A meager $50 budget didn’t hold East Texas Artist Julia Mauldin back from following her dreams of owning and operating her own face painting business. In 2009 the single mother and sole provider to her four year-old son took a risk and blew her budget on supplies from local craft stores to work children’s birthday parties. She vowed to work weekends until her business allowed her to leave her position as a full-time administrative assistant for good.
“I had this rickety chair and a metal table that I’d set up and let my son play under there while I worked,”Mauldin said. “I was hoping to earn enough to simply help make ends meet. Even working full-time, it was hard and most of the time wasn't enough.”
Mauldin came up with the name “JuJubilee's Professional Face and Body Art" and asked for financial advice from working artists who told her not to skimp on supplies if she wanted to be successful. She worked church festivals and small events until she had enough profit to invest four hundred dollars on marketing materials, plus a batch of only the very best products made specifically for body artwork. The newer, more vibrant colors gave her designs life and depth. Her best advertisement became her customers.
“What sets me apart is my vision for superior artwork and cleanliness standards. Everything I did was to create a dynamic image and have the ability to back it up with my services. I wanted to provide the ‘wow’ factor that would result in a good reputation,” Mauldin said.
The investment paid off with an increased demand for her services along with the need to buy more equipment. Once again, she turned to creative financing.
“For one of my first big events I needed two tents, but could only afford one. I decided it was worth it to use my car payment money for that month to buy them. I walked away with $800 in profits.”
As Mauldin’s business took off, so did her love life. She married husband Bob in 2010. The couple have three children from previous marriages, and welcomed a new addition to the family in 2012. The extra responsibilities and a layoff from her full-time gig only fueled the native Texan’s drive to parlay a loss to an opportunity to take her work at home business to full-time. She added new services like henna tattoos and pregnant belly painting to her lineup, and then hired a team of nine artists to work for her.
“Working from home is different in so many ways from going to an office every day," she said. "I have found that I actually work much harder and for more hours. But when you're doing what you love and have a passion for, you don't have a feeling of dread each day. You do it with gusto!”
Mauldin plans to diversify her business with the opening of a party house in 2013, proving that a shoe string budget combined with good planning and calculated risks can indeed make the dream of working at home a reality.
Image courtesy of Aperture Forty-Two Photography.