By Cyan Baker
Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to make money doing what you love? If so, check out these stories of two entrepreneurs who both developed their passions as youth into successful businesses:
Chauntae Montgomery (Makeup Artist or MUA):
1. Where did your passion for makeup stem from?
I have always been into art since I was younger. I used to draw all the time and at one point I wanted to be a designer, but I later decided that styling is for me, not designing. So I guess you can say it started with that. Then in high school I got into watching YouTube a lot and I wanted to do the things I saw my favorite YouTube makeup artist (AaliyahJay) do.
2. How did you start off your makeup career? Was it as costly as you expected? How did you budget for your business?
I started off working for Ulta Beauty and learned how to do my own face. Working for Ulta gave me the product knowledge I needed to be the makeup artist that I am today. I got my first four clients while working there, building a relationship with them and handing my cards out. It’s not as costly once you know what cheaper products work and don’t work. Also, you have to learn to buy in quantities. I buy in threes. One for me, two for clients. It’s worth it for me because I love what I do. You have to spend money to make it and sometimes stepping out on faith is the best way to go for something you love.
3. What advice would you give those interested in starting a business based on their favorite hobbies or passions?
I would say don’t let how big you think you should be at the moment overshadow how far you’ve come. It’s important to build your craft. Don’t jump into doing something because you like it without making sure that it is quality. No one wants to come to you for a service expecting a bad experience; but remember that you can’t please everybody. Stay confident and true to yourself and the craft that you built because if you don’t think it’s the best, nobody else will.
Brandon Counts (CEO and Founder of Mac-Magician)
1. When did you realize that you have a passion for what you do? What benefits did you get out of your hobby? Where did you learn your trade?
I’ve always liked technology since a young age. I started my company in 2011, just after 6th grade. I am completely self taught. In 2009, I worked on my Mac at home, and by 2012 I was good enough to help others. A business stemmed out of this.
2. How were you able to make a business out of it your hobby?
I started with my parents’ friends that needed tech help. They would pay me a little bit of money for helping, which gave me the idea to start a business. I branched out to currently having hundreds of clients, and instead of me traveling to their homes, they travel to me.
3. What advice would you give other interested in starting a business based on their passions?
Go for it. If you have someone to support you, do it. You never know what it can turn into.