Hanna Ashbaugh- Wardrobe Stylist

Keeping with the monthly guest artist post (remember Chris and Cryss?), allow me to introduce the fabulous Hanna Ashbaugh. Hanna is a wardrobe stylist and her work is an important visual element in the overall look of photo and video production. A wardrobe stylist builds their career in a very similar way to hair and makeup stylist, so take a minute to learn from her experience.

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Share Hanna’s story with anyone you know who is just getting started in the industry. Tweet it out by clicking here.

When did you get started in the industry?

I began right after I graduated college.  I came from a very entrepreneurial family and really was raised in a mindset that anything was possible.  My brother asked me what I wanted to do. There wasn’t any hesitation: I wanted to be a personal shopper.   I had totally unreal expectations though and had a difficult start.  I had no business background, I was pretty clueless where/how to begin.

What do you specialize in?

I am a wardrobe stylist in the commercial and print advertising world.  I also am a personal shopper for busy women that want to look polished in 20 minutes or less.

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What do you love most about your work?

 I love both worlds of wardrobe styling. I love working with a crew of people on the advertising jobs because there is SO much that goes into that one shot or that final 30 second commercial. It’s exciting to be part of a team and see an end result.  On the other hand- I love my independent clients.  Honestly, I feel like they are my friends and we’re laughing about a horrible piece of wardrobe they’re still holding on to from 8 years ago , yet they haven’t worn it.  I love hearing about their love stories and their lives. Being in someone’s closet and wardrobe is an intimate experience.  I love that. 

What is your favorite product or tool that you couldn’t live without?

My favorite product or tool that keeps me sane are my rolling racks and steamer! I use those constantly.  It’s the simple things that make my job easier:)

What was your biggest challenge with getting started?

My biggest challenge to get into the advertising field: actually getting IN.  The photographer I was working with on my very first website for before/after pictures (which, by the way, were a total mess) I had mentioned I was interested in styling advertising, she told me her aunt’s best friend did that and we should chat. It took me 6 months to actually reach this woman, she was so busy and she had an assistant at the time (by the way- I said I would work for free, I really just wanted to get the experience. She said “no no, we’ll get you paid.”  Once I finally had my first job with her, wow.  She is one of the kindest, most talented women I know.   Her work ethic, personality, everything. I feel like I got so lucky.

And- I am glad I didn’t stop calling after the 5th month! It’s important to keep going. so important!

Similar, of course my biggest challenge getting independent clients was again, getting actual clients.  It started small.  And I began getting more and more clear on whom my clients were and the market I was serving.  Especially after I took Marie Forleo’s B-School.

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How do you stay inspired and motivated?

There were (sometimes still are) days as a freelancer that I wanted to quit. Sometimes I dreamt of how nice it would be to clock in and clock out. To receive the same amount (paycheck) every two weeks.  Insurance.  Mostly all the admin stuff taken care of- but, the lifestyle I want and my passion, it’s impossible to lose or let go of.  Wardrobe will always be a part of me.

And stay in conversation, surround yourself with positive people, people that will push you and help you grow.  I think that is HUGE.  Also, know and understand the job.  On commercial gigs I have stood in one spot and practically steamed wardrobe for 6 hours straight.  Or know you’ll be hauling 50 plus pounds up the stairs to see your client.  It’s definitely not glamorous or fun all of the time!  Have realistic expectations.

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What is your biggest piece of advice for  people just starting out?

Intern, intern, intern! Practice, do what you need to do to get your work in front of people.  Have a really fabulous, kind and thoughtful e-mail or call ready when you are reaching out to potential employers.

I cannot tell you how many ridiculous e-mails I receive that are so generic, have grammatical errors or look as if they were typed on an IPhone in 2 minutes.   I am not saying you need to be perfect (you may make a spelling error or two, it happens) but re-read your e-mail.

If you were reading or hearing your correspondence, would you be inspired to hire you?

I also recommend getting portfolios together so you can send a sample of your work when you are reaching out.  There are always photographers looking to build their portfolios.  Exchange and swap ideas.   Be kind.

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Thanks Hanna for sharing your industry insight! To keep up with Hanna, check our her website and other social medial links below. 

Instagram: hannaleestyle

Guest Artist Interview, CryssWin Beauty

In order to keep everyone inspired, I am going to do a monthly feature of a successful artist and their story of breaking into the business. You have heard all about how I got started and last month I shared Chris’s story. Now, allow me to introduce the talented Crystal Winstead, as the founder,  of CryssWin Beauty.
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Do you know someone who would be inspired by Crystal’s story? Click here to tweet and share! Make sure that you and your friends put in your email above to get free tips for creating an amazing pro makeup artist kit and stay updated on the #mmmua news.
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How did you get started and what brought you to the beauty industry?
I was always fashionable as a child, so that was a gift..and I decided to take my talents to NYC because I had 2 goals in life, 1, to do what i love to do as a job and way to create income, and 2, to maximize the income level as much as possible, and what better way was it to live in a fashion capital, and 1 of the most profitable cities in the world!! NYC!! So I packed up and moved to NYC to become a fashion stylist! I accomplished that, & would curiosly be intrigued by the lives of the people on video or photography set! I’d be like, “hmmm, I wonder how it is to have their job”..whether it was the photographer, model, makeup or hair stylist. I’ve modeled before but honestly I still am curious about hair & photography, however Makeup spoke to me. I admired how, unlike me, they carried small cases to the green room unpacked, packed back up, and were off…lol!! Meanwhile, I had loads of bags, shoes, accessories, etc. to prep for & pack up at the end of session. After fashion styling became a stalemate for me, I got the inkling to explore makeup while listening to an audiobook, “101 Power Thoughts,” that suggested that I be courageous enough to try a new career!! I found a quick makeup course, and, the rest was history…
What do you specialize in? (events, production, in studio work, hair or makeup, both?)
My specialty is enhancing natural beauty from the inside out! Meaning, I inspire self-reflection & self-empowerment while I apply makeup to the face.
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What is the coolest client or gig you have ever landed?
My favorite was & is studying under Emmy Award winning Elena George, assisting her with Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts’ makeup at the top of the morning! They are both beautiful women! The biggest gig was applying makeup for Samuel L. Jackson’s wife, LaTonya Richardson…she was so humble & amazing!!
What product or tool is your favorite, can’t live without?
The products I can’t live without are my M.A.C. Eyebrow Pencils and M.A.C. Prolongwear Concealers, I love them!!
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What was the biggest challenge to starting your own freelance business? How do you stay motivated?
The biggest challenge is believing in one’s self! Understanding that your best is your best at that particular time! The second challenge is relying on the business aspect, like accounting, marketing, staff, etc., and not just the creativity of makeup art itself!
I stay motivated because I no longer chase a dream, I allow my passion to lead me;) It drives me and tells me what I need to know at all times!! So, the same goes for you, believe in you, keep taking action everyday, no matter how small, & let your passion live through you! You can do it!
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Want to know more about CryssWin Beauty?
CryssWin Beauty is now based in Virginia & frequenting New York City for business and education! She can be reached at:
Crystal Winstead , the face of CryssWin Beauty, is a Professional Makeup Artist & an advocate of Tyra Banks’ “Beauty Inside & Out: B.I.O. Campaign”. A Virginia-bred supernova, she’s pushed past VA’s & state’s limits, & made a name for herself in New York City’s fashion & beauty industry. Frequent childhood dreams of being an artist, rapidly consumed her mind… thus, making it a reality became pivotal!!! Basking in the works of renowned makeup artists, Sam Fine, Bobbi Brown, Petra Alexandra & Kevyn Aucoin, made specializing in natural beauty makeup second-nature. Commitment to excellence and self-confidence is the virtue celebrated with each brush stroke. Her career has led her to working with NY Fashion Week, web & print publications, TV stations, & beauty and bridal services. She’s available for red carpet, special events, lessons, and print advertisements.
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some of the photo credits for the attached images in this email:
PHOTOGRAPHY
richard davis