New business puts smiles on faces
Teacher Sarah Holland fell into face painting after painting her own face for a fancy dress party. She tells reporter Karina Abadia why she wouldn’t give up either job.
She teaches new entrants at Stonefields School in Mt Wellington by day, but in her spare time she transforms children into wild animals and superheroes.
Sarah Holland considers herself lucky because she gets satisfaction from both jobs.
‘‘When I’m at school I’m working with the kids and I love what I do. Likewise when I come home I really enjoy the face painting. It’s such a neat feeling to be building my own little business.’’
When Miss Holland started Fab Faces three years ago she was a novice. She learned her trade by researching the internet, watching instructional videos on YouTube and through trial and error.
The St Heliers resident soon found herself taking inspi- ration from other people’s designs and then adding a twist to make them her own.
Within six months she was employing staff. She now has 12 workers spread across Auckland, Kerikeri, Christchurch, New Plymouth.
She plans to build the retail side of the business, to become a one-stop party shop.
Children often ask her to transform them into Spiderman, Batman, a tiger, a butterfly or a snow leopard.
Her standard rate is 10 to 12 faces an hour, about five minutes a child, but she can work faster depending on client specifications.
She sometimes receives strange requests but is happy to give anything a go.
At Christmas she was asked to paint a llama on someone’s face and she has also been asked to decorate faces with snowmen on skateboards.
‘‘It’s great because it allows kids to be creative. They are so much more invested if they have a say in designing their own face painting,’’ she says.
But it is not just for the young. The 27-year-old also decorates adults’ faces for fancy dress parties.
These tend to involve elaborate designs which can take 30 to 45 minutes to complete.
Open her bag of tricks and you will find quality brushes and sponges, metallic paints in a variety of colours, glitter gel, zombie skin, prosthetics, balloons and glitter tattoos.
She holds introductory sessions at her house for people interested in learning to face paint.
‘‘Once people pick up the brush, they get addicted. Helping them discover the passion is really neat.’’
Face painting not only allows you to connect with a wide range of people but it brings with it lots of positivity, Ms Holland says.
‘‘You just see the best of people when you are doing it.’’
Accidental vocation: Sarah Holland, with Brooke Adie, 4, loves spreading joy through her face painting business Fab Faces.