Today I’m interviewing a sidepreneur named Denise Hooper that has built up a healthy side business she loves from running an online apothecary shop. I connected with Denise on Twitter and I’m really glad I did. She has an interesting story. Makeup artist on an ABC tv show by day, eCommerce story owner by night.
Meet Denise Hooper…
1. What is your day job and what is your side business?
I’ve been a makeup artist for over 20 years. My current day job is a makeup artist on scandal (an ABC show) — we are in our 5th season. I’ve always had side projects as I tend to need constant stimulation. The days can be long in the production world and although makeup is a creative outlet, I am always looking for creative inspiration elsewhere.
I have always been obsessed with packaging, skincare products & perfumes. I’ve been sitting on set for years daydreaming of a little apothecary shop. Someday Boutique is the result of that dream. The next goal will be eventually opening a brick & mortar somewhere…someday.
2. How did you choose your side business?
When I’m not working on the show, you can usually find me with a boarding pass. I love the hunt for indie brand skincare, artists, jewelry makers, textiles, etc. out in the world. I always end up with the coolest finds. I now have a place to showcase the goods.
3. How do you find time to work on your side business?
I am so happy that I finally pulled the trigger on opening my business, but I do find it hard sometimes with juggling a full-time job and launching a new business. I take advantage of all of my downtime on set. Lunch breaks and quiet moments are also used to catch up. I spend weekends fine tuning the site, reading Shopify posts, keeping up on my social media and finding inspiration on Instagram & Pinterest (2 of my favorite places to hang out).
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with 2 jobs so it’s best to design your free time accordingly. I make lists upon lists of tasks, but I also think that finding balance is key. After working all week on the day job, I will usually take moments for the gym, massage, a walk on the beach or time with friends. I find that you have to walk away from it all sometimes just so you can come back with clear thoughts and fresh eyes.
4. What’s working for you right now in growing your side business?
Fortunately, I was somewhat familiar with Twitter & Instagram. The cast & crew of scandal are very involved in social media, so in that respect I knew the importance of these platforms. I use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to promote my business. I have a lot to learn about the marketing aspect of running a business…it’s on my to-do list.
5. What advice can you give someone who is thinking about starting a side business?
First of all….just do it! When something feels right, it’s not a scary jump. I am so glad I finally took the plunge. I have learned so much in the short time I’ve been a shop owner. I built my site on Shopify and although I went through a couple of web designers, i think they have a great support system for new business owners. I can’t even keep up with the wealth of information they provide on running a business. I get lost in all of the terminology and coding, but there are always people you can hire to help you out with that.
I am an artist so my brain doesn’t always comprehend SEO, Google Analytics, meta tags and coding. Some days I think “I have no idea what I’m doing” and this has been my biggest challenge so far, but passion overrides frustration. I have learned that I have a knack for curating amazing goods…in other words, I have faith in myself and I will figure out the rest as I grow.
It’s not always easy following your dreams, but I’m not complaining. I have a successful career and a passion project and I feel so lucky. After all, I have my day job that funds my side business…as I think most of us do…that’s what makes us sidepreneurs.