We had the good fortune of connecting with Stephanie Ruiz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stephanie, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I am a firm believer that without risk, there is no reward. By constantly playing it safe, you are forming the habit of staying complacent within comfort zones. My personal mantra is that no growth can thrive within comfort zones. You have to set your goals, and not just mediocre ones that you feel are easily attainable…set goals that you fantasize of; that linger far past the skies. Then, put in the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to get it, even when you have so much to lose. Once you’ve met those goals. set more, and keep setting more once you’ve reached those. Growth is a never ending journey, and should not be stunted once you feel content. I am a professional freelance Makeup Artist, and risk is a major component of my field, because this is no ordinary career. This career doesn’t come with a Monday through Friday work schedule, or a consistent salary, bonuses. health benefits, weekends off, or any other things that come with a traditional job. It’s working jobs for free just to be able to network and get your foot in through the door, it’s hustling seven days a week for any and every client, it’s creating and posting content on all social media platforms to stay relevant & noticed, it’s taking the financial risks of not working a traditional Monday through Friday job so that you are constantly available for any and every opportunity that may present itself. It’s answering e-mails and calls from clients at 8:30 at night, it’s not knowing what a weekend really is. Every moment of this life is a risk, it is a risk that everything you’ve sacrificed and invested your time, money, and heart in…may not pay off. These are all components that come with my job, but I wouldn’t trade it for a second of stabilized security. Why? Because I am training myself to do what it takes to get to where I want to be, to push myself even when it hurts and when it is uncomfortable. This is how the most successful paths in life are traveled, and I have no intention of diverting from this journey.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have had a passion for the beauty industry since I was old enough to wrap my fingers around a makeup brush. For the longest time, I knew that this was what I wanted to do with my life and that this was the path that I wanted to walk. However, at the time, I had zero knowledge about the industry, zero connections, and zero professional experience. So trying to pin point how or where to even begin, was going to be a whole process all on its’ own. I collected a handful of my best girlfriends and did their makeup to take some photos to compile a “portfolio”. From there, I went to multiple online bridal planning websites and contacted makeup vendors offering my freelance artistry services. I landed some interviews, and began freelancing weddings almost immediately. I worked for next to nothing, but I didn’t mind; I knew that gaining the experience was worth a whole lot more than just a paycheck and I LOVED every moment of it all. I took photos of all the work I did and compiled a legitimate & professional portfolio worthy of taking pride in. I freelanced under beauty vendors over the next couple of years while slowly but surely establishing a clientele of my own. From there, I went on to work for companies such as MAC Cosmetics & NARS, where I received additional extensive training and beauty education. With all of this, I kept adding more experience and knowledge to both my brush belt and my resume. My visions started to truly become a reality when I launched my own artistry business. I was so hungry with passion and fuel for this industry, and blessings began to fall into my lap as my appointment book was quite literally filled every single weekend. I established a clientele base all along both coasts of Florida & even out of state. My name grew to the extent where I needed to hire on a team to be able to meet all of the booking demands & requests from so many different locations. I also am especially excited that my portfolio has began to expand past just bridal, and have been receiving bookings for New York Fashion Week seasons, music videos, T.V shows, brand name photoshoots & fashion shows, influencer work, and was even personally asked by MAC Cosmetics to host my very own Master Class in Chicago. By no means has it been a smooth road; it has taken so much blood, sweat, tears, personal & financial sacrifice to get to where I am now, and I still have so much more growing that I want to do, and so much more that I want to achieve. But I am proud of where I am, I am humbled from where I started, and I am excited for whats’ to come.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I grew up in Miami, so naturally, I gained a quick appreciation for a lot of amazing hot spots. Some of my favorite places to eat would have to be Coyo Taco, Rok Brgr Miami, Orgullo Catracho, 109 Burger, Salty Donut, Yoko Matcha, & Dos Croquetas. Some of my favorite go-to spots to go out for drinks with friends would definitely be El Patio, Miami Mojito Company, Ball & Chain, Monty’s Raw Bar, and Racket. For places to hangout and experience, I would definitely say of course you have to hit up Miami Beach/South Beach, The Wynwood Walls, Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science, Vizcaya Museum & Gardens, and Bal Harbour Shops.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have been very blessed with such an incredible support system of family, friends, community and colleagues. I truly could not feel more loved and supported, and that is definitely something I cherish each and every single day. I would definitely say that my biggest supporter and the little voice in my head constantly cheering me on, would definitely have to be my mother. My mother has been supporting this dream of mine since Day 1, and has always provided the belief in me and my vision, even when it was hard for me to believe in it myself. The way my mother raised me, and the morals that she has instilled in me is definitely the reason why I feel that I have been able to achieve as much as I have.