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.

Auckland City Harbour News - - FRONT PAGE -

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.’’

Photo: JA­SON OXENHAM

Ac­ci­den­tal vo­ca­tion: Sarah Hol­land, with Brooke Adie, 4, loves spread­ing joy through her face paint­ing busi­ness Fab Faces.

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