You know what’s hard…like REALLY hard to do? Write about yourself. You toil on this fine line between being vulnerable, but not too vulnerable. If you’ve written your ‘about me’ for your website (or written about yourself for anything for that matter!), you know what I’m talking about. You know who you are, but how do you appropriately explain this to others?! This may be (will be) lengthy, but one thing you need to know straight away…I’m a talker, so let’s get this show on the road. Ha!
SO, I’m Cameron; a 30-something, wifey, mama and beauty business owner. I jumped feet-first into freelancing as a Professional Makeup Artist in January of 2016. But, how did I get here? Let me take you back for a minute.
I was (and ALWAYS) have been the bubbly, Wizard of Oz loving, fun & sassy girl, who knew what she wanted. My parents have fun reminding me of Christmas when I was a little over two-years-old. All I wanted was a baby doll with a “binky”. Well, back in the day, apparently this was all the rage (who knew I was on trend at two?!) and they couldn’t find one. This was going to be a gift given to me from my Grandparents and after searching high and low, they found a “comparable” baby, with no binky. Christmas comes and the sweet baby is wrapped. I unwrap it and look at the doll and ask them, “where binky?”. They kindly let me know this doll didn’t happen to have a binky. As the story goes, they told me I didn’t whine or cry, I simply set the doll in the box and never looked at it again. I knew what I wanted and wouldn’t settle…even at 2.
Fast forward (like way-fast) to high school. I was in the 9th grade. It was my first high-school soccer tryout. I had played soccer for most of my life (I was horrible at softball!) and although not a fast runner, a strong defense. I remember being on the field and my mind being all over the place…so much so, SOMEHOW I kicked the ball into the other goal. LITERALLY. I knew then, it was over. When the chosen team was announced, three girls were called in, one being me. The coach told us there wasn’t enough girls to actually “cut”, so we could wear a uniform, but more than likely would never play. “Ok”, I thought. Watch me. I showed up to every practice, with my literal “game face” on. I ran that field like I owned it; not to “show off”, but to prove to myself, I can run with these girls. First game, I was starting left defense. I STARTED the game…and each game after. I knew what I wanted and I wouldn’t settle.
I grew up (and still reside) in good ‘ole Mechanicsville, VA. I have two amazing parents who have been married for 36 years and I’m little sis to my brother, Adam. Growing up, I acknowledge and do NOT take for granted, my life was full of encouragement, love and pushing us to be independent and well-rounded individuals. I watched my parents work hard through personal and work-related struggles and SUCCEED….and this is a trait I’m proud to carry along with me.
Although from the outside my life seems picture perfect, but it hasn’t always been perfect. I was a “classy” class clown (try being called classy in high school…no-one wanted to be called classy, they wanted to be popular ha), who constantly cut-up and I went through a time in 11th grade where my extracurricular activities took a toll on my schooling. This hurt my chances of being accepted to pretty much anywhere, except a private Christian college in Tennessee. Not only did this spiral me into a deep depression, but I came home, after one semester, with no credits to transfer, my self-worth lower than low and enrolled in community college. A year later, I failed out of community college unbeknownst to my parents, until they soon found out, I never went to class. I loathed college. Loathed it.
But my parents being my parents, they had “the life chat” with me. What’s so cool about my parents is they NEVER allowed me to fail. They gave me just enough rope not to hang myself, allowing me to “make my own choices”, but always steered me in the right direction. After college didn’t work out on my own accord, they sat me down and asked me what was it I wanted to do. The options were ENDLESS. They knew I had a love for people and service… “What about working on a CRUISE SHIP? What about being a TRAVEL AGENT? What about being a FLIGHT ATTENDANT?!” Right there in the paper (yep, a newspaper) was an ad for a flight attendant position on my birthday, May 29th, 2006. I went in for the in-person interview, held by a sweet Christian woman and she gave me the position on the spot, which she told me they NEVER do. I flew above the clouds for almost two years, until I started dating my sweet, Andy.
I believe my life choices (specifically in the job arena) by the grace of God and with my husband's unwavering support, has absolutely led me here. I can look back and see how each experience has shaped me into the woman and business woman I am today. Being a flight attendant taught me how to properly manage my time and I grew more independent and more mature flying from state to state. Being a credit analyst taught me how to manage credit lenders and how to manage money, as I collected on private business owners. Being a restaurant manager taught me how to manage people that were far different than myself, who didn’t understand my upbringing. Working as a marketing assistant taught me all about the world of creating email content, collecting data and marketing to those looking to invest. I even opened an Etsy shop selling hand-painted ornaments (300 a season, shew!), which allowed me to be creative and taught me a steady hand (comes in handy when applying lashes!).
My most recent experience, prior to freelancing, was in direct sales with a skincare and cosmetic company in 2013. Prior to this, I fell in love with my husband, got married in 2010, got pregnant with our son Aven, had him as a preemie via emergency surgery in 2012 and left my full-time job to care for him that same year. This left a HUGE (like HUGE) strain on our household income and we were sinking fast.
But as I took a fast-sail into promoting to Directorship within that skincare and cosmetic company, this experience not only plopped me into the “real” world of color cosmetics, past the point of just being a consumer… but this truly taught me how to run my own business, how to stand apart from others, how to better serve my clients and women and how to (try) to have some sort of work/life balance. Not only was this opportunity one I believed God handed me on a silver platter and said “here” (and I still believe this to be true), but it’s one that financially and emotionally changed our family’s life for a temporary time and my life for a more permanent time.
As time passed, it turned less into actually changing women’s lives, as well as our own, becoming more about money and status. The more my status and my bank account grew, the more I forgot about WHERE I had JUST come from and WHO got me here…not myself, but God had given me this and I had turned into something ‘worldly’ and basically thrown it in His face. I spent LESS time with my husband and family and MORE time trying to prove something. I couldn’t see it at the time. I couldn’t understand why I missed that Paris trip by $900, which if I “bought out” my month would have “earned” me a trip and maxed out our last credit card. I couldn’t see it at the time that by not “hitting my numbers”, declassifying into a “normal” consultant and at that time, what I believed to be “failing” allowed me to spring into a closer relationship with God, absolutely humbling myself back to ground zero and brought me back “home” – literally and figuratively.
But just like all of the other experiences, this one I believe to be the most life-changing. Not only was it a springboard into my freelancing and a God-given second chance, but it’s a not-so-gentle reminder of what I will NEVER be within my business today.
I found out, the same month that I “declassified” within that company in January 2015, I was pregnant with our sweet baby girl, Dorothy. God has funny timing, right? We worked together as a family that entire year to try and rebuild and figure it out. I still had girls within that company asking me “can you do my makeup? Can you do so-and-so’s wedding? Can you teach me how to apply my makeup?”. And So I did. I continued working along little by little to rebuild my life and self-esteem, as now a mother-of-two.
In December of that year, this is NO lie (clearly I have nothing to hide at this point), I woke up and it just CLICKED…I’m going to be a MAKEUP ARTIST. I knew what I wanted and I wouldn’t settle. I took all the steps into starting my very own business; state board regulations, insurance, building my kit, picking the brain of other artists…you name it, I was doing it. Again, little by little, I built this baby from the ground up (aka: our loft office/ “the nook”). But this time, with a humble heart, putting Christ first, re-engaged in not only my life and my family’s life, but truly enriching other’s lives at the same time. I have been given the opportunity of a do-over, in a different and new way….and for this I am so, so very thankful and I do not take for granted.
Here are some of their answers:
- A Light to Others
I am proud to say I am exactly as they describe me. I am able to leave behind the shell of who I once was for a new path full of joy, a love for life and a love of others.
I LOOK FORWARD to driving each day to my little studio (no longer in my home, yay!), laughing together (sometimes crying together!), always glamming together, with each one of you. This is such a gift that I get to unwrap over and over. And I’ll always remind myself, that although at times I THOUGHT I knew what I wanted, God always had the bigger plan and He never wants me to settle. Being a Makeup Artist is proudly one of those times. I never in my wildest dreams would have believed my life would be so neatly wrapped by lipstick and lashes, but I’m EXACTLY where I’m supposed to be.
"for I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, " plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."