Today we’d like to introduce you to Kati Edge.
Hi Kati, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I have always loved make-up since I was a little girl and would sneak and play in my mom’s make-up, and then she gave in and would slowly let me wear more and more as I got older. Starting in 6th grade with a little brown mascara and blush and adding a new product every year.
Then when I decided I wanted make-up artistry to be my career, I began to volunteer as a make-up artist for the Orlando Opera Company, in Orlando, Florida. Two years later, I would become the make-up and wig supervisor for the Opera’s chorus Department, working directly with the make-up and wig designer for the show.
I have worked in the make-up department for Disney’s MGM Studios, now known as Disney’s Hollywood Studios. I went on to go to cosmetology school, to learn more about all aspects of the trade, and in 2005 began a career with MAC cosmetics.
However, I always loved freelance make-up work, and as I got older and started a family began to love the idea of being able to be more creative with my work and being my own boss. In 2014, Kati Edge Make-up and Hair was born, an on-location beauty agency, specializing in bridal, and commercial make-up and hair.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
I will say overall from my start to now has been a very smooth road, I have had the best support from my family and friends and wonderfully supportive clients, who have helped me to continue to build and grow my business every year.
As far as business challenges, I think my greatest challenge is getting out of my own way and having patience. As a freelance artist, it can feel like a business can get very slow, and in Nashville, there can be a lot of competition and that can get quite intimidating. Moreover, I really feel like our community is very supportive and positive and you just have to keep pushing forward, staying positive and true to yourself and your business.
I mention, patience because this industry comes with definite ebbs and flows, you can feel like you are super busy and booked one minute and very slow others. For instance, every year filling my books comes with its own anxiety but that just keeps me pushing forward. And of course, being a small business owner does come with its own set of ups and downs that come along with it.
Personally finding a balance between family and career has had its struggles. I am a mom of two and as they are getting more active in sports and school the schedule can sometimes get very hectic. However, I truly believe that the kids are learning that careers can take on many different looks and there are so many routes for them to take as they begin to look towards their own futures.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Kati Edge Make-up and Hair is a luxury, on-site beauty agency that specializes in bridal make-up and hair artistry, I think that is what I am most known for right now.
What am I most proud of is a really tough question. There is so much I am proud of. As an example working in internationally recognized organizations such as the Orlando Opera and Hollywood studios. Most recently I am most proud of having the opportunity to do hair and make-up for several country artists, plus assist a major make-up artist for the 53rd CMA Awards in Nashville.
I am proud that so many people have entrusted me with huge parts of their lives — from their wedding days to family and branding photos, including to being on stage.
I think one thing that sets me apart is my ability to listen to my clients and really hone in on what they are looking for. Working closely with my clients I am really good at building the looks they want. I like my clients to be timeless and look back and still love everything we created on that day, while still staying true to themselves from the most natural look to the most glam.
The most important thing that sets me apart is when a client, is uncertain of what look they would like. In those cases, I am free to use my natural creativity to craft a unique and personal style that my clients will remember for a lifetime. That is the greatest gift I can give to a client.
We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I was in my first year of community college when I made the official decision I wanted to be a make-up artist for sure.
My mom just happened to meet the lead Chorus supervisor while getting her hair done, and she happened to be looking for make-up and hair volunteers for the chorus and my mom told her about me. That year was 2000 and I began volunteering with the Orlando Opera Company’s hair and make-up department. That was the luck that got the ball rolling.
I was lucky in the fact that I had encouragement no matter what I wanted to do. My family was always helping me look for new opportunities and new ways to get my name out there. I had a family that told me to go for it, even if it wasn’t the most stable career path, and knew it would take time.
As my family and business grew I had the support of a wonderful husband and wonderful people that helped with our children and child care, even when I had crazy hours on a shoot or had to go in super early and needed someone to get the kids to school or pick them up.
I say this because I know this is not the case for so many others on an artistic or creative path and with any career path that is extremely hard, most especially with a career path where you have to work hard, have odd hours of day or night, or possibly have second jobs till you build up to where you need to be or want to be.
It really does take a village and the more support you have, the easier it is to follow your dreams. If you have people that are naysayers or don’t think you can make it as a freelancer, you will be sure to fail.
Succeeding in a freelance business sometimes takes a bit of luck, but it always takes a lot of hard work and dedication, and even when you’re in your slow season or feeling like this career path might not be for you. So it is most important to keep pushing through, and even more important to have your people cheering you on.
In a way, it was a combination of luck and hard work that has played a role in both my life and business and allowed me to do what I love.
- Website: www.katiedge.com
- Instagram: @kati_edge_makeup_hair
- Facebook: @katiedgemua
Kati Edge, Dolly Delong Photography, Krista Lee Photography, Frozen Exposure Photography, Amy with Wilde Company Photography, White Fox Photography, and Erin Photography