For Kat Flynt, a self taught entrepreneur, author, aesthetician, and media makeup artist, both life and business are about the beauty of being a woman and sharing the journey. Kat wasn't always an entrepreneur. Her career began as a traveling salesperson and she accidentally "fell into makeup artistry as a business". In April 1993 just a few months after her second child was born, Kat found herself feeling the need to do something for herself and decided to have glamor photos made of herself. When she arrived at the photography studio the photographer informed her that the make up artist (MUA) had not showed up and asked if she could do her own make up. When the photographer saw Kat's makeup, he asked her if she could do the make up for the other women in the studio - and he would pay her for it. Although she had only a limited selection of colors, the results were impressive so Kat was invited to do make up for this photographer one Saturday each month for the next nine years. Kat's skills improved and she developed a network of referrals.
In 2002, Kat was referred to the production studio at CNN. They wanted her to join their production team as a full time MUA, but there was a hitch. Kat needed to be a licensed cosmetologist or aesthetician. This was the first time she heard about needing to be licensed to apply make up in Georgia (a requirement that was dropped in 2006). Kat investigated the licensing programs which required her to attend nine months of classes at a cost of $10,000. During this time Kat made her living as a professional temporary office assistant. It wasn't enough money to pay for the classes but it was too much to drop and go back to school. Kat kept receiving full time offers to join the companies where she was temping. One day her husband asked her why she didn't accept an excellent job offer and she replied, “I just can’t see myself in this job for the rest of my life”. Then he asked the big question, "What would you do if you could do anything you wanted?" That's when she realized she loved being a makeup artist. He told her to follow her passion and get the license. Two years and $10,000 later Kat emerged from the program with a license in aesthetics and she never looked back.
Kat's clients include TV and video production companies, commercial photographers, magazines, ad agencies, wedding parties, and modeling agencies. Even as a successful makeup artist and instructor Kat does not rest on her laurels, she is continually looking into new classes to improve her skill and keep her styles current. "The makeup industry is constantly changing and is increasingly competitive. As broadcast and photographic technology evolved from black and white to high definition, the technology of makeup had to adapt." The trend from heavy makeup in the days of analog TV has reversed because of high definition. Today makeup must be imperceptible yet perfect. The bright lights and high definition cameras expose skin details in ways that the human eye does not notice under normal lighting situations.
Today it is much easier to launch a career as a makeup artist by starting out as a freelancer. In 2006 the State of Georgia dropped the requirement to have a license to apply cosmetic products that were sold over the counter to the general public. This created a new opportunity for Kat to train others how to apply makeup and she started a new venture, the Flynt Makeup Academy. Kat has recently affiliated herself with the Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics where she teaches advanced makeup skills one week each month. The Atlanta Institute of Aesthetics offers licensing programs to those wishing to expand their knowledge and career opportunities.
Kat attributes her success to her thirst for knowledge and her willingness to share. Upon graduating high school, Kat took a commission only sales job and traveled to 42 states in a little over two years time. As the youngest senior sales representative in the company, she honed her selling skills and competitive nature. Kat says that every assignment is a competition with herself, "You have to beat your own best and don’t worry about how you compare to others!" Additionally, to be successful as a MUA you have to be dependable and efficient. "The client expects you to show up on time and apply flawless makeup in a timely manner. As an artist you must stay on top of new styles in makeup fashion and create a unique look appropriate for the assignment."
As Kat worked with numerous beautiful women, she discovered that although many of them were icons of beauty, they had low self esteem. She began to realize how important self confidence was both to herself and to women generally. Much of Kat's conversations with clients started to involve pumping up their self confidence. This led Kat to her newest venture writing a book and blog, The Beauty of Being a Woman. The book and her blog which contains excerpts from the book is Kat's way of sharing her journey. She is constantly learning and helping other women "be their best".
To learn more about Kat Flynt and her businesses visit www.katflynt.com.
Sam Dobrow is a freelance writer and photographer doing business as samdobrow photography based in Atlanta, GA. To learn more about Sam Dobrow and samdobrow photography visit his business website www.samdobrowphotography.com.