Real Talk: How I Started My Business Part 1

Tiffani.jpeg

Last month I launched “Real Talk,” sharing The Background Story and inspiration for this new monthly blog series. This month, I'm going to share how my business, La Belle, got started. 

To recap, a little over 4 years ago, I left my full-time job and became self-employed. I went from doing services out of my tiny apartment living room (by myself), to owning a majorly successful business, with two locations, and 14 employees (and counting).

Now, let’s go back. When I was 25, I was working as a Manager for NARS Cosmetics at Nordstrom - Pentagon City. I also had a side makeup business for 5 years at that point, but it was more like extra, unpredictable income.

I started having that typical “quarter life crisis.” “What do I want in life?” “Where is this career taking me?” I thought I wanted to be a National Makeup Artist with the company. Hell, I had won Artist of the Year for the company that year... and I was HUNGRY. I wanted more. I wanted them to let me continue to crush my goals by giving me more to handle.

But the waiting game was a lot for me. I felt held back. And I hated the feeling that somebody else could dictate how far I went in my own career.  And even still, when and if I got that position, how much freedom would I really have? 

This was the first time I decided that I knew I had to figure out how to create and shape my own future because nobody else was going to do it for me. I was ready to make moves. It was then that I decided to move back to Delaware and get my Aesthetics license. 

I knew I had to get this license in order to charge for makeup services, legally.  I knew I wanted to market myself as a wedding makeup artist, because from a business standpoint - you may not always have people who want to pay for makeup to go out in. But best believe the wedding industry will always be there. This was my new goal. 

I started school at the Academy of Massage and Bodyworks, in Bear, DE. I was still working for NARS full time, going to school Monday-Thursday after work, and still doing wedding makeup whenever I got the chance. It was a rough 7 months. But I kept telling myself that something big was coming, that it was all going to be worth it. I didn’t know what that “big thing” was, but I did believe it to the core of my being. 

Check back next week for a special Part 2 of this month's Real Talk where I'll share what that "big thing" was.