I had the pleasure of working on about 70 wedding parties, 15 senior photo shoots, 10 engagement shoots, 6 rehearsal dinner looks, 5 bachelorette looks, 4 wedding shower looks, 5 prom attendants, 4 commercials, 4 corporate videos or days of photos, 1 infomercial. I was the personal artist for 2 high profile people, 16 promo/headshot/modeling pics, 10 live television segments for national news, 1 fashion editorial for a magazine, had brides on 2 major wedding blogs (wedding chicks and style me pretty), developed and taught my first ever bridal beauty group class alongside my dear friend and colleague Kelli Ramey (beautimarkedbykelli), held individual training for various makeup artists, worked with several photographers on more than a dozen boudoir shoots, taught 15 makeup lessons to clients, and did the grooming/makeup for a major label band's promotional pics (Warner Brothers Band Family Force 5). That was just in 2014! And I want more, always. More weddings, more commercials, more photo shoots.....
For those who ask if I "stay busy" being self-employed as a makeup artist in Columbus, Ohio....there you have it. It gets better year after year.
To cap the year off, I found out that I won the "Best of the Knot" for the 4th year in a row, which means I'm in the coveted "Hall of Fame" for The Knot! That is something I have dreamed about for years. I am so so proud and happy to have that honor given to me.
And just when you sit back and breathe it all in and feel a little mighty and perhaps....cocky, you get a call to find out that 2 people (same wedding) wrote negative reviews on another site. I don't want to dwell on this, but know that I think sometimes having someone say to you that they weren't happy with you makes you rethink how you approach clients. Was I taking them for granted? Did I perhaps become a little too big for my britches? Hey, I'm human and part of that is failing. And I'm putting attitude in check big time in 2015.
I cannot say how much it means to me that someone chooses to work with me with all the choices that are out there. I love what I do. I love almost everyone I have the privilege to work with and the fact that I get to do something so connected to a person's most special day should never be taken lightly. I am not bulletproof, no matter how many years I do it. No matter how many awards I get, clients that adore me etc. Someone can get on the internet and tear me apart. And I have to be ok with it, learn and adapt to make sure I stay humble. I'm not a robot, I'm not a guarded person without opinions. Anyone who has spent any time with me can tell you that. And I don't want to lose what sets me apart. And I'm not even sure that I could if I tried. But we are all a work in progress and I always want to be a better version of myself.
Most of you who know me won't think it's valid since I go above and beyond for my clients. This year alone I helped a bride find a new photographer the week of her wedding when hers went AWOL and I lent a dress to a client who was in my home studio about to go to her bridal shower when her own dress's zipper broke. I return emails 24 hours a day so clients don't have to wait for answers to their questions. I can and will do almost anything to make clients happy and I hope to continue to do that as well as stay grounded and open to criticism when necessary.
All this being said, outside of my work, I also hit some milestones and saw some great places through the year. I turned 40 (eek!!) in August and decided I must go to France to celebrate. I spent 12 days in Normandy, Paris, Toulouse and other little areas of the South Central parts of France in late August with my husband and good friend. I also got a chance to see parts of the US that I hadn't before: The Grand Canyon (by way of Vegas) in January, Arkansas (by way of road trip with a friend) and Washington DC (if you don't count a brief 8th grade trip!). This year was my 5th opportunity to attend the Makeup Show, this time in NYC and also spent a couple extra days visiting my dear friend.
Through the 2nd half of the year, I had a long and drawn out health scare that turned out to be a very small issue after many tests, surgery and an MRI. I don't do well with any of that, so in a way, it was a hurdle to get over and I'm proud of myself.
I started doing light running and participated in my first 5k. I NEVER thought that would happen. The high that felt afterwards was awesome and I know that it won't be my last.
I lost my last grandfather. We were fortunate that he lived into his 90's and to have a Grandpa in your life for 40 years is rare. So I'm mostly grateful to have gotten to know him as an adult. He was sharp as a tack, funnier and wittier than most comedians and someone whom I will always have as a sort of guide post. Would Grandpa Garblik be proud of me? Then I'm on the right track, because he would definitely be the one to tell me otherwise. He knew everything...did I mention that? ;)
Finally, I had several opportunities to volunteer with Harmony Project and Dress for Success. In Harmony Project I got to visit the Women's Reformatory in Marysville, Ohio and sing with the women. They are so grateful to us for doing something that we all love to do and therefore, it is the most heartwarming thing you can imagine. Dress for Success also brought me to jail....to do a fashion show. And the women who were about to be released got to dress in strong fashionable clothing and have hair and makeup done and strut a "runway". I think I cried the entire day. More gratefulness.
In November I decided that I had enough time in my life to take in a foster dog. In came Harvey, a shihtzu mix. He's still cuddled up to me as much as he possibly can and I can't believe that I have to let him go soon. I'm sure this little love will be adopted soon and I will have to do the selfless thing and let him go so that this time next year, I can take in another little one.
December rounded out with a Harmony Project performance at the Ohio Theatre to 2000 people where I had a solo that fronted the choir of 230 people. What a feeling!
Soaring highs and crushing lows. That's life. I hope to continue to have the opportunity to soar in 2015 and that the lows of 2014 fade into the background more quickly.
Some moments in pictures.....