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A Word with Taryn from ToughLove MPD

This is the second installment of interviews with micro business owners at the Micro Business Kid. Today’s interview is with Taryn Scalise from ToughLove MPD. She was great to work with and I hope you enjoy!

1. What’s the name of your micro business and where is it located?

My business is officially called ToughLove MPD. People ask what the MPD stands for all the time so I’ll go ahead and tell you. It stands for makeup, photography, and design.  I’m located in Michigan but I’ve worked all over. (Me: When she said make-up, I figured she’d be based somewhere like New York or Los Angeles. I was really surprised when she said Michigan but this just goes to prove that you can have any sort of successful business anywhere in the world.)

2. How long have you been in business?

Since 2007

3. What does your micro business do?

If you want to get fancy, it specializes in vanity.  I do various things. For the most part I work with models and I train and coach them. There is a difference between the two. I also create make-up looks for clients for weddings and stuff like that. Along with that, I set up full-service photo shoots for companies and clients in which my models are used. A part of that service includes me designing sets and style shoots.

4. Why did you decide to start your micro business?

At the beginning, I didn’t even realize that I was starting a micro business. I just had a real talent for makeup artistry and everything that goes along with it.  It felt natural to me and like it just what I was meant to do.  Along the way I turned what I did for fun into my career and I haven’t looked back since.

5. Is anyone else a part of your team? What are their roles?

Well on the business side, ToughLove is officially just me but I do work with a lot of models and photographers. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to do what I do so I consider them to be a large part of the team.

6. What are some memorable moments that you’ve had in your micro business?

There’s been a lot of memorable moments and I feel like every few months I hit a certain milestone in my career and I “level up” so to speak.  Getting my work into magazines, commercials, and ads has been pretty amazing.  A pretty cool experience was when I was once asked to do make-up for a big runway show in my area just because of the way I looked. She could tell I was a Make Up Artist so that was a pretty big deal for me.

7. What are some moments that you’d rather forget?

There aren’t really any that I want to forget.  Any moment that I can look back on and say “Oh man, what was I thinking?!” keeps me humble.  Remembering where I came from, and what I have been through keeps me grounded.

8. What’s something that you know now that you wish you would have known when you first started out?

I wish I had documented every look and written down every idea from the beginning. I also wish I could have dedicated more time to practicing more looks and techniques.

9. If you could give advice to those just starting out, it would be:

Keep going! Anytime you feel like giving up, push harder! You will be exhausted, and burned out at times; it’s inevitable but keep going. You are keeping your dream alive!  All the blood, sweat, and tears will be all worth it in the end.  I promise.

10. What do you think is a key trait that you have that has led you to have a successful micro business? Why is it important?

Passion!  I was once told that I am just a big ball of passion for what I do.  I think that is definitely key.  LOVE what you do.  If you don’t, then what’s the point?

11. What do you think is most important to have while first starting a micro business; a business degree, connections, determination, etc.? Why?

The only thing I started with was raw talent.  That’s all I had.  So with determination, small connections, and persistence, I grew a little bit more every day.  I also practiced every free moment I had, and worked on my craft and did lots of research.

12. Looking forward to the next 6 months or so, what new ideas or goals do you have for your micro business?

I would definitely like to be more organized with my appointments, shooting, even my costumes, and makeup!  I would also like to create more series of shoots and start working on my book. A type of shoot that I really want to do more of is product shoots for companies.

13. What are some “myths” of starting a business that you’ve found to be absolutely false?

That you absolutely need a degree to start a business! I didn’t go to school for any of the work I do and I am doing better with my business and craft then half of the people I know who have spent 7 years in school.  Yes, a degree may be helpful in getting your foot in the door but actual experience in the field is the way you’ll build a good career.

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That wraps things up with Taryn. If you’d like to find out more about ToughLove you can check out their Facebook and Tumblr.

If you are a micro entrepreneur and would like to have your business featured, please send an e-mail to microbusinesskid@tampabay.rr.com.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!


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