We had the good fortune of connecting with Bonnie Kalner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bonnie, can you tell us more about your background and the role it’s played in shaping who you are today?
I grew up in upstate New York in the Adirondacks where I was lucky enough to have a family that shared their compassion for animals with me. Love and respect for living things has been a value that has been instilled into me at an early age and is something that has been important in many aspects of my life and business. When starting BonnieK Makeup, it was very important to me to use ethically sourced products that did not test on animals. I have found that not only are there a great deal of products that are cruelty-free, but that clients also appreciate that the products that are being used on them are ethically sourced and a lot of times, made up of more natural ingredients.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love doing all types of makeup looks, but my favorite look is the natural glam type. I like that people seek my services because they appreciate that I enhance their beauty by accentuating their natural features, rather than hiding them through excessive makeup. I believe that the clients that end up booking me for their events tend to tell friends of theirs that may be looking for the same type of makeup application, so I think that a lot of my success has come directly from the clients and other industry professionals that I have worked with in the past. I wouldn’t say that it has been easy, but when you work with like-minded professionals and clients in the beauty and wedding industry, they definitely help in getting the word out to others about your craft, which guides potential clients to my services. The biggest challenge currently is the amount of competition in the area. There are many makeup artists, but every artist has their own distinctiveness about them and the looks that they create–I feel it is important to stay true to your craft and that is what makes you stand out to potential clients. I am an animal-loving, easy-going passionate person that just wants to make you feel beautiful and happy on your special day!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being that we are in lovely San Diego with the best weather ever, most of the things I would choose to show them would be outdoors. I would bring them to Torrey Pines Natural Reserve to hike and see amazing views of the ocean, La Jolla Cove to dine at any of the great restaurants and to see the seals and sea lions, and out to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park to visit with the animals. For drinks, we love to go to Carruth Winery on Cedros in Solana Beach as they have delicious wines and have a social and family-friendly environment. For brunch, Snooze, an A.M. Eatery is always a must when we have people visiting- there isn’t a thing on their menu that isn’t delicious! Beyond that, the beach is always a wonderful and fun place to hang out. We frequent Del Mar dog beach with our 7-year-old doberman and find ourselves at the Del Mar beach most often with our two young children.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are so many people that I am grateful for throughout my journey to starting my own business–honestly, pretty much every person along the way has been nothing but supportive and has believed in my work and myself. I would have to start with my parents–they encouraged me to attend school to better my craft and aided in tuition and relocation to New York City to help my fulfill my dream; friends who I met while working in restaurants and booking jobs on the side through connections that they helped make; other wonderful makeup artists that took me under their wing to mentor me, recommend me and book me for jobs; and last, but certainly not least, my husband who has always supported me to pursue what I love and has helped every bit of the way from giving me a hand with the business side of things to watching our two children every time I am out for a job. I really could not have done any of this if it weren’t for all of the wonderful people that have supported me thus far and I am humbly grateful!
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