"From back at the beginning, when I was a Team of one with a beginners Face Painting Kit & a gazebo with more poles than the Spearmint Rhino Club, (that took at least an hour to put up and almost ended in divorce on more than one occasion, having my husband there 'helping' me to errect it), I had hopes of what I could do with my new found interest.
Stepping away from generic Makeup jobs and Bridal makeovers that no longer felt fulfilling for me, with Face Painting; I had hopes of creativity and expression. A hobby soon turned into a passion, and I was growing ever more aware that the services I offered and the bookings I attracted, served a much deeper purpose than having the ability to apply Paint to someones face; the expression of sheer joy and excitement from children and adults looking into the mirror after seeing themselves transform into a character or alter ego of their own imagination, felt fantastic. For the remainder of the day, they had the freedom to rock an alternative look and feel great with it - it was a real confidence booster.
Having a painted Face is associated with fun and acceptance, which creates happy emotions and evokes a human expression that we sadly just don't see enough of these days... a SMILE! A smile from the person that's donning the look and an exchanged smile from a stranger who sees the painted face and thinks 'that's cool, good on you!' :)
It's like when one person in the room yawns and it sets off that yawn chain reaction... but this was a positive and happy emotion I was helping to create, and I was hooked!
There is a darker and slightly pretentious side to the Makeup and Glitter Industry, which to some, creates a real feeling of a lack in self-confidence and is unfriendly and competitive.
Some will understand that this is just the marketing strategy of certain brands; but with these types of 'beautiful people' focused ads swamping our social media feeds, it made me sad and a little annoyed to think that I wouldn't be the only person starting my day feeling like I wasn't 'good' enough for the world; lacking some way in my looks, lifestyle or bank balance, whilst scrolling through my news feed drinking my morning coffee. Not now quite as ready to take on the day as I thought I was. Thanks Instagram!
As a sufferer of anxiety and depression that I have battled with throughout my childhood and teens, after being horrifically and almost fatally bullied during my entire school life, leading to me spending time away from home in a residential Mental Health unit at the tender age of 15; I always felt a need to be able to reach out to other people to say that 'you are enough, and you will be O.K'.
Throughout adulthood, I have wrestled with the idea of working directly within Mental Health and I did apply for a few various Mental Health sector roles before creating Face Me Fabulous; but being honest, I didn't feel as though I could permanently place myself back into that world.
Although self harm and depression are firmly in my past and learning coping techniques to combat anxiety on the days it decided to rear it's ugly head made a substantial difference for me living and coping with Mental Health; unfortunately, after having my son, Oliver, in 2014, I suffered with post-natal depression and the emotional battles that I believed to be firmly in my past, became very much a part of my present again.
I'm pleased to say that I am through the worst and on the whole, I genuinely do feel as happy, focused and as confident in myself, as those who meet me for the first time would believe - but as a natural empath and a survivor of Mental Health - I am so ready now to just get out there and create as much laughter, happy memories, positive energy and self worth to others, via Face Me Fabulous, as I can!
Our stalls are vibrant, welcoming and endearing, and our services are inclusive to ALL. I have purposfully built a brand that champions diversity and acceptance; irrespective of age, gender, sexuality and everything else in-between! I have recruited a Team of powerhouse creatives, smilers and huggers! who are just as passionate about spreading the Glitter Love and citing self-care and self-belief, as I am. (*hugs are given away for free at all of our stalls and we have a strict #morepeacelesspout policy for all selfies!).
Since the start of our trading, we have supported a number of local Charity events and fundraisers; however, we felt that by Partnering with one Charity, we would be able to create an on-going and sustainable relationship and generate a passive income stream for them, in addition to the Charity's scheduled Fund Raising. Naturally, a Mental Health Charity was always our goal and we are so happy to have now built the brand up enough, to make it a viable option as a Partner of our local MIND Charity, MMK Mind. "
Although we are not yet big enough to commit to donating a confirmed percentage of our annual income to the Charity; we will be able to help in the following ways:
Serving as a hub for the Charity's own stall at a number of local events:- it was highlighted by the Charity that although they try to reach the community by having stalls at local events, they struggle in having people approach their stalls to talk to them. With experience in Mental Health, I can resonate; local events are primarily fun days out with the family and in small communities that most people you know will be at! It may not feel the most appropriate place and time for someone with Mental Health concerns to approach the MMK Mind representatives. The goal is to cut through the stigma of Mental Health; but unfortunately it is still an issue and many mental health sufferers remain increasingly reserved about opening up, particularly and understandably, in public environments. MMK Mind are on a mission to change this.
How will Face Me Fabulous help with this? - By acting as a hub for the MMK Mind stalls at certain local events, our hope is to be able to serve as an ice breaker, whilst offering a degree of privacy for those who come over for an information leaflet, or a chat with a trained MMK Mind community out-reach representative. Our Crown Me Fabulous and other Craft Workshops, will also provide a therapeutic, calm and mindful environment and activity.
Although notes tend to be the most usual tender for us to receive as payment for our services; we do always end up with random change along the way...! We will be saving all coin denominations less than 5p in value that we receive throughout the Festival season, which will be totaled up and donated to MMK Mind at the end of each financial year.
We pay pitch fees and/or a percentage of our sales to the organisers of venues and events we trade at. We will give our vendors the opportunity to participate in a scheme to reduce our pitch fee or % by half a percent, which will be met by ourselves to make 1% - this saving will be donated in monetary form to MMK Mind on a gig to-gig basis.
In circumstances where we exceed our projected sales targets, we will make additional donations to MMK Mind.
Our mission has received interest from Celebrity endorsed and Cancer Patient focused skincare brand, Kate McIver Skin. We will soon have an affiliate link for Kate McIver Skin products available on our Instagram - 100% of the cost saving obtained through purchases made via our affiliate link will be donated to MMK Mind.
Julie Blackmore, CEO of MMK MIND says:
"MMK Mind partnership with Face me Fabulous, creates an opportunity for two organisations, with a shared interest in mental well-being, to come together in a Partnership approach to help to raise awareness of Mental Health and aim to reduce stigma and discrimination.
MMK is delighted to form a Partnership with Face Me Fabulous for their support in increasing Mental Health Awareness and raising funds for MMK Mind through promotional and product activity. "
For regular updates of MMK Mind drop-ins, workshops, fund-raisers and events they will be attending, please give them a follow on social media!