My most memorable day in my career was when I did makeup for Awilo Longomba for his music video. It was a breath taking moment for me because I never thought I would.
My name is Ann Mwenja, a born-again Christian, and a makeup artist.
I have been in the makeup industry for five years. I have been nominated for several awards and was able to win one award, which was the Hola awards makeup artists 2019.
I do makeup as a way to evangelize and win souls for Christ. I have authored one book titled Unbroken.
I also run an organization that is called Beauty in the Closet where we offer free makeup workshops to the community, we mentor and offer counsel to the youth and we champion against gender-based violence, and speak louder about childhood traumas.
I love traveling, cooking, cycling, swimming, reading books, and playing poker. These are the things that give me joy in my free time.
My entrepreneurship journey is a funny one. It all started in 2017 when I attend a free makeup workshop by Urembo creations. My urge to learn made me attend all their 5 workshops, up until they opened a beauty school in 2019 and I went on to study for 3 months, after which I got the opportunity to intern with them.
I was then introduced to the entertainment industry and I got to understand how things are done.
I remember the many times I would go to a client, they have paid me money but I would end up doing the job badly or not deliver as per the client’s desires. I would then go to my friend and ask her to show me where I was going wrong.
I practiced how to apply makeup every single day so I could get better at it. I’d plan for shoots and work for photographers to get professional pictures to advertise my work.
The most memorable day in my career was when I was I did makeup for Awilo Longomba for his music video. It was a breathtaking moment for me because I never thought I would. Another moment was applying makeup to our woman rep Esther Passaris which was a good thing for my career. I also won an award in 2019.
The key drivers of my success
I credit my progress in business to my willingness to learn and practice my craft. There are many times I went to other makeup artists to learn from them and grow my skill.
I tell myself that the day I stop learning is the day I stop growing. I’ve also done other business courses to understand the craft of business which has helped me a lot in my business. And yes, I can confidently say I have progressed because I do makeup way better than when I was just starting out. I have mastered my craft as a makeup artist.
Persistence, consistency, and patience are some of the key skills that have helped me succeed.
Lessons I have learned in my journey are:
- Be professional in your business and keep improving yourself and your craft, you are the business.
- Don’t say things you can’t do, be honest with your clients.
- When it comes to money or being paid, have systems or be firm in collecting your cash after working otherwise you will be working on credit and that will kill your business.
- Network with people.
- Be consistent in what you do.
- And be professional.
The people who helped me succeed.
First, it was my makeup teacher who was patient with me and helped me master my craft. The students we studied with were also helpful. The photographers I worked with to grow my portfolio and all the directors have been useful because they’d correct me and tell me areas I needed to improve.
My mentor has always pushed me to become better and always encouraged me when I wanted to give up.
What I’d tell young entrepreneurs
We all want to be rich or get things done the easy way, but that is not life. When life gets messy, look at it with a different lens. It’s okay not to be okay, it’s okay to feel bad, but what matters is what you do after the pillow talk with yourself.
Don’t move with the crowd, move at your own pace. We’ll all reach our destination at our own time. Your time is coming and don’t forget that the only good thing in you is GOD.
What I’d tell my younger self
Dear younger self, please love God and live a life that honors God because you know what ‘kila kitu ni vanity.’ Take responsibility of your life as nobody owes you anything, even your sister or parent. You owe yourself the life you want to live, that is it.
My book, Unbroken, is on sale and it’s going for Ksh 1000. Be encouraged to make an order through this number 0731730378. Payments can be made through this till number 9166727.
We offer makeup services for bridal, baby shower, video shoots, events, advertisements, and film-related work.
You can also partner with us in the community work we do and/or help finance our projects.
Reach out to us through our email address firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0731730378.