Women in Business Series Part 1 - Devon Atkins

We recently interviewed Devon Atkins - self taught make up artist, business owner, and ultimate goal-getter.

We wanted to get to know more about her, what keeps her focused and how she got to where she is today.

Here is what she had to say:

Can you tell us a little bit about you and what you do?

I am a self-taught makeup artist living in Portsmouth, I’ve owned my own business Beauty HQ, for 5 years and now have my own studio.  I’ve since also started nails and love that I get to be creative every day! Makeup is my passion so to make a career out of doing something I love is a dream come true.


How do you help people?

I help women to feel beautiful inside and out, restoring and increasing confidence within the short amount of time they spend with me.  It’s really rewarding helping women feel amazing and everyone knows that beauty appointments are good for the soul!


When did you make the decision to go self - employed and what inspired you to take that leap?

I was working at Nationwide trying to climb the corporate ladder and I was becoming more and more demotivated within my role. Makeup has always been a passion of mine so when my cousin asked me to do her prom makeup I jumped at the chance, my friends encouraged me to put the photos of her makeup on social media and with a lot of hard work my client base grew from there. My working hours at Nationwide limited me from taking on new clients and bridal makeup which is something I wanted to pursue, so I knew I had an important decision to make. I have a lot of women around me including my mum that are self-employed and they all encouraged me to do it and said I’d never look back, and they were right!


Where do you get your inspiration from? Is there anyone who inspires you?

Creative artists and other MUA’s on Instagram inspire me but I’m a big YouTube watcher, I’ve learnt a lot about makeup and makeup application through YouTube so a lot of the original influencers inspire me. Desi Perkins is my favourite, her skill, style, creativity.


Do you have any daily rituals?

I think it’s really important to ask yourself what you’re grateful for, I try and do this most days. It’s a good reminder to yourself to focus on the positive.


What helps focus your mind?

To-Do lists, I’m big on lists! Whether it’s a list of goals, work related or just house stuff. It helps me clear my mind so I don’t get overwhelmed. I’m also a big tea drinker and I think making a cuppa before doing tasks helps me to focus.   

How do you create a healthy work/life balance?

This is something I’m still trying to get right; I think this is hard for majority of self-employed people that enjoy what they do. I work from home which can be easier to fit life in but also hard to stop working. It’s important to set boundaries and I found that adding everything into my calendar whether that’s work or plans with friends and family has helped me to set my opening times. I also dedicate slots throughout a week to do admin now which has helped with freeing my evenings after I finish work.


What are you goals for your business?

I want to continue to build my brand and become a leading name in Portsmouth/Hampshire for Makeup & Nails, potentially opening a salon one day. A short-term goal is to invest more time into my YouTube channel and teaching around makeup, growing my social media presence to welcome more fun opportunities.  


How do you manage a heavy workload? Do you have any tips on how to prioritise?

Adding everything to my diary has helped me manage my time a lot better, having a structure to my day and schedule to follow helps me to prioritise tasks. I am always looking for ways to improve the way I manage my time, booking systems are great to minimise admin so I’m looking into this at the moment.


How do you practice self-care?  

Everyone that knows me, knows I’m obsessed with all things self-care. I love baths, face masks, skincare in general, playing with makeup, doing my nails. I also read and listen to a lot of self-care and self-growth content. I think it’s really important to take time for yourself whether that’s pampering yourself or resetting your mind.

Do you have a favourite quote? Or have any words you live by?

Change is the other side of fear. I’ve lived by this, it’s pushed me to do and achieve a lot of things I may not have if I’d let fear control how I think.


Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to start their own business?

Just Do It! Don’t overthink it and worry about what anyone else thinks! Imagine the future you see for yourself and your business and make it happen. Have a starting plan, focus on your strengths and don’t be afraid to ask for advice or reach out to other women in the industry you're in, it’s important to remember we all started somewhere. And like my mum told me, you’ll never look back!  


Special ‘Thank you’ to Devon for agreeing to be interviewed, it’s great to see women succeed.