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Alumna Anna Breeding On Running Her Own Business


static1-squarespace-comAlumna Anna Breeding, Class of 2014, runs a successful hair and make-up business in Charlottesville, and MSA wanted to check in with her and see how she was doing. She kindly consented to being asked a few questions about her business and about how she got started. Thank you Anna!


You now own and run a successful company providing hair and makeup to individuals for weddings and special occasions, what gave you the inspiration for the business?

Make-up is something I have always loved! The first time I did some else’s make-up for them it was their wedding day, I was still in high school, and it was also the day of my senior prom, busy day! After gaining one happy customer I got asked to do another. At my second wedding, I was working on the bridesmaids while makeup artist Lora Kelley was working on the bride. We were acquaintances through church, she sent me a Facebook message the next day asking if I would like to work for her. Lora took me under her wing and taught me everything she knew. I tried to be a sponge, absorbing everything I possibly could. She is one of the biggest reasons why I believe beauty matters. There is something special about the process of getting-ready before a wedding. The purpose is not to woo the groom-to-be, the way a bride looks won’t make him love her more, what is important is the message that taking the time to look your best sends. The effort one puts into their own appearance says, “You are worth it.” The groom would love his bride in sweatpants, but she takes the time to primp because she loves him and wants to show him that. Caring for our bodies, engaging with ourselves and playing with color and light is a gift not only to ourselves, but to the world.


A market like Charlottesville can be tough, how did you go about starting your business?

I worked under Lora for about a year until she decided that she wanted to get out of the business. I had already decided to pursue getting my cosmetology license, and so the timing seemed right for me to branch off on my own. Lora was named the best in Virginia, and when she stopped, people started to ask who was going to fill her shoes, she told them I would. She has introduced me to photographers, cinematographers, planners, stylists, designers and florists. Because of her recommendation in addition to leaving a hole in the hair and make-up industry in Charlottesville, I was able to climb the ladder much faster than I ever could have imagined.


Who have you relied on or has inspired you most in this process?static1-squarespal

My parents have been a huge part of this process. I’ve always been headstrong, and once I decide I’m going to do something nobody can stop me. My parents have always encouraged me and my talents, and remind me repeatedly that they stand behind me. There are a lot of parents who would not be happy with their child going to cosmetology school and starting their own business, particularly in such a niche field, but mine have stood alongside me no matter what. My boyfriend Guilherme (whom I met at Miller School) has also been a steady encouragement throughout this process. We’ve grown up together, and he knows me better than anyone. He reminds me to “stay humble, stay hungry.”


How has your education at MSA helped you with your business venture?

MSA played a huge part in forming me into the person I am today. At MSA I was encouraged to be myself and pursue my strengths. I got to discover my passion for painting and display my art in the halls. I got to have deep personal relationships with my teachers, who encouraged me to be confident in myself. Because the community at MSA was so steadfast, it gave me the freedom to explore who I was as a developing individual, which I think is really important.


What do you most enjoy about your business?

I love the hands-on part of my business. I love doing hair and make-up. I love discovering each woman’s true beauty and ushering that beauty into the world. Being a part of a wedding is such an incredible thing. Everyone is so excited and there is so much love in the air. I leave every wedding feeling fulfilled because I know I helped that day be even better because my bride feels beautiful.


What is the most difficult part of your business?

The learning curve of owning your own business has been steep. I learned that I needed a business license. I also learned that I had to buy liability insurance for my business. It was wicked expensive, but now my make-up is insured even in the event of a terrorist attack. Because I am a sole-proprietor, everything is on my shoulders. When I do something amazing, I receive all of the glory. But when I trip up, there is no one to blame but me.


How do you see the business growing and what do you look forward to most in your future?

Right now the business is a part-time thing, but I can imagine it growing to full-time in the future. I’ve gotten to work on some amazing projects like a photo shoot for Charleston Magazine, several ads for The Scout Guide, and a feature in Washingtonian Bride and Groom. I can only imagine the places I will go in the coming years, and I am so incredibly excited.

Make-up Artist



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