At a time when many entrepreneurs are feeling the financial pinch from the fallout of business due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, certified make-up artist, Teeah Anderson, has decided to re-strategise her business model in order to continue to earn a living.
She is now offering make-up classes online reaching a wide cross section of clientele.
“I call it pivoting. As an entrepreneur, you have to find new ways to constantly make money, so that is what I am doing,” she tells JIS News.
The 24-year-old mother of one and owner of 876 Faces, tells JIS News that she had shut down her business indefinitely shortly after Jamaica recorded its first case of COVID-19 on March 10.
Miss Anderson, who is asthmatic, notes that her craft traditionally does not allow for physical distancing, as doing make-up professionally involves face-to-face, one-on-one contact.
“Self-preservation was key and remains true for me. I have a comorbidity and was not going to put myself or my family at risk by continuing to practise,” she says.
In April, during a JIS News interview, Corporate Communications Manager of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), Suzette Campbell, encouraged entities to re-strategise and put their businesses online.
Through its weekly ‘JBDC Virtual Biz Zone’ webinars, the agency provides business support and advice for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) as they grapple with the effects of COVID-19.
Miss Anderson took the advice and started her virtual class, dubbed, ‘Your Signature Look’, which teaches women seven simple steps to present themselves more confidently to the world. It is taught via the Zoom platform.
The seven steps are Preparing skin for a flawless, durable make-up application; Applying make-up streak-free without wasting product; A signature conceal and brighten technique for an overall flawless and awake appearance; How to lock make-up in place; How to sculpt brows like a pro; Eye shadow application suited for any eye shape; and Finishing touches for a budge-free resistant glam.
“I am currently offering the classes for individuals. Groups are welcome; however, the groups must not be greater than three persons. I want to be able to provide my students with as much personalised attention as possible, and a class larger than three might take away from that,” she notes.
Miss Anderson tells JIS News that she started her business at the age of 16, while still in high school. At the time, she was a model, but was always more interested in the process of applying make-up rather than sitting to have her face done.
“I was always enquiring about the products, techniques and colours used to achieve the desired looks. That usually extended the time in which my make-up could be done. It was a new and exciting world, so I could not sit still,” Miss Anderson tells JIS News.
In 2014, on her 18th birthday, 876 Faces was officially registered, specialising in airbrush bridal make-up.
The business grew steadily over the years, with Miss Anderson developing a following on social media platforms and a client base of approximately 10-11 persons per week.
The young entrepreneur enrolled in the Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) course at the University of the West Indies (UWI) to develop her business management and marketing skills.
“The programme opened my eyes to the world of marketing. Before IMC, I thought that my business would only be successful if I only used traditional media. However, it taught me how to integrate the traditional with the modern to achieve the best possible results for 876 Faces,” Miss Anderson tells JIS News.
In 2019, the entrepreneur introduced one-on-one make-up classes to clients and other persons interested in the techniques of make-up artistry.
“I was able to have another stream of income doing what I love. The idea of offering the same type of classes on a virtual platform came up, but I only toyed with it. I put that idea on the back burner because the face-to-face sessions were doing fairly well. However, the coronavirus came to Jamaica and flipped my life as an entrepreneur a complete 180,” says Miss Anderson, adding that her client base had shrunk tremendously.
Meanwhile, the young business owner says she is slowly reopening with as little as three clients a week.
She is solidifying her personal protocols while observing the Government’s COVID-19 safety recommendations.
In May, she received COVID-19 certification indicating that she is skilled and equipped to maintain a sterile workspace as well as the hygienic maintenance of the products and tools she uses.
This certification is from Barbicide, an international company that distributes sanitation products to businesses in the beauty industry and trains persons in the field how to optimally use those items.
“I take extra care to maintain a sterile space, tools and products, as well as wearing the necessary protective gear. My clients are asked to sanitise before we begin a make-up session,” says Miss Anderson.
Meanwhile, she is advising other young entrepreneurs to take some time to evaluate and strategise their next steps.
“There is no playbook for a time as uncertain as this. The best we can do now, especially for our mental health, is to take it one day at a time. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling at any particular time, but not for too long; always make some time to allow yourself to process the next possible steps to take, then take them,” she says.