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Meet Trailblazer Neca Gonzalez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Neca Gonzalez.

Neca, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was a young mom with a husband on a deployment in Afghanistan when I decided to be an Esthetician. I have always had a love for hair makeup and fashion, and basically anything girly, but I was honestly just trying to find the quickest certification so I could get a job I’d actually like! I started working in a brand new spa in a great location when a close friend of mine told me she needed a last minute makeup artist for her cousins wedding. I had never professionally done makeup, but I knew how and already had a makeup kit for clients. I agreed to do the wedding for the bride plus her bridal party which was about 10 girls total! My boss gave me the morning off to do the wedding and said I could come in after. Doing that wedding made me feel amazing and I loved the feeling of being there for one of the most important days of someone’s life. I came into the spa after the wedding, and even though she had okayed it, my boss made it very clear to me that she wasn’t happy about me working weddings. She flat out told me “You can do makeup or you can work here.” I told I’d make sure being a makeup artist wouldn’t interfere with me working in the spa, but I guess that wasn’t good enough because she let me go the next day!

At this point, I took makeup classes, networked, watched videos, and read articles. I did anything I could do to learn how to freelance as a makeup artist all on my own. My husband got stationed in Colorado Springs, and that’s when I started Beauty Vibes Artistry! I decided maybe I wasn’t meant to be an employee I was meant to be my own boss.

I provide premium makeup services for cooperate events, special occasions, and of course A LOT of weddings! I do 1 on 1 lessons as well, and teach people how they can glam themselves up as much, or as little as they want.

I’ve also gotten the opportunity to work with a great bridal hair and makeup company called The Day. It’s been amazing working with a team of hairstylists and makeup artists, so I’d love to be able to grow my company and be doing the same thing one day!

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
A hard thing for me was figuring out what direction to go, even when I knew what my passion was! A huge thing for the makeup industry is working in cosmetics, but I knew I had no interest in retail sales, and in working those types of hours. I wanted to be in control of my schedule, especially because I have two young kids and a husband who is gone most of the time. Sometimes what you want to do doesn’t fit into a mold, so you might have to create your own position and pave the way.

Another huge struggle is learning how to run your own business! I did so much free and cheap work, in the beginning, to get clients and build a portfolio. I started out without wanting to do contracts with brides before weddings because to me that seemed “too businessy.”

What I had to realize is that whether it’s just you, a team, a service or a product, you ARE running a business! Don’t be scared of acting like it! When you seem like you don’t know what you’re doing, there are so many good clients that will lose interest or so many people that will take advantage. Be professional and be sure to set that tone very early on.

Please tell us about Beauty Vibes Artistry – what should we know?
If you just want to get in and out in 25 minutes, I am NOT your girl.

My goal is to create a look that brings out your best features, but also makes you feel amazing during and after I’m done! Because I’m a licensed esthetician, I definitely take advantage of my knowledge of skincare, so that is a big part of what I do, before they even get their makeup done! I like treating my clients like celebrities and giving them a luxury service plus an experience.

A lot of my clientele are brides, but I love doing glam for a special night out, or photoshoots. Photography requires a different type of makeup that most people aren’t used to doing. Certain products aren’t compatible with flash photography, and if you want your makeup to be noticeable, it absolutely has to be applied a little heavier, which most people are scared to do on their own. My signature makeup look is definitely a soft glam. I’m all about glowy skin with a subtle sexiness!

I always say this, but beauty is not one size fits all!

Do you feel like there was something about the experiences you had growing up that played an outsized role in setting you up for success later in life?
As a child, it was always me and my younger sister together. We had all the same interests, and a lot of the same friends growing up. A big thing for us was always playing pretend, and the main thing we did was act as if we had our own businesses! I remember we would go to my grandmother’s house on the weekend and turn her spare room was a “shopping center.” We actually had signs for different businesses and would get into character and everything. My grandmother used to work retail and an office job at the same time, so she always had a lot of spare paperwork lying around but also random things she got at her other job like candles, so we used all of this as a part of our games. We would literally sell family friends candles or whatever we had when they came over and we’d also fill out her forms and spare papers as if we worked in an office. So, I guess if I really think about it, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur!

Pricing:

  • Bridal Makeup $125
  • Special Occasion $95
  • Makeup Lessons starting at $125
  • Add Airbrush Makeup $15

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Kaila Mae Co, Portrait Obscura

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