows for Jenn Hobby of Q100
Personal Makeup Artist for Laura Turner Seydel
Personal Makeup for Beth Weitzman editor of Jezebel Magazine/Modern Luxury
Best of What’s New Jezebel Magazine 2009
Beauty Writer for Piedmont Review
Best Makeup Artist by Jezebel Magazine 2010
Best of Beauty Brows/Atlanta Allure Magazine 2010,2011, 2012
Most Creative Atlantan voted by Common Creativ ( Top 20 I think)
Over 40 & Fabulous Best Self Magazine
Woman of Power & Influence Atlantan Magazine
Featured Speaker at Survivor’s Day SEGO (South Eastern Gynecological Oncology)
Speaker for Tory Johnson’s Spark and Hustle and personal makeup for when she’s in town (she also was the fire under my butt to make the makeup!)
Educator for Elaine Sterling Institute of Esthetics
Panel Member for the Makeup Forever Pro Tour
Pure Fashion Presenters ( Four Years)
Celebrity Dance Challenge Participant EDIN
Featured on Jean Chatzky’s Blog
Featured in the AJC
Sponsor for the Get the Lead Out Event to benefit the Environmental Working Group
There are just so many many opportunities I have had and I can barely name them all.
The mentors I have had WOW
T Harv Eker (without Millionaire Mind none of this would be possible)
Landmark Education (specifically Janet Malzahn who yelled at me when I was 22 and changed my life-Becky Robins and David Fisher and Sheryl Jeter)
There are just too many to name. Thank you if you are not on this list
And to my family. My children who have had to endure all that we have been through to get where we are. To my brother, sister, mother, stepfather, stepmother and father who have supported me in every way and to my husband Charlton who told me I could do it and held my hand even when it was really really bad.
To all you Authentic Beauties: Thank you for following the call! You have made your way in the studio because you are an Authentic Beauty. It is because of you I work so hard. You are all beautiful inside and out. I am privileged to be a part of your life. There are over two thousand of you now and the number keeps growing. Thank you for being a part of this journey, for spending your money with us and for telling your friends. When this is all said and done you will be able to say that you helped transform the way the beauty industry does business.