We had the good fortune of connecting with Christina D. and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Christina, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
The most important lesson owning my own business has taught me is that YOU DONT HAVE TO HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT. Not knowing exactly where to start, how to start, or what to do next should ever stop someone from starting something. The most important thing is that you do start. What some may not realize, is that once the idea of starting a business comes to mind, they have already started. Don’t belittle the idea/ideas that pop into your head. Some might even refer to this as the “calling” they received when reflecting on how they started their business or how they scaled.
Now, to put your idea(s) into conception, there is not a linear path. Everyone’s business conception is going to look slightly different. This is not to say that you shouldn’t ask for guidance from your peers, because you should if you need it and if its available to you. Don’t compare someone else’s success with your own and think you must do exactly as they did. Do your own research, be your own advocate, and do the things that are attainable to you at the time. Don’t rush the process just do what you can.
For example, if you want to sell art, you must first make the art. Don’t worry about how to create an e-commerce platform. Chances are someone would purchase art from you or become interested in becoming a future buyer by seeing your art on a social media post. Soon you will create a demand for your art, which may also mean you have more content to fill up your website and be motivated to streamline your clients buying process. Hence, the birth of your e-commerce website. This will feel more like an organic progression, and you will find yourself much less resistant to it. When you’re wanting to get everything done before you go live, it becomes overwhelming, and you’ll likely shy away from the challenge.
Always remember that growth happens day by day, task by task, and the path can be as abstract as it needs to be. You may even start to feel like “everything’s falling into place” and knowing the next step comes natural to you time and time again.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
In 2015, I decided to take a shot in being a Freelance Makeup Artist. I had a lot of friends and family, who were supportive and allowed me to do their makeup for special events. I would often do gigs for free or for very little cost and this helped me build my portfolio. Soon, I was getting booked by strangers and earning a second income. I was having a lot of fun, but this was around the time I was starting a family of my own. I made the hard decision to let my freelance makeup business go to be more present with my family. This part of my story is important to mention because I know it prepared me for what I’m doing now, which is Permanent Makeup Artistry.
In 2019, I took a leap of faith and along with the support of my husband, invested in my first Permanent Makeup Course. I got my first certification in the Ombre Powder & Hybrid Eyebrows technique. It was not easy because at the time, the investment was a lot for us, but it proved to be worth it. Since then, my husband and I own and operate our own 2200 sq foot studio, have had the opportunity to work on over 2000 clients and share my knowledge with over 500 students through the development of our in-person and online Academy. I also offer other services in cosmetic tattoos such as Lip Blush, Eyeliner, Tattoo Removal, and Scar Resurfacing treatments.
Permanent makeup (PMU) is a semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo. Pigment is implanted into the skin similar to a body tattoo and can last 2-5 years. The pigment will fade a lighter version of itself overtime and will need touchups to maintain the appearance. The benefits of this procedure are to achieve a more effortless beauty routine, correct any insecurities one may have when it comes to their appearance and save time each day. Think of PMU as the Amazon for beauty. Not only are we selling luxury beauty services, but we are also selling convenience.
There are so many reasons I love what I do but the most rewarding is when I can teach, mentor, and advise an aspiring artist on how to pursue a career in PMU. A benefit I offer to my students is they are able to work out of my studio for a very affordable daily rate so that they work on their first clients in a safe, clean, and professional PMU studio. I love watching them build their own business within mine and that is my way of giving back. I love sharing my knowledge in a result proven way that they can easily grasp and apply on their own. I hope to someday be recognized for my ability to educate and support other artist who decide to invest in my training.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This answer would be much more fun if I was in my 20’s (haha)!! My fun is a lot more chill these days to be honest.
We would definitely go shopping and have lunch in Encinitas. I love their small boutiques of clothing and home goods. Some places sell plants and crystals too which I love. We would have to also make our way to old town and go to my favorite crystal shop South American Imports. They have the best selection of crystals. Go to the theater and watch a new movie is a must. Plan a spa day where we get our nails done, massages, lie by the pool sipping on mojitos. I also love the Korean jjimjilbang’s where you can get your whole body scrubbed and try different saunas and take a nap or catchup on a heated wood floor. I love iSpa in Irvine. I would also love to take her to Temecula and spend the day at a winery. Maybe stay the night up there at a cute little hotel and have breakfast old town Temecula. Try out a fun activity like an escape room. I have never done one but every girl is a great detective so we would definitely dominate. I saw that there are now sushi making classes and that sounds amazing!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wouldn’t be where I am without my husband. He is the most constant, positive, and motivating person in my life. When I wanted to take my first PMU training course, I stopped myself because it was too expensive. Had he not put down the deposit for the class, I wouldn’t have ever taken my first course. Fast forward to now, we are 100% in this together. This is OUR business and its one of the things I’m most proud of.
Our business partnership happened serendipitously. This wasn’t the plan from the beginning. He definitely didn’t know what he was getting into (haha). It was again, an organic progression for us and because he has always been so supportive of me, he naturally wanted to help whenever he saw I needed it. He does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work, he helps me think creatively, and brainstorms our next moves. If anyone books and appointment or a class, they probably booked with him if I’m being honest. When I need any marketing content, he’s my go to guy. He’ll even buy new equipment without me asking him to because he understands that in order to grow, we must invest. I simply just can’t do it all and he steps up to fill in the gaps. It is a divide and conquer approach we have, and it works so well.
It is so rewarding to be able to work with your spouse. When you’re up, you’re up together and celebrating life and the fruits of your labor. When you’re down, you’re not alone and you have each other to get through the rough patches. And not to mention, date nights can now be written off! That was an amazing unlock for us when we discovered that we were talking business strategies while having sushi and since he is my business partner it is now classified as a business meeting. How sweet is that?
Working together has also made us an even stronger family unit. Now our kids can witness both their parents working hard on a goal together. It models the support any great marriage should have, and I hope it’s something our kids seek in their future partners as well.
He is truly my sanity in this rollercoaster business owner life path. I am truly lucky to have him right beside me and I highly recommend anyone to go into business with their spouse if they can.