At the start of this year, I planned and hosted another gathering for hair and makeup artists in my area, which I’ve called the NC Hair and Makeup Artist Summit! I decided to create and host this event somewhat on a whim last year, starting to plan in late January and hosting in mid-March. I had no idea what kind of undertaking it would be, or if anyone was even going to show up! You can read the recap from the first Summit here! It was such a sweet start, selling out and leaving the attendees excited and asking for an annual gathering.
This year, we hosted the HMUA Summit at The McAlister-Leftwich House in downtown Greensboro, NC. Two members of our planning team are based in the Triad, and since it is still central, we decided to switch it up! The McAlister-Leftwich was the perfect space for our event, big enough to host our seminars and classes, speakers and attendees, yet cozy and beautiful so that we all felt like we were a part of something special and intimate!
Because I had so much change happening over the last year both personally and professionally, I wasn’t even sure that I was going to host another Summit this year, but as more and more friends and HMUAs started reaching out asking about it, I decided to give it another whirl, and go big! I am a 4w5 on the enneagram - a huge dreamer and visionary (whilst lacking some of the finer skills & experience of large event planning) BUT with lots of hours put in, the help and hard work from my planning team, and the generosity of our contibuting vendors and sponsors, we made it happen, and it happened beautifully!!
The Summit exists to create a safe and welcoming space for on-site hair and makeup artists to gather together for encouragement, connection, support, friendship, and continued education in our niche industry in our area. We believe that community is more powerful than competition, and that no one can understand and speak into what you do as an artist and business owner better than someone who, well, does what you do! We are stronger together!
We decided to span the event over two days, as the main feedback from last year was that the event could be longer. On day 1, we welcomed everyone in the morning, with free drinks & goodies from The Wired Cafe Coffee Bus and a mimosa bar. We had a welcoming brief, like a little family huddle, where I got to share the heart behind the Summit, speak life and encouragement into our niche industry in this area, and kick off the event!
The first half of the day we had 8 classes for attendees to choose from at varying time slots, so each attendee could choose which 3 classes they wanted to be a part of most. Then we all met up back together for a killer seminar from Kate Bryan of The Small Things blog. This was an especially exciting time for me, as I have followed Kate’s career for years and have admired her tutorials which I had found via Pinterest. We are so grateful she came to spend some time and share her wisdom with us!
That afternoon, we had another block of classes. You guys, our speakers were AMAZING. It was important for me to include our peers and invite them to share their knowledge, wisdom, and passion about varying topics related to our work. We touched on everything from creating partnerships when going into business with another person, contracts, how to use social media to benefit your work but not overtake your life, clean beauty, mental health, goal-setting, and an in-depth brush-up on kit sanitation! Even though I was running around quite a bit throughout, I tried to make time to attend as many classes as I could, and I was blown away! I learned so much and was so encouraged!
Day 2 started bright and early for me and a few other gals who opted in for a sunrise yoga session led by Jordan of Wren’s Nest Yoga, right there in one of the beautiful rooms at McAlister-Leftwich! Honestly, this was one of my favorite moments from the event! I love yoga, but there was something so sweet, restful, and intimate about being in that gorgeous home with my friends, entering into the day with a pause, a breath, and getting into my body. It gave me a moment to wrap my head around all the hard work that had led to this (that WAS worth it!), to gather thankfulness & gratitude for the success of the first day, and to set an intention to really be present for Day 2 and finish strong.
Once we got cleaned up, everyone began arriving to mingle over breakfast and coffee. Then, we hosted a panel, which honestly was SO cool and such a huge step forward for our industry and how we interact with the vendors with whom we regularly work alongside. We invited 5 panelists who each represented different neighboring industries we as hair/makeup artists collaborate with on the reg - a photographer, videographer, stylist, panner, and venue owner/manager. We invited the panelists to share with us what they wanted our HMU industry to know/consider to serve them better, and we as a community got to share we them about some of the things we need from them to do our best job! It was powerful, and I hope we can create another opportunity to continue that dialogue. The main takeaways from that time was that as a creative team of vendors, there really can’t be too much communication with one another to best serve each other and our clients! Additionally, but equally as important, communicating mutual respect creates safe places for those on the team to do their best creative work! We need each other!
We filled out the rest of the morning with another block of classes, then all met back together for our closing lunch together. With a toast (and an amazing cake courtesy of Ten Bloom Cakes), we wrapped up the event! Everyone was buzzing with a sense of thankfulness, being encouraged by one another, and feeling more known than when they arrived. The biggest thing I’ve heard about the event since then? That we really, really want this to be a regular occurrence in our community.
Though I don’t know what my personal involvement will be for future events, I do know that there will be future events to continue the heart and vision of connecting our community in a spirit of encouragement! Please stay tuned for future Summits!
A special thank you to all our speakers:
Nikki Kepley of Craft and Mane
Tracy Gori of Trellis Beauty
Kristi Martinson & Krystal Lehman of WINK Hair + Makeup
Joanne Wetzel of The Girl Inspired Project
Ashley Watts of Ashley Watts Beauty
Teighla Norris of Tease & Blush
Sarahruth O’Boyle of Modern Alchemy
Liz Perniciaro of Wedding Hair by Liz
Ashley Bromirski of Radiant Beauty by Ashley
Meredith Kelly of Smoke Show
& Our Sponsors:
Cultivate What Matters - Powersheets
Rifle Paper Co. - Planners
Some Call Me Crunchy - Bath Salts
PCB Home - Tote Bags
Sun Tan City Greensboro/Burlington- free spray tan passes
Virtue Labs Hair Care - Lifting Powder (full sized) & product samples
Lo & Behold Naturals - giveaway goodie box
CorePower Yoga - free ulimited yoga for a month
Southern Sugar Bakery - gourmet cookies for each attendee
The Flourish Market - giveaway goodie bag
Glow Raleigh Boutique - giveaway goodie bag
Lilly's Makeup Bar - giveaway makeup class
Teighla Norris - Tease & Blush
Samantha Ray - LULA Hair & Makeup
Lindsey Wilkerson - Face Forward
& Our contributing vendors:
Party Reflections - linens and glassware
Katie Meads of Bloom Theory - Florals
Ten Bloom Cakes - a beautiful cake to celebrate our event with
Chiće Sugar Cotton Candy - live spun cotton candy for our cocktail hour
Molly Kerns of The Humble Hoarder - Calligraphy (name tags, gratitude wall, sponsor list, decor)
Carolina Balloon & Decor - large gold balloons
Wired Cafe Coffee Bus - coffee, smoothies, and baked goods for Day 1 welcome
Iron Hen Cafe - closing lunch
Abba Design - greenery garland
& Our Panelists:
Kaitlin Holland, owner of McAlister-Leftwich
Chelsy Ferguson, The Gathering Co. Planner