Day 2 — Sheri Stafford Swift
Top 10 Most Inspiring Women in the Greater Delaware Valley 2018
Why We Chose Sheri Stafford Swift
“Like Brooke, I also met Sheri at a Mascara & Mimosas event. My first impression of her was that she was confidently gorgeous; but we’re not supposed to judge each other by their appearance, right? In this case, I’m going to cut myself some slack as Sheri is a freelance makeup artist. She always looks like a total rock star thanks to her amazing talents. What I love most about Sheri is that she is constantly pushing herself. She was afraid to start her own biz, but she did it anyway. Something she doesn’t mention in her interview but has given me permission to add — through a ton of hard work, Sheri was able to kick diabetes medication to the curb. As a diabetic, this gives me hope. Without further adieu… meet Sheri, who was nationally recognized in The Knot.“
Tell us a little bit about your career as a Freelance Makeup Artist
I actually began my career as a costume maker for theatrical productions, I have a degree in Fashion Design with a focus on costume design from the University of Delaware. While enjoying the creative aspects of that I was also able to work with wigs as well as some makeup. Unfortunately, with the slowing down economy at the time and the change in the way productions were done it was time for me to make a change in careers. I knew that I wanted to do more with makeup so I went back to school to get my Aesthetics license. Once I started working in different salons and spas doing skincare and makeup, it didn’t take long for me to realize where my passion truly was. Makeup gave me that same excitement as I had when I worked in theatre so I continued to improve my skills and learn as much as I could. After years of doing makeup for employers I decided it was time to start my own freelance business. While I still do skincare and lash extensions at a spa during part of the week, I thoroughly enjoy being able to do makeup the rest of my time for clients.
Give a shout out to a woman or women who you consider to be your mentor(s)
My very dear friend Cari Broman has been my cheerleader and mentor from day one of my makeup artist journey. I have watched her become an amazing hair/makeup artist in NYC as well as traveling the globe for work. I am so proud of my friend and everything she has accomplished in her career. When I decided to get into makeup and needed to build my kit from nothing, I asked a few people for advice. This is an extremely competitive business and no one locally would help me. I was lost. Cari helped me every step of the way. She answered every question I had no matter how big or small. She told me about techniques, products, tips, trade shows… anything she could think of to help me in my journey. I can never thank her enough for her kindness, friendship and professional support.
What are your 3 biggest accomplishments?
In 2013, while working at a salon & spa, I was nominated by Delaware Today for Makeup Artist of the Year. That was a huge accomplishment for me and really pushed me to think about going out on my own. My second accomplishment was just that, taking a leap and starting my freelance makeup business Swift Makeup Artistry. I think that was one of the scariest things I had decided to do. I just knew it had to work because I was so passionate about it but it is a hard industry to get into on your own. Another accomplishment I am very proud of was having my work published in The Knot magazine. Seeing my name and work in print in a national magazine was pretty amazing.
Is there a stigma attached to wearing or not wearing makeup?
There seems to be a stigma to wearing and not wearing makeup. We need to stop judging! I want women to know it’s ok to wear it and it’s ok to not wear it. You should do what makes you feel your best. For me, makeup is art, empowering, fun, colorful, adventurous, a way to express myself no matter what my mood may be.
What change do you want to see in the world, and how are you aiding that cause?
I want women to start loving themselves more. It’s amazing how critical we are of ourselves. When I work with some clients I hear a laundry list of things they hate about themselves and want to change. When I look at these women I see the positive aspects of their face and features and how to accentuate them with makeup. I want women to see themselves through my eyes. I want them to see the true beauty of who they are. As long as I am a makeup artist, this is my goal.
If you had to start over from scratch, knowing what you know now, would you do anything different? If so, what would you do?
We would all like to say that we wouldn’t do anything differently but if given the chance I think I would. I would have taken the plunge to start my freelance work sooner. I was new to the industry and a bit scared to take such a big leap. I didn’t have the confidence at the time in my skills that I have now.
What advice would you give young women who want to get into freelancing? Whether it be in makeup, or some other field?
If you want it, DO IT! It is a lot of work so make sure you really have a passion for the business, all aspects because you will be wearing every hat possible. Always be professional, on time and CLEAN. I would say the clean part only refers to makeup but I think it’s all around good life advice.
Stay tuned for day 3!
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