Chrissy Weyrauch | Hair + Makeup Artist | Special Occasions Hair Design & Makeup
Chrissy is a rockstar. What usually takes artists 4 hours, Chrissy can do in 2 hours. I've worked with Chrissy for multiple styled shoots now and every time she never ceases to amaze me.
Her styling abilities are amazing and her work ethic is unreal. It's always an honor working with Chrissy and I look forward to working with her more in the future. Any bride would be lucky to have her as the stylist for their special day.
Enjoy her story below.
Tell us about yourself - Where are you from and what did you wish to be/do when you grew up? I grew up in a small town just outside of Rochester, I went to school for cosmetology while I was still in Highschool and took my state boards and acquired my license upon graduation. This was just supposed to be a job to get me through college, but I fell in love with "bridal styling", and I started working proms, formals and smaller weddings almost immediately.
What brought you to where you are today?
I was always in love with "Bridal hair and makeup" and even when I worked in multiple salons, in salon product sales, etc. I always had my on-location hair and makeup wedding business. It wasn't until I had my daughter in 2009 and my son in 2010 that I decided to move away from working for someone else, to working for myself full time.
What do you do professionally? I own Special Occasion Hair Design. We are a team of NYS licensed on location hair and makeup artists that specialize in weddings, special events and all types of photo shoots.
What is the number one struggle you find in owning and running a business? I don't know if it is a struggle as much a day-to-day reminder to stay true to myself and my style. Styles change, trends come and go and through everything I pride myself on keeping up to date and educated. With that said, I'm always evolving yet I stay true to my classic and clean style. I love timeless, romantic looks. I want my clients to look like the best version of themselves and I want their spouses to swoon when they see them, not question who they are!?
What does a day at work look like? It's so funny when people ask me what that, because they hear Wedding hair and makeup, they immediately say "How fun, you just work on weekends" or "you just do makeup or fluff some hair". How wrong can that statement be? Like any other business, I work every day in the office returning emails and phone calls, conducting Client consultations and trials and don't even get me started on "social media".
My weekends are structured totally different. There is kit inventory and packing, making sure I have everything set up in my GPS and our timeline set. Don't forget the 5-10 alarms I set for the morning of the events. It's funny but it's also true. Once we are on location, we scout the best location to set up..."hint we don't need to be in the bathroom". We really just want a surface to work off of and great light. Then the "fun" begins. We style the entire bridal party, we calm down the stressed-out mom's, brides, etc. All while smiling (even though you can't see it through the mask currently) and obsessively watch the clock and minutes tick by. Ensuring that everyone is to the photographer or in their dresses on time.
What year did you start your business/profession and how long did it take to acquire a consistent client base? I started my business in 1997 and I was comfortably busy with approximately 10 to 12 events a summer until I went full time in 2010. It picked up almost immediately where we were doubling our numbers every year. We are currently around 50 weddings this year (still booking), with many photo shoots and event styling appointments added into mix.
What do you do to stay involved in the community? I love networking with other wedding vendors. A great way to connect is with styled shoots. Multiple vendors in one place bringing their strengths. talents and art to the event keeps me inspired.
What do you enjoy most about running your company/working for a company? I love the freedom that I have running my own business. It allows me to be "mom" at times that I need to be and even more so want to be, and I didn't have that option when I was working for someone else.
Where do you see the business in 5 years? I hope that I am still doing what I love! Styling brides and helping them see how truly beautiful they are. As women we immediately see our imperfections. It is my job to get them to focus on their best qualities and to see themselves through everyone else's eyes.
What advice would you give to people your age looking to start their own business? I would encourage it. However, I would follow it up with, it is extremely hard work. Styling hair is only 20% of what we actually do. I would encourage them to look into a mentor in the industry, or to work as an assistant for someone who is established. I would also tell them to be crystal clear with their intentions of opening their own and to never burn a bridge in this industry because it is so incredibly small.
If a child walked up to you and asked for your advice and you only had a few minutes to give them your best tip, what would it be?
I would tell them to follow their dreams, even when they change or evolve. If they fall down or think that they are failing to never give up, they will learn from their mistakes! Oh and to ask all of the questions!