Client Profile: Carrie Esser
Carrie Esser (2018) recently made it to the Top 5 in the country for the NYX FACE Awards, a national makeup artist competition. While she didn't end up the grand prize winner in that contest, we know she is definitely a winner for continuing to work on her passion and pound the pavement to make her dreams come true! We were lucky enough to catch up with Carrie and find out more about the experience as well as her entrepreneurial journey.
How did you get started doing the FACE Awards?
My journey started in 2015 when I entered for the first time. My skills were very far from where I am today, and I did not move on in the competition. I set that aside then entered again in 2018. NYX Professional Makeup selected me into the Top 30, and I was ready to work for it! After being chosen by the company, the following rounds are based on voting. Last year I advanced into the Top 20 and then the Top 12. I did not move on to the Top 6 last year (where I would have received $15,000 and a trip to LA).
I was not planning to enter this year, but I decided to enter for fun. I was selected into the Top 30 and it all started again! They changed the layout of this year’s competition slightly. With voting, I advanced into the Top 15. After that we thought there was very little chance to advance to Top 5 (because many of the competitors had 100,000+ followers). We were shocked and excited when we found out we advanced to the Top 5!!! We beat out people who had 180,000 and 280,000 followers, which is a crazy accomplishment! After that we knew there was a shot at winning. We dedicated the whole month of September to work on this competition and campaigning for voting.
How did it feel?
The whole competition was a roller coaster. There was a moment where I was close to giving up because of how draining it was for my mental and physical health. Overall, any of the challenges were worth it. I am glad I pushed through! Making it to Top 5 was surreal. We didn’t expect it, so when it happened it was shocking and uplifting. All the hard work paid off! And many opportunities are coming from it, which I am very grateful for. I need to keep the momentum going!
Any time I say “we” in this writing, I am talking about my close friends and my family. I will never be able to truly express how grateful I am for the support everyone showed me during the months of competition. Friends, family, and the community have encouraged me and shown me that they believe in me and my work.
The people who helped me the most are my mom and dad. Without their support I might not be pursuing my passion for makeup, body painting and art. We put everything we could into this!
What's been your best entrepreneurial advice?
The best entrepreneurial advice I have received is that it is NOT easy! Many people think entrepreneurs set their own hours and get to do what they want, when they want. In reality, it is more work than most people ever know. In order to do the amount of necessary work to be successful, entrepreneurs need to work non-stop.
You never stop thinking about your venture! I cannot complain too much for any of this because I am pursuing something that I am incredibly passionate about! It is worth that hard work and endless hours.
When did you start your venture?
I have unknowingly been working on my venture since 2013. I started doing makeup around this time and working with friends as my models. I eventually came up with the name Makeup Madhouse and everything started growing (with all of my hard work!).
It wasn’t until around 2017 when I officially made it into a registered business. I am grateful I got to work on my business while studying entrepreneurship at Kent State!
Entrepreneurship is a lot about learning through failure. Can you tell us about a "failure" you've experienced?
I think the biggest area where I have had some failure is when working on contracting or getting projects moving with different companies. I have had opportunities come here and there that I let slip away because of my lack of pushing it forward. I think part of the reason for this is because I didn’t think I was ready to take such big and “official” steps with companies and was not ready for contracts.
I started to understand what was necessary and that I cannot be scared of these things. I am still in a phase of learning as I take on bigger projects, and I am ready to tackle them. I was holding myself back, but I am all in now and ready to grow.
What's your greatest fear & how do you manage it?
My greatest fear is the future and the unknown. As hard as entrepreneurs work, there’s no way to predict the future and what doors might open up. I manage fear by keeping busy and trying to focus on the present. I figure out what tasks I have set for myself and what current projects I have. I’m big on having lists for everything, so I always feel accomplished when I get to cross things off!
Staying motivated is another way to combat fear. I am motivated greatly by my friends, family and anyone who supports and encourages me. Part of my job is being connected on social media. Having strangers and new people compliment my work helps gives me a boost when I need an extra push! My friends and family are the core of my motivation. Not only do they push me to be my best, but I want to be able to support them in the way they’ve supported me.
How do you relax and hook into your creativity?
In my non-work time, I love being outdoors and going on adventures with my friends. My favorite time is when I can get away from my phone, social media and the internet. It is tough that our phones and social media are such a big part of life now. Any time that I can put that away, I enjoy the most.
I express my creativity through makeup and body paint! Surprise!! But I truly love this art form because it allows me to get out my creative energy. I get to sit down and do a body paint for 5-7 hours, take photos and then shower it off! It’s definitely an emotional process because in the end I have to basically erase my whole piece (besides photos).