Face Art by Melissa just won a Totally Awesome Award for Most Delightful Birthday Entertainers in New York. We recently spoke to Melissa herself about her experience as a business owner, the best advice she’s ever received and more. Hear what she had to say below!
Red Tricycle: Your community recently voted you “Most Delightful Birthday Entertainer in New York” – what do your customers value most about your business?
Melissa: I think what our clients rave the most about is the consistency of our services. My crew and I are so dedicated to always learning and being the best artists we can be, to always being on time, to always being loving and friendly to everyone at their events. We love our job and that’s a huge part of our success!!
RT: What do you want people to know about your business that they don’t already know?
Melissa: Though this business started as just me, painting on our patio at my daughter’s 5th birthday; it is NOT just me anymore! I have a team of 18 amazing, professional artists and we are out in full force, we typically do up to 20-25 events per week, and more during the month of Halloween.
RT: How did your business get started and what was the motivation?
Melissa: My daughter (then 4 years old) got painted at a birthday party; I’m not entirely certain it was actually face paint used, regardless, she LOVED it, and asked for a face painter for her 5th birthday. I thought, I can do that!! and had a great time painting her and all her little buddies. Then a friend asked me to paint at HER daughter’s birthday- and then someone contacted me that I didn’t know, to paint at HER daughter’s birthday party….and I thought, hmmm, am I starting a business?
RT: Tell us, what do you start your morning with: 1. coffee 2. tea 3. mimosa 4. water 5. all of the above.
Melissa: You probably don’t want to know, but I’ll tell you: a smoothie made out of spinach, cucumbers, jalapeño, ginger,a whole avocado, mint and celery. My life is crazy and I work basically almost every waking hour, whether I’m painting or catching up on the paperwork associated with 20-25 events per week…nutrition is the only thing that keeps me going!
RT: What is the most awesome thing a customer has ever done for you?
Melissa: I have so many amazing and generous clients, I don’t even know where to start!!! I have gotten a ticket to a NY Rangers game on my birthday (after I painted at an NYR event that fell on my birthday, because, hey, that’s my TEAM!!! and I wouldn’t dream of sending someone from my team, birthday or no!). Also, one family that hires us for birthday parties, lets me paint their beautiful kids any time I need photos for publications, etc., and also took professional photos for me, one of which ended up being the photo I use for my business card. Once he took a pro video of me painting one of his beautiful kids, that a big client asked for, last minute. We’ve gotten special entrance passes to heaven on earth—The New York Botanical Garden, after doing events there. Also, it just blows us away when we walk into an event and see that our clients (New York City Football Club, A&E Networks, New Victory Theater, to name a few) has taken our logo and included it on signs to direct people toward our face painting stations at their event. That just feels like extra love, to us, it’s amazing! This business is a total love blessing to my life. I love what I do, and I get to do it every day. It’s basically, the gift that keeps giving…!! Every day, it makes me so happy!!!
RT: What is your biggest pet peeve as a business owner?
Melissa: Hmmm….that I don’t have an assistant to do all the paperwork so that I can just get to the good part, which is creating and painting!!
RT: How do you keep your stress levels down?
Melissa: I paint! Nothing bugs me when I’m in that zone. And showing the kids their faces in the mirror, after they’ve been painted….that moment is so golden for us….it’s pure pleasure to watch their eyes light up; I never rush them in that moment. It’s the magic of childhood! Beautiful!
RT: What’s your secret superhero power as a business owner?
Melissa: I can always remember what’s coming up. Unfortunately, I don’t remember where I was yesterday, but I do remember the entire team’s schedule for tomorrow, so if you have a last minute party, I can tell you right away if we can be there!
RT: Tell us, what is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received (as a parent or business owner)?
Melissa: Well, you can get everyone’s best business (and parenting advice) but if it doesn’t resonate with you, regardless of the source, DON’T DO IT. Just stick with what your gut tells you. The more you listen to that voice, the louder it gets. Also, always do your best to be kind.
RT: How about the worst piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Melissa: That I should open up a store front. Nooooooo….
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Photo credit: Face Art by Melissa