What's Happening Wednesday

What's Happening Wednesday

The director and founder of Artists Within is building a makeup empire, one step at a time

Last week the new online magazine called Feverish News, did a feature interview on our director and founder Tara Cowles, and we have it here!

Michelle Magnan McIvor is a Canadian journalist and she talks about everything from Beauty, Food, Style and Wellness. We invite you to take a look at her magazine here! 


Now lets take a look into the life of Calgary’s own Makeup Guru,
Tara Cowles.

Tara Cowles knows makeup.

After studying in London, England, she spent 15 years as a makeup artist; her work included photo shoots and runways shows in London, Paris and throughout Spain. When she moved back to Calgary in 2002, the city where she’d attended elementary school before moving to Europe with her family, she had one big question: “Now what do I do?”

Tara spotted a need for high-caliber makeup artistry so she did what any entrepreneurial go-getter would do — she started her own company. In 2003, Tara launched Artists Within Makeup Academy, the only accredited makeup school in Alberta. Since then, she estimates she’s trained thousands.

Not content to stop there, Tara began developing her own makeup line about 10 years ago, called AW03 maquillage. Her affordable products and kits are now available in 15 locations — Phi Medical Aesthetics and Butter Beauty Parlour in Calgary, among other spots — and they’re available for worldwide shipping from her online shop.

Read on for Tara’s thoughts on everything from how she created success and the advice she’d share with future go-getters to how she views the always-tricky subject of work-life balance. And don’t miss the Hot List at the end, featuring the five things Tara can’t live without.

Tara’s thoughts on everything from how she created success and the advice she’d share with future go-getters to how she views the always-tricky subject of work-life balance. And don’t miss the Hot List at the end, featuring the five things Tara can’t live without.

What gave you the courage to start your own venture?

“I know, I’m not sure where that came from! (laughs) I had a young son and I wanted to spend more time with him. I actually thought starting a business would give me more time, which wasn’t the case. I just felt that Calgary really needed something like this and I had the experience to make it happen. I put everything I had on the line and thought, worst case scenario, I can move in with my dad. I started small – one program to start with – so what we have now was built up over the years. It wasn’t as intense as it seems.”

Is there one thing you attribute your success to?

“Not being afraid to try something new. I go into things head-on and know it won’t be the end of the world, if it doesn’t work out. And the success has been a slow build, which has given me time. I suppose being a perfectionist is one of my issues – or not. Having a great team of people is key, and learning how to delegate. I used to have to do everything my way, but letting other people’s feedback come in and not doing it all on my own anymore is a huge factor.”

How do you overcome failure?

“Still to this day, I have a feeling of never being sure the success is going to last. For me, that’s kind of where I live, which maybe keeps my drive going and keeps me motivated. I never take it for granted that I’m successful. There have been projects I’ve tried – whether they were too much work or weren’t the right fit – that I’ve let go of, so I’ve learned I have the three key components of the business (the school, the online school and the makeup line) and it’s easier now to delegate this or that to other people. It keeps me more focused. Before I wanted to try everything.”

What is your advice for someone has an idea for her own venture?

“Stay focused on what you believe. One of the hardest things is other people’s negativity and I’ve had a lot of that over the years. You have to stay true to yourself. I got where I am because I worked really, really hard and I still do. I stay up till 1:30 in the morning finishing work up. Stay focused and believe in yourself, and understand that it takes a lot of work. Success doesn’t come easily, ever. At least, I don’t think it does!”

As a mother, how do you strike a balance between work and family life?

“I am still trying to figure that out, honestly. As a mom, you always want to be there more. But I also know I need this side of me, too. I wouldn’t be as good a mom if I was staying at home. That’s not who I am.

My husband is supportive and he’ll stay at home and help or be home early, or whatever it is. I have a nanny, as well, who my three-year-old son loves. I try to take some mornings off, too, so we can do fun things.

Is it ever easy to juggle a family and work? No. I don’t think there are any easy answers. I don’t feel guilty for working and doing what I love, and it provides a good life for my family, which is important, too.”

What are your goals now?

“To work less and earn more! I really want to focus growing the online side of the business. It seems that’s where everything is going. I actually find I’m being a makeup artist more now. There were a few years where I really didn’t do makeup because I was so busy running the business, so it’s nice to get back to what I’m good at and what I love.”

What do you love about doing makeup?

“I love being creative. I love making a difference in somebody’s face and seeing somebody excited. I love when I do makeup for somebody and they’re blown away by how good they look and feel.”

What is your top makeup tip?

“I think the most important thing is getting your base right. You can add beautiful eyes or lips, but if your skin doesn’t look flawless, then nothing looks as good as it should. If there’s one thing that women should focus on every day, it’s doing primer, foundation, concealer and some highlighter/contour. It makes a huge difference.”

For Tara’s Hot List go to Feverish News and take a look! You don't want to miss this!


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