Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Kimtasha. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Kimtasha, appreciate you joining us today. Earning a full time living from one’s creative career can be incredibly difficult. Have you been able to do so and if so, can you share some of the key parts of your journey and any important advice or lessons that might help creatives who haven’t been able to yet?
I have been able to earn a full-time living from my creative work. I started working with a makeup company at the age of 19 years old. I made great money but there was something within me that wanted more. I wanted to expand on my creativeness and have the freedom to travel and personalize my customer service and experiences. I decided to quit working for the makeup company after 9 years. I remember the day that I quit. It was scary. I had nothing on my calendar, it was completely bare. I only had a vision, the willingness to take risks and a passionate drive to succeed. I knew that I was talented, kind, professional and cared about people. I figured that would be a good time to show those things off. I began to contact wedding planners to show them my portfolio (this was before social media, so I had to meet with them in person). I offered to apply their makeup complimentary. In turn, they began to refer me to their brides, and I was placed on a referred vendors list. Then I contacted some photographers who wanted to build their portfolios. Once we made the connection, I was able to build my portfolio as well as show the range of my makeup skills. I began searching on how to work on film sets and after making contacts, directors then gave me a chance, I was listed in my city’s production guide. All of this helped to build my name and reputation. People talk when they have good and bad experiences. Being on the good experience side helped to grow my business to what it is today. The process was necessary for the treasured lessons, victories, disappointments and growth.
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers.
I was born in New York City and then moved to Oahu, Hawaii when I was 15 years old. I am the oldest child out of my siblings. That may be a testament of my natural leadership skills. As a child, all I wanted to do was color in my coloring book. I loved to blend the texture of the crayons until the color was smooth, contoured and the lines were evenly shaded. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I realized that art was one of my gifts. Makeup artistry that is. At the age of 19 years old, a family friend suggested that I apply for a company to become a makeup artist. The only makeup that I had touched at that time was lipstick. I thought to myself, “I am not a makeup artist.” I applied to the company about 4 times and finally received a call for an interview. Living in Hawaii at that time, the company required applicants to learn conversational Japanese. So, I taught myself conversational Japanese. I was hired and offered a position as a makeup artist on the island of Maui. I took the position and moved. That was the beginning of stepping into the makeup artistry business. I started my own business after working with the company for 9 years.
I started and have owned my business, Kimtasha, Inc., for almost 18 years. I have a range of clients. I work with many brides, photographers, models, film producers and people that just want to feel and look their very best. I am a licensed facial specialist in which I provide professional makeup services. I also sell a couple of makeup/skincare retail brands.
I have the eyes to see the beauty in everyone that I meet. The inner and outer beauty. My gift is to bring out the beauty that I see. I want my clients to look their very best. I want to see them and not just see the makeup. I am a makeup artist that loves and appreciates one’s natural beauty. I enhance what is already there. I am not trying to make people look like someone else. I always give my recommendation to what would look best while also listening to my clients about what they like and don’t like, from there, the best makeup application is created.
Over the years, I have noticed that during the time of working with someone so intimately (I am literally in their face and touching it)…I care about people. I believe that is what sets me apart. It’s not just about making money but it is about doing my best and making people look and feel their very best.
I remember many years ago, I had a mother come in with her young daughter who had gone through chemotherapy. The child lost her eyebrow hair. I applied a very natural makeup application to her eyebrows and it put the biggest smiles on all of our faces. That was rewarding and meaningful. That feeling of applying beautiful makeup/work and having a meaningful connection has not gone away. As a professional makeup artist, my mission is to capture beauty with the stroke of a brush.
Is there a mission driving your creative journey?
The goal and mission that drives my creative journey is seeing true beauty. I appreciate that. I see beauty in people and in the world. The Earth is so rich and colorful and so are the people in it.
Another thought is that I enjoy living life as a creative person. Each day and week look different with my work locations. I work with so many different people and have wonderful opportunities to travel at times. I am never bored. As a mom, I enjoy being an example to my daughter and teaching her that you can be a successful makeup artist or creative person. A person does not have to work in an office and wear a suit to be successful. To me, true success is making a difference, creating joy and purpose while doing it. My next brand goal is to launch my own skincare and makeup line.
Can you tell us about a time you’ve had to pivot?
During the pandemic, as for many, it caused sudden changes in our lives. No one was calling for makeup applications during that time. Wedding ceremonies and bookings were canceling. I was calm in knowing that everything was going to be alright. I believed that I did not come this far in my business to fail. I wasn’t going to fail personally or professionally. I made that decision. I became more creative during that time and contacted some of my clients who were doing virtual work meetings. They purchased the retail makeup and skincare products that I sold, and I dropped it off to their front doors. I also offered virtual makeup lesson services. Thankfully, I was still getting hired at times for film production shoots. This experience taught me the importance of having multiple streams of income. I relied on selling my retail makeup and skincare products during that time. I had clients call and check in on me to make sure that I was okay since they knew what type of business I owned. People were and still are very intentional about supporting local businesses. That makes a difference and for that, I am thankful.
- Website: www.kimtasha.com
- Instagram: @kimtashamakeup
- Facebook: Kimtasha
- Linkedin: Kimtasha Kydd Armstrong
- Twitter: @kimtashamakeup
- Youtube: Kimtasha Makeup