LOCAL VENDOR FEATURE - LAURA FERRARI MAKEUP
Get to know Laura - Owner of Laura Ferrari - Makeup Artist
Laura Ferrari is a published freelance makeup artist for over 5 years in London, Ontario.
She is known for her clean and detailed bridal work. Her clients not only look stunning behind the camera but also effortlessly flawless in person. More recently, you may have seen her face on social media and out in the city working with as many female entrepreneurs as possible. She is passionate about supporting and collaborating with other women in the community and she believes deeply in community over competition. She has been growing her social media with both her makeup and lifestyle brand, as well as her new account featuring the role she is most proud of; motherhood. She is a very proud mom to a 5 year old, Lorenzo and 1 year old, Rocco and wife to an incredibly hard working business owner.
She has also found a great community among the mothers in London, as she speaks incredibly honestly and authentically about the good and the bad of motherhood. She does this next to her best friend Jac, who is also married to an Italian man and mom to two boys (@lorandjac on Instagram). Some might say she shares “too much” on social media, but she feels that the more authentic she is with her community the more they can relate and maybe even help them in their own lives!
How did you first getting into makeup artistry?
Like so many young girls, I loved makeup from the time I little. Sneaking through my grandmother’s makeup stash and playing when she wasn't looking. It was in high school, that my tomboyish ways wore off and I really began to experiment with makeup. I loved it so much that my parents even built me one of those Hollywood-style vanities in my room even though it was most definitely just a hobby - to them anyways. I feel like it spent years of soul searching and trying to determine what exactly I wanted to do as a career. I can’t event remember how many career aptitude tests I took. I did everything from serving, to sales, to working for a construction company. It was very clear in my household that “doing makeup” was NOT a career, and I would not be pursuing it as such.
I did what I was supposed to do and I went to college, got two basic degrees that meant absolutely nothing and then fell into a pretty great job after school that was not even related to my degrees. I was working there for about five years when my husband and I (then boyfriend) got pregnant with our first baby. I was only 23 years old. This is what eventually led me to my next step as an entrepreneur.
What prompted you to go out on your own and start your own business?
I had just got a promotion for a great position as the commercial account manager for our builders accounts in London. I had a great salary plus commission, business phone, computer, freedom to do my job out of the office and on the road, everything. It was amazing! About a year into this promotion, I had my son. When it came time to return to my position after my maternity leave, I found out my position has be “eliminated”. Long story short, they found someone more qualified while I was on maternity leave and I was out of a job. Looking back now, this was one of the biggest blessings of my life. They forced me back onto the sales floor at a minimum paying hourly job, no commission, trapped behind a computer in a deck, and to a person like me that feel like prison. I was sent to a store that had a lengthy commute (when the other one was a 2 minute drive from home) and I was alone all day, everyday. It was there that I started to find myself again. Not just as a new mom, but as a future entrepreneur. I no longer wanted to work for someone else’s dreams and goals - I wanted to work for MINE!
After many long conversations with my husband (that left me always sobbing), I quit. Just like that! No money, no job, and a baby at home. Thankfully I had my husband (then boyfriend) to help me through this next transition. I took online courses, watched as many makeup tutorials as humanly possible, attended as many makeup workshops as I possible could. I started posting makeup looks to Instagram, and just like that I started booking clients. I forced my family and friends to sit in my chair so I could practice while my son was sleeping in the evening, and with hard work and consistency I quickly became one of the most sought after bridal makeup artists in the area.
I worked the bridal game for a few years, doing the Thursday-Sunday grind. I was waking up at 3:00 in the morning and doing 1-2 weddings per day and sometimes coming home and then doing clients well into the evening in my studio. This career suited my creativity and need to be on the go rather than working from behind a desk. However, we got married and had our second son - and then life got really busy. I continued that crazy grind right up until the day before I gave birth and immediately after having him. 10 days post-cesarian section I was serving clients. In hindsight, it was not my smartest move, but I was addicted to working and I was good at it. It was almost like a high.
The thing is, as much as I love and will always love doing makeup, I have always felt a calling for something greater. I wanted more. I wanted to connect more and I wanted to meet and surround myself with all the likeminded female entrepreneurs. The more I opened my mind up to this community, once again I find myself diving head first into this, but this time its for me and not for my paycheque. I am still a working freelance makeup artist ( and I LOVE that) but now I work on my schedule and my families schduale. I spend a good amount of my working time collaborating, learning and growing with the other amazing women from all different businesses. I am especially drawn the the mothers, for nothing more than I LOVE to genuinely connect, and I connect the strongest with mothers in the same season and I am. Right now my schduale is the lightest its ever been (with actual makeup clients) and the most fulfilling it has ever been.
What does your life and job look like on a weekly basis? How do you balance work and personal life?
If you are curious what a typical week looks like for me, it’s fairly different every single week but I always try to go to the gym at least three times a week. I spend one day with my mother-in-law or family (I try to make that Sundays). If I am going to book clients for photoshoots, that will usually be on either a Monday, Wednesday or Friday - so Tuesdays and Thursdays are guaranteed days home with Rocco, when I can also do my cleaning, groceries and any other errands that need to be done. I used to always have weddings on Saturdays but that is changing so that day is more available to clients at well. I do occasionally take clients on Sunday but I try and reserve that for family time.
It is limited when my husband is home as he owns a large construction company with several different divisions. Sometimes it can almost feel like he works out of town because he works so much. I am actively working hard to “balance” work and mom life, if balance is even a thing. Some weeks I excel at it and some weeks the balancing act looks more like a circus, but my kids and my passion motivate me so no matter how crazy the week, I always rest my head at the end of the day feeling so grateful for everything that I have and everything that I have worked so hard for.
How do you think social media has helped your business?
The thing is, as much as I love and will always love doing makeup, I have always felt a calling for something greater. I really wanted more. I wanted to connect more and I wanted to meet and surround myself with all the likeminded female entrepreneurs. Social media has been KEY to achieving this. The more I opened my mind up to this community, the more I got back. Once again I find myself diving head first into this, but this time it’s for me, and not for my paycheque. I am still working as a freelance makeup artist (and I LOVE that) but now I work around my schedule and my family’s schedule. Right now my schedule is the lightest it’s ever been (with actual makeup clients) and my job feels the most fulfilling as it ever has.
I spend a good amount of my working time collaborating, learning, and growing with the other amazing women from all different businesses. I am especially drawn to other mothers, because there is nothing more that I LOVE than to genuinely connect, and I connect the strongest with mothers in the same season that I’m in. Right now my schedule is the lightest it’s ever been (with actual makeup clients) and my job feels the most fulfilling as it ever has. Social media has created an incredibly crucial platform for me to cultivate these connections, and connect with other amazing women.
What do you love most about your job/running your own business?
There have been several moments over the past five years where I have stopped and questioned entrepreneurship. I questioned how hard I was working and why I was. I would get overwhelmed with all of the different hats I was wearing. Over time, however, I have learned so many lessons (usually the hard way) and one of the most powerful has been the learning I have done within myself. I have learned that this wild, crazy, busy life, is exactly what I want and exactly what makes me thrive. I can change my days and my weeks based on my mood, my workload and my kids’ schedules. I can be there at school pick ups and drop offs just about every single day (I miss a few here and there for photoshoots or makeup jobs). I can choose to attend field trips, or travel to for work, or actually be present at family events and holidays. I am not restricted or confined to a workspace or someone else’s schedule (with the exceptions of my kids, that is). I have to remind myself often to stop and appreciate this amazing life that I am blessed enough to be living. I am so grateful for my family supporting me even if they didn't always understand the vision. I am grateful I have such an incredible community of women, especially in London, that I can lean on and call my friends.
I want to thank Laura so much for taking the time to give us insight into her entrepreneurial journey. She is an inspiring and hardworking mom and business owner who has proved that in the face of difficulty and obstacles, she’s ready to rise to the challenge as well as encourage others to do the same. You can see below for some of Laura’s amazing work, or follow this link to her website to view more as well as get in touch with her!
Photos: Sarah Antaya