Boshonto is the start of the Bangladeshi spring time. Spring is all about new beginnings and the freshness and colour of the great outdoors. This year, in my hometown of Bristol, in the UK, the Bengali community celebrated with a family mela. I was participating with a makeup demo stand and was offering tips, tricks and one-to-one sessions with the Bristol ladies.

Here’s how I got on with my first local trade stand.

Branding and livery all in order.

Samples of my work on the doors leading customers my way. Smokey eye look. Makeup raffle prizes.

Heavy smokey eye look on customer number 1 (big sis). She prefers to keep eyes natural or minimal while playing up lips and blush. I switched it round today to give a heavy smoke, nude lip, subtle contouring.

The most-requested service today was brow tidy & fill. Even women who wear little or no makeup like to keep brows well-groomed. My brow must-haves, Look Brow Kit & Real Techniques angled liner and fine liner, were working overtime today. I’ve tried a number of brow kits & palettes but nothing beats the Look Brow Kit. It covers all shades blonde, red-haired, various browns and black and has an amazing brow sealer inside too.

I learned a lot about ‘knowing your crowd’. The schedule of demos would have gone down much better with a teenage crowd who would be learning new tricks for the first time. The crowd was mainly families (excluding teenagers, who mostly stayed at home) and the ladies mainly wanted a quick ‘fix-up’ rather than full face makeup or detailed demos.

I also learned that promoting my services was more effective when focusing on one type of demo (e.g. makeovers) to promote the core business of makeup artistry. The ancillary services such as hairstyling, manicures, and makeup lessons are best promoted using photographs, or lookbooks. This means that potential customers take the right message away, Need a makeup artist? Call Tas. Other services can be demonstrated at the trial.

All in all, I had a great day meeting the women in my community, and had some success in promoting my business, with a lot of lessons learnt along the way. It was a great day out for my family too, who all turned out to support me. My parents, siblings and my own aunts/ uncles have supported me all the way, and continue to support my future endeavours. I am grateful to them and am determined to do them proud.

Inshallah we’ll see you at the next event, International Women’s Day Fair at the Malcolm X Centre, Bristol on Friday 8th March 2013.

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