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Life and Work with Gifty Afrifa

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gifty Afrifa.

Gifty, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
For a while, it was quite difficult to even hear someone call me a Makeup Artist or to even refer to myself as one because I didn’t feel qualified or good enough to be one.

I always enjoyed art, colors, drawing, and painting, and I always had a heart for people and helping them be better than how I met them. I just never thought it would translate into what I do in the beauty industry today.

Before ever tapping into my gift of makeup, hair was my jam! I started doing my own hair in 7th grade. Since I had started with hair, and began doing it for others, I didn’t know makeup would eventually captivate me the way it did, to the point where makeup is way more fulfilling to me than doing hair. I blame YouTube, lol. It sparked my inner artist to explore more. Mind you, prior to being 17, I wouldn’t do more than just clear lipgloss and maybe a gold inner corner on my eyes for makeup. I was afraid my skin would break out from complexion products.

In 2014 I began asking my friends to let me practice makeup on them or do their makeup if they had special events. That helped me gain the confidence to even accept my first paid Bride in November of 2015! In my head though, I was like “I don’t know how to do bridal makeup!” However, I didn’t let that deter me, and she along with her bridesmaids were pleased with their makeup and looked beautiful!

Fast forward to when I accepted my path in the beauty world. After graduating undergrad in May of 2015, five to six months later, I enrolled in cosmetology school at the Aveda Institute of Denver, graduated in March of 2017, and got licensed in April of 2017. Within me, it only made sense that I capitalized on my talents and took it seriously. God planted this seed in me for it to grow and flourish and bless those around me, so it would be unfair for me to allow my self-doubt and fear hinder me from pursuing what He’s calling me to do in this moment of my life.

With that being said, it was important for me to be a licensed beauty professional as well because I knew wanted to establish a business in this field, in the near future. During cosmetology school, I also worked at Sephora where my love for makeup continued to blossom, and doing hair in school became less enjoyable haha. Even though at this point, I had more paying clients from time to time, I still felt it weird to be called a Makeup Artist because I always felt my skills weren’t good enough and I would compare myself to others. The thief of joy are the limiting beliefs we have of ourselves and comparison. Although I had these such thoughts in mind, my actions and the will of God would still give me peace and push me towards this path. I even tried to deter from this path and pursue a full-time office positions and that failed miserably. I was so unhappy.

After taking time off after those failed office positions, I just prayed and asked God to give me peace to be where I need to be, where I feel useful and joyous and in my element. That, in turn, has been makeup, me accepting my current calling as a Makeup Artist, the desire to build a beauty empire, make an impact, and so much more. I’m still in the beginning stages of my overall journey, but I am taking steps to achieve them while being patient with the process and trusting God through it all.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely has not been a smooth road pursuing artistry and part-time entrepreneurship. Especially coming from an African, specifically Ghanaian home. Pursuing a career outside of engineering, medical, law, or banking of some sort is seen pretty much as a hobby or unsustainable. One of the biggest struggles for me was not having support from those I wanted it from the most. Even though I knew I wouldn’t get warm reactions from everyone, it was still difficult to accept because I also had self-doubt in my capabilities, and thought perhaps this isn’t worth it, or maybe I should go the conventional route to make more money and suck it up even if I hate it to please others. Not to mention the unknown and risk of it all is a struggle as well.

However, what’s kept me pushing me through and defying the odds against me has been my faith in God. I know that He wouldn’t bring me this far, through all the tough times, for it to end there. That each day is an opportunity to see the blessing in the struggle, that this is part of building a strong foundation in what I’m meant to do so that I value it more, and so I can be an example & resource to those around me and beyond. I can’t forget the amazing friends and loved ones that surround me and encourage me when I feel weak or uncertain. I’m extremely blessed to have them.

Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am currently working part-time to build my business Crown of Gold. As of now the focus is growing & expanding the brand, my artistry services, and quality beauty products. In that, I specialize in enhancing one’s natural beauty that is timeless and authentic. My ability to make sure you stay true to you, without being overdone is important to me. I always strive to make sure my work is clean, detail oriented, and tailored to my client’s desires that allow them to feel exalted, and their most glamorous. I get told I have a gentle touch when doing makeup, and my clients tend to feel relaxed and at ease when in my chair. I listen and execute what my clients want vs what I want to do on them, and constantly challenge myself to meet their expectations for their desired outcome. These are all aspects of my brand and business that I am very proud of and will continue to build upon.

I’ll be launching the most amazing elegant lashes as my first product for the brand very soon and I’m so excited for them, and the many endeavors that will take place with my business! Stay tuned!

What advice would you give to someone at the start of her career?
My advice for someone just starting their career is to start from somewhere and build. Don’t wait for the approval of others or you’ll be waiting forever. Remember, your humble beginnings and the reason why you started. Keep practicing your craft, learn new ways to build upon your skills and learn new ones altogether. Research about your industry and business to set yourself apart. Take classes and learn from those who are on the path you want to be on. Make mistakes and improve on them rather than seeking perfection.

Never think you’re too good enough to learn or improve, or think that you’re above anyone because you can always be humbled again and lose it all. Have a plan, write your ideas down no matter how small or big because there’s room for it even if it doesn’t make sense now. Learn from your current situation or position, even if it doesn’t align with your overall goals and aspirations because there are always lessons and knowledge that can be applied to your future aspirations and business.

You are not alone. You are more than enough. You’re worthy of everything great. You’re a queen and you’re valuable. You will make it through and succeed because you already possess what it takes.

Don’t forget to smile and laugh because, at the end of the day, life is only but a moment and sometimes, we get so stressed with our careers that we lose focus of the joy and fun of it all.

Most importantly, keep God in everything you do.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Allie & John Photography, Brien Hollowell, Kwasi Kaptures, Ram_Weddings, Crown of Gold

Getting in touch: VoyageDenver is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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