Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in beauty and cosmetics but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Diana D'Angelo, founder of BeautyInVA, located in Virginia Beach, VA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am a freelance professional makeup artist specializing in weddings and event makeup and commercial and editorial work. I like to think of makeup as architecture or design. I like to think, “What colors, textures and techniques can I use to bring out someone’s inner beauty and personality.”

Tell us about yourself

I left a career as a publicist in the music industry to pursue a career in makeup. I saw people like Derrick Rutledge transform some of my clients, and I was inspired to make the leap. Really, I think stealing my mom’s Avon samples when I was a kid was where it all started. My motivation is really more of an instinct - an animalistic desire to create and play. Not being able to work during the pandemic was really hard. I colored a lot.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

When I was in NY, I got to tick off a lot of goals and accomplishments, including working at NY Fashion week and working with celebrities like Brooke Shields and Ava DuVernay. But the real sense of accomplishment comes when clients take selfies after their makeup cause they feel so beautiful.

Doing wedding makeup and being a part of such an intimate moment in someone’s life is something I don’t take for granted. It’s very special.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest things is saying no. “No, I can’t do two weddings on this same day. No, I can’t lower my prices, etc.” When you are first starting, you jump at every opportunity because you are still networking and learning. As a freelancer, sometimes you don’t always know when the next check is coming in, but you also have to stick to your values.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Always be on the lookout for learning opportunities and inspiration.
  2. Find and build a community. Link up with other MUAs, photographers, models, and hairstylists. They will help you get gigs and give you feedback.
  3. Master your communication. There are a lot of women who have had a bad experience working with a pro MUA, and I think that’s just about not communicating. Ask your clients for inspiration photos, but you can also provide your own. Don’t expect them to know your industry lingo, so really walk them through the process.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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