Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in beauty and cosmetics but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Amal Afoussi, founder of AMAL AFOUSSI MUA, located in Montreal, QC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I am a Montreal-based hair, makeup & art atelier. I get an eclectic and wide array of clients because on top of doing a custom painting for my clients, I specialize in different types of makeup and hair services: from TV & film to production & advertising agencies, brides, and artists of any kind for their cover photos or music videos ( even pianists), or clients who want to be glammed up for an event or a photoshoot/video shoot, Halloween makeups, artsy themed makeup, special effects makeup. And anything that has to do with hair colour, hair styling & barbering ( I am a sucker for balayage, good bouncy brushings, and funky colours, haha!). My clients are the best; honestly, they feel like family, and they help me grow as much as I make them feel good. There is authenticity and vulnerability when they sit on my chair, and I feel honoured when we share our stories. human stories fascinate me, where people are from, their backstory, their dreams, their struggles, what motivates them, etc.
Tell us about yourself
I started off in science; then, after a while, I realized that I wasn't aligned with my true essence because I'm an artist at heart, and I strongly believe in the power of color and the effect it has on our mood and psychology. I then decided to switch careers and study in the beauty & visual art field. I worked in a few salons but never felt like I belonged; I never felt free or that I was operating at my true potential; something was missing.
So when I decided to have my private home atelier, I really wanted to create an inspiring and mindful creative space, an inclusive feel-good environment where I can do more than just offer makeup or hair services, but use that savoir-faire for a bigger purpose, help people connect to themselves through different elements, and where time stops. I gathered everything I love for the best experience, from art, plants, crystals & gemstones, essential oil aromatherapy, and sage to sound baths. So energy is very important to me, and I am mindful of who I connect to. Coming here doesn't feel like coming to a salon, rather like a holistic spa with a friend :). I even put my client's favourite playlists whenever they come and do a happy dance before they leave. I just want them to feel welcomed and at home and share our small and big moments.
What matters to me is to leave a positive imprint however I can, and I believe we are all gifted with a talent that is meant to be shared with the world.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I am very grateful to have recurring clients who come back and are loyal no matter what. While there is always improvement to do, and I want to expand my clientele even more going forth in 2023 and the years to come, I feel I have learned how to deeply understand my client's vision and needs and do what I can to exceed their expectations every time. I am very proud of the loving and creative space I have created because anyone that comes here tells me how soothing the energy is, and I couldn't have asked for more.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
In this day and age, it's having to do things we didn't need to do back then: on top of being a makeup artist, hairstylist, and painter, which takes a lot of my time, now I have to be a social media specialist, a photographer, videographer, editor and constantly create content on social media. It can be very challenging to keep up with this pace that keeps accelerating and focusing on my craft which requires some off time to get the creative juices flowing.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Focus on your WHY because when things get challenging, you'll remember why you should never give up. NEVER give up.
- Don't wait for everything to be perfect. Because while you're insecure and not sure if you should start, there is someone somewhere less qualified to do it. Just START somewhere, and you'll figure things out as you go.
- Always educate and improve yourself; it is very easy to get comfortable when you're good at something, and you stop learning. Be creative and innovative before you hit a plateau and switch things up from time to time.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
No matter what career you choose, we always hit times when we are less inspired, or we doubt. NEVER take decisions when you are in that headspace. Things don't necessarily happen how we envisioned it, but that's ok because most of the time, life brings you exactly what you asked for; it just takes a different route than you expected, and that's the beauty of the entrepreneur adventure, once you let go of the need to micro-manage everything to perfection, navigating the unknown becomes second nature. One more thing, from time to time, stop and look back at where you came from, never underestimate how far you've come, and be KIND to yourself.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Feel inspired to start, run or grow your own subscription business? Check out subkit.com and learn how you can turn "one day" into day one.