I am a Professional Hair and Make Up Artist: Amanda Woods

1. Congratulations on your successes in your industry – Tell us what you do and when you knew THIS industry was for you?  

I am a Professional Hair and Make Up Artist. I knew the first day of Beauty School in 2002 that this was MY INDUSTRY. I had been involved in one way or another my entire life in several different facets, but it wasn’t until then that I knew through my core that this was what I was meant to do.

2. When you were little, did you always aspire to be in this industry?

My Mother always wanted to be a Cosmetologist, but never had the opportunity to pursue it as a career. We were involved in Dance, Beauty Pageants, Plays, Commercial Work, Modeling, & Several other things that were connected to the field as I was growing up. I have 2 other sisters that have successful careers in the industry as well so we like to think that we helped Mom achieve her dream through us.

3. How would describe your climb to this success?

It has not been easy. After graduating with honors from New Images Academy, I went on to apprentice under Shari Baber to further my beauty knowledge and education. Once I completed my time there, I worked in several different salons and constantly took classes and seminars to learn more about the latest trends and techniques, but was never completely satisfied. I wanted more!! Everything halted suddenly with my career however with the loss of my daughter in November 2007. I took a 4 year hiatus and completely immersed myself in being the best mother I could to my other daughters, and welcomed 2 more into the world during that time.   August 2011, a chance meeting rerouted my path in a way I had not expected. I met Mr. Lenny Wheeler, a well known fashion editorial photographer, who had just moved with his family from Texas and was in need of a Make Up Artist the following day. I also found myself at the same venue as a private party, which ironically ended up being the birthday celebration for my previous mentor, Ms. Baber. The Signs for me to return to the field were blinding. I decided that night it was time for me to return and I hit the ground running. I have worked through blood, sweat, & tears (figuratively and literally) to regain my reputation in the industry and re-establish myself as a Powerhouse. I have been referred to as a Juggernaut Of My Industry, and I have to say that I rather like that title. I pride myself on the fact that I don’t let anything stand in my way and I am constantly pushing to learn, grow, educate, encourage, and flourish in every way I can and not just for myself but to make All 7 of my Daughters Proud!!!

4. What life opportunities do you feel you missed out on, focusing on your career? (if any)

There are always sacrifices if you want to succeed but I feel that having a support system of people that believe in you will help keep you from feeling that you miss out.

5. Being a woman in your industry, what characteristics set you apart from men or women attempting to rise to the top?

I have an overwhelming need to treat EVERY project like it is a high dollar project. Punctuality is demanded, if you are on time then you are late. Respect is earned, not expected. I make it a point to earn respect from everyone on a project by doing my expected tasks efficiently and timely. Professionalism is vital to maintain a working reputation that others will brag about. 75% of my jobs are scheduled through referrals from a colleague that had a wonderful experience working with me. Being able to bring the vision of someone else alive through my artistry and creativity is monumental. It is a very unique task to bring a fantasy to life and make it comparable to the original dream. My Heart is one of my favorite attributes that I use daily in all areas, no matter what the project.

6. What is something your company offers or supports better than any other company in your industry?

A beauty experience that is one of a kind that will be fulfilling and satisfying.

7. How important is it to have the support of your peers, to maintain your position? 

The support of my peers is vital. The beauty industry is one that is constantly changing and growing. There is ALWAYS going to be someone that knows more than you or how to do something more efficiently. It is crucial to stay open and humbled!! And we are each individual people, there is absolutely no way we can handle every work load alone so having healthy working relationships with others in your field makes projects more successful.

8. What has been the most rewarding in your career? 

The success of the projects I have been able to have a hand in!!! Everything from Films to Fashion Shows, to Magazine Publications, to Haunted Attractions, and So Many More!!! And the education I have been able to share with others through lectures, shadow projects, guest appearances, & mentoring.

9. Now that you have made it to this level in your career – what’s next?

Keep Growing!! There is always a higher level and I want to keep on achieving and learning!!

10. What charitable or philanthropic organizations do you resonate the most with and why? 

I do a large amount of work that benefits 2 groups the WCA (Women & Children’s Alliance) of Idaho and The St. Luke’s NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit). There was a time in my life that I was on the receiving end of both their services and I want to continue to give back every chance I can.

11. What advice would you give to a young woman coming out of high school with aspirations to BE YOU?

STAY HUNGRY FOR THE FIELD!!! There is always going to be someone that can teach you something so never be afraid to ask questions. Keep an open mind always. If you can, work alongside someone already established and learn from them. Once you think you know it all, that is when you need to reassess if it is still right career for you.

12. What is it like to balance your home life with your career? 

My Family Is First Always!!! I am blessed to have such a large extended family and friend support group that the times when I do have to be absent are not as prominent for my Daughters as they would be otherwise. This allows for them to continue pursuing their goals without disruption and also still have their cheering section in tact.

13. What tips do you have for women, that have helped you find harmony in your life? 

Find your personal balance. It is ok to say NO, not all projects are worth the end result. And keep your own happy in the forefront, it is important to wake up and be excited for your day!!

14. What do you do personally for ME TIME? 

I LOVE seeing films myself or friends have worked on. Supporting my industry very important to me. I also love to attend events, whether they are concerts, performances, conventions, art shows or anything else in between.

15. What is your favorite Christmas/holiday tradition? 

We have SO MANY!!! I have a large family so we do a name drawing on Thanksgiving and the gift exchange happens on Christmas Eve, when we all gather together. That same night, we read the Christmas story and tell everyone something we are thankful for. My Mother makes Cinnamon Rolls from scratch for all the Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren to enjoy Christmas Morning.

16. What food dish do you contribute to the holiday festivities? 

Whatever Nana (my mom) needs us to make or bring. We all take turns bringing dishes since there are so many and we all have learned how to cook/bake all the different items.

17. What goals have you set to continue your success in 2019? 

Keep Moving Forward And Always Grow