Today we’d like to introduce you to Jenna Marie Streitenfeld.
Jenna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
It’s been a 13 year adventure so far. I started out working at a teenage dance club in the suburbs of Chicago as a juice bar server on the weekends. The owner of the dance club was good friends with a fashion show producer who had just moved to Chicago from Los Angeles, so she did a few events for him here and there in which I participated in helping out as needed. This lead up to me working with her in the city on her bigger shows and from there I kind of fell into the makeup department of the production. If you would have asked me at 17 years old what I wanted to do with my life I would have told you that I wanted to be either in the music business, a journalist or a lawyer. I had no idea I had this underlying passion for the beauty industry at that time. Doing makeup and styling hair became a way to express myself and what a fun way to collaborate with so many other talented people.
From there I decided to attend cosmetology and extend my education in the makeup department in master programs and courses around the nation. I wanted to experience all avenues of the industry. I started out in the fashion area and worked my way into working in Video Production and Print. The last school I had attended for makeup was in South Florida and while there I immediately began networking and putting myself up to new gigs and test shoots to build my portfolio. Things were going well so I decided to launch Kiss This Makeup in April 2010 and continue living in Florida. It was initially just myself and having one or two people help me from time to time on a production or photo shoot. During the first 2 to 3 years I dabbled in everything! Aside from keeping bills paid by working in the restaurant world, I worked on commercials, tv shows, movies, major motion pictures, editorials, figure competitions, weddings, beauty pageants, and music videos. I also tried the retail side and worked at MAC. I began traveling for work to New York, DC, other areas of Florida, back to Chicago, and I even went to Italy. I never limited myself from going for or getting a job that was an area of where I was unfamiliar, I wanted to learn and grow.
While all of that was a heck of a start, I started to realize one of my niches. I loved the industry of weddings. I really, really enjoyed enhancing someone’s features and having them feel absolutely beautiful. I also wanted to help other artists/stylists get their feet on the ground in the right direction. I had learned a lot from my mentors and experience and wanted to help others succeed as well. So, I slowly started to build a team of other makeup artists and hair stylists for a bridal beauty team. I started keeping my eye out for talented individuals I came across when working on weddings, reached out to the beauty schools, and Kiss This Makeup started to really develop its branches!
For the first few years, I was the owner of many hats! Running the office side, maintaining social media and marketing, even learned how to build my own website!
As time grew, so did my name and the brand. Not long before I was training new hires of certain traits and looks to represent our brand.
After building a pretty sound team I started to implement other bridal needs such as spray tanning, skin care, hair extensions, and hair accessories making us a one stop shop helping brides as much as we can!
Fast Forward — I recently launched a team in my hometown Chicago as well!
Now we operate year-round with 15-17 on the team and 20-22 during peak season. It’s really great too to have the same faces on the team for many years!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I never took out a loan, so money was an obstacle. To give it my all I had to quit my part time job in serving and turn down week long productions that would come to me when I had weddings already booked, even if it was for one day only.
There was a time when I had a series of things collide and I thought I would never be able to survive making a living with doing something I love. I am fortunate to have had great support from loved ones and I am so thankful I did not throw in the towel.
Please tell us about Kiss This Makeup.
We specialize in on site beauty services for weddings and other special events. We’re known for offering a large amount of services and being able to cater to large parties with many service needs. I would say we’re most proud of the experiences we are able to provide. Reading the reviews from clients alone just makes our worlds go round. We are different from others because we’re a larger beauty team business but we still keep the intimate feel.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Watching my mom do her makeup in fascination, I would have to say with where I am now.
- Wedding Hair and Makeup starts at $275
- Event Hair and Makeup on site starts at $135
- Website: www.kissthismakeup.com
- Phone: 3057928102
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @kissthismakeup
- Facebook: /kissthismakeupllc
- Twitter: @kissthismakeup
Michelle Lawson Photography