Today we’d like to introduce you to Holli Chris.
Holli Chris is the Founder and Creator of Kensington Makeup and Kensington Makeup Academy.
Holli, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today as a makeup artist?
My love for science and all things nerdy lead me to receive my graduate degree in Neuroscience from Kings College London University. After working as a research scientist trapped in a cubicle, I tired of the corporate world and ditched the microscope for a makeup brush. I was then formally trained as a certified makeup artist at the Makeup Designory, CA, and on a whim moved to Phoenix to start and grow my company Kensington Makeup Artists.
Named best by BRIDES Magazine, our clients love us for our concierge customer service, ability to handle small and large groups, and multiple price points to cater to every budget. Our artists love working for us because we take care of all the “business”, so they can focus on the art of their craft.
If I could first, give a personal shout out to Leiah Scheibel and Alexandra Bradberry, of the Sparkle Bar, for pioneering the way for makeup artists here in Arizona with the passing of SB1320. This Bill deregulated makeup artistry from Arizona State Board Of Cosmetology licensing requirements. Makeup artists working in the “grey area” of the past regulations, like myself, rejoiced! This change opened up so many opportunities in the ever growing Phoenix makeup community, and in the Summer of 2015, Kensington Makeup Academy was launched.
As an educator, I get this question a lot. Traditionally, most people do not consider makeup artistry to be something you can make a career out of, even Forbes Magazine wrote an article calling makeup artistry one of “America’s Most Surprising Six-Figure Jobs”. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual income for makeup artists is over $60,000 a year — nearly three times the earning potential of a licensed hair stylist.
Has it been a smooth road?
We complete hundreds of special events a year, and one of our biggest pain points for the business is a lack of available makeup and hair artists to staff. Being short staffed forces us to turn away business! One of my biggest goals for 2018 is to continue to train potential artists from our makeup academy to join and build our team. We have set up a Jr. Assisting Program for select graduates to participate in, where they shadow and assist Senior artists out on the field. Top performers are then asked to join our new Junior Artists Pro Team. My longterm 3-5 year goal is to have a team that is comprised of at least 75% Kensington Makeup Academy Graduates.
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Coming from Los Angeles, one of the motivations to starting my business in Phoenix, is that Arizona is so business friendly. I love that the this city is continually growing and providing more opportunities for creative entrepreneurs. Within the early years of starting my business, I was named 40 Under 40 by the Phoenix Business Journal.
What do I like least? The obvious answer is the Summers. As we all know, they are rough to acclimate to, and they create seasonality in my business. I, like many others, have just learned to take a vacation during the midst of the heat.
Where can we find you today?
Today you will find me hanging out with my newborn bebe, glamming up my clients for their special events, writing and developing new courses, mentoring students on-location, staying in the know on the latest beauty trends and even sneaking around the back of the classroom scoping out new talent to add to my team.
- Address: Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall
7014 E Camelback Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85018
- Website: https://www.kensingtonmakeup.com/
- Phone: 480-717-2077
- Email: email@example.com