Without small business, we’re nothing. TheLatch— and GoDaddy have teamed up to rally behind local businesses and entrepreneurs during this unprecedented time of change.
We’re speaking to small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country to better understand how they’re adapting to stay open, how they’re keeping their community safe, and how we can support them now during this time, and beyond. We’re focused on keeping Australia open for business, even if doors are closed. #OpenWeStand
You might recognise Sarah Marie from her weekly appearance on your TV screen. The Gogglebox star has been apart of the cast since 2017, alongside her hubby Matty and their best friend Jad. But, behind the scenes, Sarah Marie also has a successful career as a makeup artist.
Seven years ago, Sarah Marie launched her business Sarah Marie Makeup. The venture started with herself but now includes a team of two hairdressers, two hair and makeup artists and three other makeup artists, which includes Sarah Marie. This allows her to take bookings, even if she’s unable to do the job herself.
“If I’m not available, I can still accommodate all the clients’ needs,” Sarah Marie told TheLatch—.
“I also have someone that does spray tanning as well, so we’re kind of like a one-stop-shop. We go to people’s houses — so it’s all on location — and do your hair, makeup etc.”
View this post on Instagram
Just scrolling through my gallery reminiscing on pre pregnancy body me lol. Being pregnant I’m the complete opposite to in this photo. My hair is now frail, skin is much paler, eyes are super dark, skin is very dry and I’m extra plump on my face/arms but Im super proud of my body because its creating my son ?? #pregnancy #prebaby #pregnant #realtalk #proud #babybody #babyboyfahd
Given the hands-on nature of Sarah Marie’s work, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted her income stream greatly, as all work has either been postponed or cancelled.
“For the next six months, when I say no work, I mean no work,” she said.
“Everything has been stopped for the next six months minimum because all of my work has to do with meeting different people and being in a group of people that aren’t from my home.”
We spoke to Sarah Marie (over the phone!) to chat about running a small business in the midst of a health pandemic.
Alexandra McCarthy: Hi Sarah! Could you tell me how you came to create your business, Sarah Marie Makeup?
Sarah Marie: It started with just myself. I was doing makeup freelance including events, shoots, weddings — which I still do. Eventually, it grew to the point where I couldn’t accommodate all the bookings, so it turned into an agency, with myself working freelance.
People can book me for things like makeup classes and bridal makeup, or they can also book in with my team.
AM: What were you doing for work before Sarah Marie Makeup?
SM: I used to work for Chanel. I used to be a specialist there and then one day I was done. I just wasn’t feeling it. I just felt like I needed to do something for myself, so I left.
I lived off my savings and I just kind of worked really hard and pushed what I could and tried my best. At one point I was even doing mobile spray tanning. I would travel an hour for one person just to get my name out there.
Eventually word of mouth grew and it’s been really good, especially with social media. We’ve been able to use it as free advertising.
AM: How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your business?
SM: For the next six months, when I say no work, I mean no work. Everything has been stopped for the next six months minimum because all of my work has to do with meeting different people and being in a group of people that aren’t from my home.
“For the next six months, when I say no work, I mean no work.”
People who are getting married obviously have had to move their wedding, so all of my brides that were booked in have moved to next year, which is understandable.
I just got back from maternity leave in March and now all of those jobs are gone. We’re still getting inquiries for next year, but the physical jobs are non-existent. I can’t get me or my team any work for the next six months.
AM: So, basically all of your jobs have been wiped out for the foreseeable future?
SM: Yes. You’re not supposed to leave the house unless it’s a necessity and leaving the house to do someone’s makeup, or getting your makeup done, that’s not a necessity.
So, we’re not doing any photoshoots, weddings or formal events at the moment.
AM: What steps have you taken in light of this?
SM: Well, what I’ve done for my clients is that anyone who needs to move their booking won’t lose their deposit. So, they’re not losing any money.
I want to look after my clients and it’s one of those times where you can’t say ‘Hey, you can’t get your money back if you’re not going ahead with anything because of what happened.’ You have to really look after people, which puts me at a loss. But, it’s already hard enough for everybody.
I’ve found that others in the industry, especially women in small businesses, are trying to support each other at the moment.
View this post on Instagram
When you need some extra sparkle ??♀️ Sarah Marie and her glam squad were lucky enough to be the glam squad for the Colours Of Our Community float. Here are the details for this years Mardi Gras look: Makeup by @sarahmariemakeup and team Glitter in “Disco Nap” from @glittergirl.au all environmentally friendly! It dissolves in salt water to save from any negative environmental effects. Costumes by @thy_kingdom_come #sarahmariemakeup #mardigrasmakeup #mardigras2019 #glitter #festivalfashion
AM: How are you supporting other small businesses at the moment?
SM: If one of our friends or something we know is doing a sale, and it’s their small business, we post that. It might not have anything to do with my industry — it might be clothing for example — but just to help each other.
In the perspective of a makeup artist, we’re able to still do tutorials or things like that, but it’s hard for other people in different industries right now who can’t do the same.
AM: How can the public support Sarah Marie Makeup at the moment?
SM: We’re going in an online direction for the moment and I’m now offering makeup classes via Zoom. The classes are $200 per person for two hours or $500 for groups of three to six.
I also have YouTube tutorials that you can follow along with.
“We’re going in an online direction for the moment and I’m offering makeup classes via Zoom.”
AM: How can we support you in the long term?
SM: We’re still taking bookings for October onwards. We’re happy to book in people for the end of this year and next year!
It’s going to be a situation where this year is going to be tough, but next year is going to be so busy because it’s all going to catch up.
AM: Has your business suffered a financial hit as a result of the decrease in work?
SM: Oh, yes, 100%. It’s definitely taken a big financial hit.
Normally the way it works is you have your deposits from clients, and then by now, those clients would be paying half for the actual event. All that has stopped. The only income we will get is when people are booking in their events for next year or the end of this year as they’ll pay their deposit. Or, through online classes.
We’ve been hit quite hard.