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Why I gave up my career in TV production to be a full time makeup artist

Updated: Nov 1, 2023

Why I gave up my career in TV production to be a full time makeup artist

It's Autumn 2015, on the surface I've got it all. Newly married, pregnant with my first child, just bought our first home and an amazing career in TV production of almost 10 years (with a very healthy salary) under my belt, so why have I decided to give up the career, risking it all for self employment?

The first few years of my television career were awesome, lots of fun, very little responsibility, on the road all the time, meeting new and interesting people and I had some money in my pocket. But I always strive for more. I wanted to manage people, so I constantly pushed myself on to the next challenge. The genre I'd not tried, the channel I'd not worked with bigger team of people and bigger budget to handle. This was great until I decided that I was ready to be a mum. Then my focus shifted completely. I'd already been in therapy once, following an incredibly stressful programme I worked on and I didn't want to risk that happening again, when responsible for another human being. I also knew that working in television would mean being away from my baby far more than I wanted to, so I had to find another path.

I'd been working as an MUA alongside my TV job for many years. It had paid for most of our wedding, helped us put down the deposit on our house and apart from being exhausting alongside a full time job, I really loved it, and I knew I was good at it. But could I make a career from it, that allowed me to cope financially without putting the little one in more childcare than I wanted to. Well I wasn't sure of that, so I hatched another back up plan.

Stacey was my hairdresser and we had become good friends. We had high standards in terms of our wedding work and we had realised we were both turning away a lot of work. My experience in running teams of staff and complex contracts and paperwork, meant I was bringing some administration skills to the table too. We started scoping out some talent to join us (Lorna, Jennifer and Laura, being our first few recruits) and suddenly Bristol Bridal Hair and Make-up (as it was called then) was born.

It was a good couple of years before we really started to make any really money from it as we ploughed anything we earned into promotion and working on improving our offerings. But now we have a business and a team we are very proud of. Stacey left in 2021 to focus on her own endeavours, but continues to support me from the sidelines and for that I'm hugely grateful. I now spend 90% of my working life running South West Bridal Hair and Make-up, alongside my husband Tom, who tinkers away behind the scenes on the website and marketing, but we really hope that it can be built on to be a proper family business. I care endlessly about my team of artists and treat every bride that books with us like they're one of my own. If you need anything at all, I'm on hand to help you. I know how much this day means to you and I want the small part myself and my team play, to help get your day off to the best possible start it can.

8 years on from the start of South West Bridal Hair and Make-up and I can honestly say, I've never looked back. It was one of the best decisions I made, not only for me, but for my family too. Don't get me wrong, there have been tough days, surviving the pandemic being a huge relief and coming out the other side stronger I hope. I live and breathe this business and I hope this comes through when you work with me.

Thank you for reading.

Emily x


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