2019 NC Hair + Makeup Artist Summit Recap

I hope you are doing well so far this year, and that you’re enjoying the start of this beautiful summer!

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.

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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!

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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!!

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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!

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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!

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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!

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We wrapped up Day 1 with such a fun cocktail hour, including live-spun organic cotton candy from Chicé Sugar and Beauty Steam Facials from Trellis Beauty. It was the perfect way to unwind after a long day and to let ourselves just enjoy being together, which such a rarity in our industry!

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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!

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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.

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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:

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& Our Sponsors:

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& Our contributing vendors:

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& The planning team:

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& Our Panelists:

And thank you to everyone who made it out to the Second Annual NC HMUA Summit! I love y’all and am so thankful for you!

Here’s to seeing how this thing will grow!


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May Recap + June Goals

May, what a gift you were to me.  Where early spring brought challenges of anxiety, an emergency business overhaul, sadness, and deep, difficult, but freeing spiritual work, you, May, have brought me this:

  • laughter
  • a settled feeling of joy 
  • knowing that I am known and loved
  • feeling empowered from taking a stand (even though it felt like crumbling)
  • feeling more like my true self
  • sunny summery skies and beautiful thunderstorms

In early spring I pulled a plug from my business and stopped taking new clients.  Then, when things were still really rough physically and emotionally, I decided to let several of my clients go from their contracts (#humbling).  This space allowed me time to assess the direction of my life, assess the things I was running from (using mainly my business as the excuse), and to heal.  Like really, deeply, quietly and slowly heal.  I'm still healing.  It's not glamorous, it's not an envy-causing or identity-boosting image on Instagram.  It's not 100 likes, or a new thing I'm doing.  It's just real, beautiful life with the real people I love.  

So, here's a little recap of some of the goings-on of a healing May:

  • 6 weddings
  • 1 senior photo shoot in Beaufort, NC with my HAMU besties, Joanne and Michelle
  • A little bit of rest time in Beaufort tagged on
  • Reading Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequest
  • A date night with my man to Foundation & Brewery Bhavana (both are a must-try!)
  • A date afternoon at Jubala - we love the one on Hillsborough because it's close to our house and has a great view of the Belltower
  • A trip to Lake Gaston with the Ray family, which was SO sweet and restful and green!
  • I was nominated for Southern Weddings Best of the South Wedding Awards (The Pineys!) for Best Hairstylist!  WHAT!  I am so honored!  If you haven't voted yet, it would mean so much if you would vote for me here!  Voting ends June 9th.  



  • I'm turning 30!!!!  Woohoo!  I have no idea what is going on other than that John told me to save an entire week with no plans.  
  • 4 weddings
  • 3 trials
  • Enjoying home
  • The Piney's will be announced!

How has your start to summer been?  Anything you are planning for or looking forward to in June?

With lots of love,