For Women’s History Month I will be sharing the stories that define and provide examples of women empowerment, uplifting stories of personal triumph and businesses that are inspiring and are making a difference for women. Women’s History Month is a declared month each year that highlights the contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.
I want to introduce you to Kelly Bey-Borden, CEO.
Kelly Bey-Borden is a licensed, makeup artist who has worked in the beauty business for over 20 years. Her initial focus in high school was cosmetology, but she became passionate with the art and creativity involved with makeup. After working for MAC Cosmetics for several years, she started her own company, Flawless Faces Makeup Artistry. Kelly has been hired as a makeup artist for weddings; proms; music videos; personal, group and professional photo shoots; birthday celebrations; political events; and other special occasions. In 2015, her company started a cosmetics line. Flawless Faces Makeup Artistry & Cosmetics features lipsticks, foundation sticks, lusters, eye shadow palettes, eyebrow pomade, turbans, hats and more. One of her other passions is education. Kelly is also a special educator/IEP Chairperson in Baltimore City Public Schools. She works with the population of students with disabilities to ensure they receive the services needed and required to help them succeed. She believes, “If students are given the tools needed and are taught to their individual learning styles; they will thrive.” Kelly is committed to making a difference in the lives of her students and often serves as a mentor, friend and/or parental figure to her students long after they leave her school. Giving back to the community is important to Kelly. She often donates products and services and volunteers in the community.
Here is HERstory:
My story is of a young girl from a single parent home who fought and climbed her way to where she is today. I was a single mother who juggles motherhood, working 2-jobs, caring for my grandmother, and taking classes all at once. Having a child young was never a barrier because my dreams outweighed the challenges. My passions have always been Education and beauty, and I was fortunate enough to chase both dreams. I love the feeling of making a change in a young persons life, and love love the feeling women have after being pampered and feeling beautiful. I have always volunteered my services to give back in my community with the inner city youth as well as by providing free makeovers to ladies with cancer and to the elderly in nourishing homes. I am passionate about change and lifting others up in any way possible.
Her business is Flawless Faces Makeup Artistry – Makeup Artistry Services and a Cosmetic line.
What does women empowerment mean to you?
Women took time to empower me and I will always take time to empower and inspire as many as I can. I lead several high school talks for Sr. High School girls (11th/12th grades) about things from self esteem to becoming an entrepreneur. Women empowerment to me means supporting women in their journey to empower them to be great.
What advice or words of inspiration would you like to share with someone?
Never stop! Don’t wait for doors to open, kick them open for yourself. All dreams are within reach, you just have to put the work in and keep going. Look for mentors, network, self-advocate, and get a circle of like-minded women.
What do you want your legacy to be?
I’d love for my legacy to be kindness, hard work, and Flawless Faces Makeup Artistry to continue to employ, teach, and train young women to be great and to find their own place in the world.
What inspires you?
Women who are powerful, beautiful, classic, yet kind and gracious have always inspired me.
What kind of impact do you want to have on those around you?
I want to impact those around me by seeing how hard I have worked and continue to work and seeing my successes. I share my story with people often so they can see themselves in me and know that they are capable of anything.
What does self care mean to you?
My self care days are the days that I meditate, do things I love such as read, write poetry, mentor young people, journal, organize my planner of events, and self-reflect.
What obstacles have you overcome or hurdles did you personally face and how did you overcome them?
Like many, I have had several obstacles in life starting with being a victim of sexual abuse as a child. Being a single mother at a young age was a huge obstacle because I never wanted to let him down. Also like many business owners & dreamers, I have had a lot of doors slammed in my face through the years of trying to make my brand visible. Overcoming any obstacle, you have to knock on another door when one won’t open and never lose faith. As easy as it sounds, it’s hard to put yourself out and to not want to stop when you hear the “No’s” but no one who is successful made it overnight so I allow them to be my inspiration.
When did you realize entrepreneurship was right for you?
I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur at a young age. I enjoyed working for M.A.C. however, as my clients grew and my name continued to circulate I realized that I wanted to take advantage of being my own boss.
Why did you choose entrepreneurship?
I chose entrepreneurship because I had a gift and a serious passion that I wanted to explore on my own terms. Although I worked full-time, I knew that I had the discipline to create my own lane in the beauty business and for it to have impact.
What would you say is your most driving motivation to keep doing what you to do?
My son drives me to be great! I remember walking across the stage to earn my Bachelors & my Master’s Degrees and although seeing my family in the audience was special, my son seeing me take those walks meant the world to me. I want him to see me making an impact and to have a company to leave to him and my nieces to run.
What are you most excited or passionate about? (In both business and life or both)
I am passionate about seeing Flawless Faces Makeup Artistry expand and seeing our cosmetics in big name stores.
What are the goals you most want to accomplish in your business and personally?
Goals for the business include having over 50 wholesalers, seeing our products in more stores, and to be recognized among other name brand cosmetics. Personal goals include earning my Phd in education, hiring more employees and makeup artists to delegate and take more off my myself, and to continue making a difference in my school, community, and in the makeup world.
Did you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced who you are, what you believe in and what you’re committed to in your work and life? Tell me about them.
Unfortunately I did not have mentors in the cosmetic world which is why I push so hard to be a mentor for young ladies. I was the lead makeup artist for Baltimore’s Fashion Week and I had a team of 13. Each young young artist that I pulled on my team was so grateful and I continue to mentor them. In my educational journey, my mother was my mentor. My mother was a special educator, after years of watching her patience and her passion with her students, I knew education would be a part of my journey. My mother is retired but she continues to mentor me and push me out of my comfort zones.
Did you have any life-changing experiences that put you on the path that led you to be doing what you’re doing today? Tell me about them.
The path I am on today I have always felt was destined for me. I never had life changing experiences that set my path, education as well as beauty & entrepreneurship were always going to be my paths.
What’s next for you in your business/brand? What can readers look forward to from you?
Readers can look forward to new cosmetics coming in the next few months, more radio/online interviews, new virtual monthly pro-makeup classes, and re-launching our monthly subscription Flawless Beat Boxes. Before COVID-19 shut us down, we had opportunities to travel internationally to offer makeup services, we traveled as far as South Africa. I’d love to travel more and gain more international customers. 2020 threw us a curve ball but we have some GREAT things coming for 2021!