Wow! I cannot believe it has been 10 years. I remember the beginning like it was yesterday. I had been working full time at a salon in Malibu. Living for Prom day or any Bride that would come through the door. I asked myself,”How can I do more of this?” Then the light bulb went on. Why don’t I make a website that has my work on it, and travel to the brides for their wedding day? I stayed up countless nights making this website. I had no idea what I was doing. The website went live January 1st, 2003. At this time I had another makeup artist that I was going to be working with. I decided to get a booth at a bridal show in Los Angeles. I was overwhelmed with the response. “How can I handle all this?” I had artists coming to me at the show wanting a job. I did not book as much as I would have liked to from the show. But honestly if it wasn’t for that weekend, I probably wouldn’t have done what I have done.
The word started getting out. I went to countless bridal shows, networking events, business marketing courses etc. When things started flowing, I started researching other artists with the passion and talent for bridal/ special event hair & makeup. I continued working at the salon in Malibu. I worked Monday through Friday and had Saturday & Sunday that I had 1-4 weddings a weekend. I came home every night stayed up late networking and growing the website. After I was feeling good about how things were going in Southern California, I decided to go to Las Vegas.
Las Vegas being the Wedding Capitol of the World was calling my name! I started advertizing looking for hair & makeup artists, I interviewed them on the phone. Then set up a day of appointments with artists to meet them in person. The minute I got home, I started working on Vegas as I had here in Southern California. I found my Gem, Amelia C. She helped manage and develop the Fairytale Vegas Market. We got a booth at a bridal show, and things were on their way. Eight years after Fairytale Las Vegas; debut I am so proud of Amelia. She now has her own company, Amelia C & Co. She respected me enough to ask if she could start her own company. Being that I credit so much of our success in Vegas to her, I am honored to have been her mentor and where she started.
My dream has always to have a Disney Wedding. I am a Disney Fanatic for sure! Growing up Disneyland was my second home. I wanted to be a character in the parade when I grew up. But besides that I was obsessed with weddings. I remember in high school, marriage & family class. We had to plan our wedding, all of it on a $10,000 budget (probably not to bad back then). I of course planned my Disney Wedding. Cinderella Coach and all! When I was coming up with the theme for Fairytale Hair and Makeup, Disney was definitely a huge inspiration and my ultimate goal. I called and emailed Disney Fairytale Weddings quite a few times. Then my day came. I got a call from my Fairy Godmother, Traci Banister. They asked if I would like to be added to the list. I shook, I cried. I would do whatever it took to make them proud. It was a slow build at Disney. But I think once they saw what I could do, and had great reviews from their brides, I got more and more busy at the Happiest Place on Earth. Since that day, It has exceeded every dream. I owe Traci my life. If it was not for her and giving me the chance, I would not be where I am today. Fairytale would truly not be Fairytale.
After things were good with Southern California & Vegas I had to take on the rest on California. The Bay Area & Monterey as well as Central California was a must! This was about 2006. Some of my artist there have gone on to amazing careers, while others have remained loyal and are still with us to this day!
2006 was also a huge milestone year. In a personal matter.I welcomed my daughter, Catalina in October 2006. This changed my life. Being a single mother, it was my full responsibility to take care of this angel. I did go back to work at the salon 5 weeks after her birth. In the salon life, if you are gone to long, you come back and have no clientele. So I went back to work part time. I loved my clients. Malibu was a great place to work. But I really had an issue with the management. So I got to thinking, ” I have a baby at home, why am I leaving her to come deal with this?” I got more and more agitated. Then planned my departure. I started doing house calls for as many clients as I could, and had another salon I could work at if necessary. So that day came. I left. I did house calls and weddings. I was a stay at home mom!
Being at home let me focus more time on Fairytale. The only problem was that after I left the salon world, the economy tanked. So business was not what I was used to.
I was having great success with Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings at Disneyland. The light bulb went on again.” Things are going so well here with Disney, why don’t we do the same with Disney World?” I did as I did with the other locations, looked for artists in Central Florida. I then talked to Disney Fairytale Weddings in Florida, they talked to California’s Disney Fairytale Weddings and they got rave reviews. I then booked my trip to Disney World to meet with Jackie (my Florida Gem) and the Disney Wedding Crew. They gave us the tour and all the info on how things go in Florida. Things really got rolling there in 2011. Now my Florida crew is a very consistent part of the Disney World Fairytale Wedding experience.
I was told by my friends at Disney to watch “My Fair Wedding” because the bride gets married at Disneyland. I watched the episode thinking “What is up with the hair & makeup?” Talking to friends about it they encouraged me to contact production. They wanted to know my credentials. Then they gave us a chance. We did the hair for “Belly Dancer Bride” episode. I guess they liked us because they asked us to come back and do the hair & makeup on the next episode. I picked a couple dates that were good. David liked our work and working with us so much, that he had his people contact me and ask us to pick up a couple more episodes! What a huge compliment. We ended up doing 5 episodes that season. David told me we are the best, best hair & makeup for the season. That if I ever need anything to let him know (I may take him up on that when it comes time to plan my own wedding), but he did personally write me an amazing testimonial. You can’t really get a bigger endorsement than David Tutera (Disney too). We also ended up doing 2 episodes this last season for their “Unveiled” Season. In 2012, David referred us one of his personal weddings which we got to work with him off camera. Truly honored to have been chosen, it was an amazing experience.
In 2011, Disney’s Aulani opened in Oahu. What? I need to get going in Hawaii!!!! Hawaii has been my hardest region yet. But I am excited to say, that in 2012 we have started doing hair & makeup for weddings on the island of Oahu! Building Hawaii will be a big focus for me in 2013. There is so much potential there. Just finding the right artists is the challenging part.
We have won “The Knot Best of Weddings” 2011, 2012, 2013. They did not have a Beauty category prior. It is amazing how much the hair & makeup for events industry has grown in 10 years. There really wasn’t much competition when we started. That’s probably why I was so overwhelmed. Brides were loving the idea of not having everyone have to go to the salon, the salon came to you! We have always tried to stay competitive with our rates. We strongly believe you get what you pay for to a certain extent. Honestly, our rates are pretty much what you would pay to go to a good salon, without having to go to the salon. All our artists do both hair & makeup. They have been highly trained in this field, and do this for a career. When you choose Fairytale you are hiring an experienced professional, that can handle any hair & makeup situation. Its not someone that has just done their friends hair or like playing with makeup. They have different levels of experience. I look at their work and resume thoroughly. I have had dozens and dozens of artists here at Fairytale. Each one has earned their keep or has been a learning experience. Fairytale is my baby. I only want the best. Being a hair & makeup myself, I am even more particular, and know what I expect. Some of our artists have been with me for up to 9 years. I learned a lot working for bosses I was not fond of. The most important is “Be someone you would want to work for.” I appreciate our artists, respect them as people and individuals. No two artists are the same. We all do things differently. But what we all do here is the best job we can do. Cause we all truly love what we do. We take great pride in the fact that a bride has chosen us to be in control of how she looks on the biggest day of her life. We don’t take it for granted, are honored and will not leave until we know our client is 110% happy with what she sees and her experience with Fairytale.
That all being said. I can’t thank you all enough for the last 10 years. I have learned so much! Fairytale Hair and Makeup has far exceeded what I ever imagined it to be. Just to think, its only going to get Bigger & Better!
- Tara Fontana, Owner, Creator, Hair & Makeup Artist for Fairytale Hair and Makeup
Now Reflecting on the last year:
Each year’s end I like to reflect on what we have achieved here at Fairytale Hair and Makeup. We truly have so much to be thankful for. It is kinda crazy thinking back to January on all that has happened in 12 months. We are celebrating our Diamond Anniversary on January 1st, 2013. It is overwhelming to think how far Fairytale has come in 10 years. I will be writing about that in another post. For now, lets focus on 2012.
I would also like to announce at 2012′s end, Fairytale Hair and Makeup will have done 250 weddings THIS YEAR! That is for California, Las Vegas, Florida & Hawaii! I never really counted in the past, but I am sure this is more than the past. I am very much looking forward to exceeding that in 2013.
Here is a brief timeline of Fairytale 2012 Events:
We had a couple episodes of “My Fair Wedding” air. Both Luau Bride (Kristin is now expecting!), and Snow White Bride.
It was announced that we won “The Knot Best of Weddings” for Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
We had a full page in Modele Weddings Magazine with Editorial.
Featured on Style Me Pretty for Ashley’s Firestone Vineyard Wedding
Worked at Festival of Brides, Bridal Show at The Disneyland Hotel. Had a great response from the show.
Announced that we won Bride’s Choice by Wedding Wire
“My Fair Wedding” Masquerade Bride Aired
Our New and Improved Website was revealed!
Was added to the Little Black Book for Style Me Pretty
Reached 2,000 Likes on Facebook
Worked our first private wedding referred and coordinated by David Tutera. Such an Honor!
Filmed “Mexican Polynesian Bride” Episode of “My Fair Wedding” Our first episode for the new season.
Reached 3,00 Likes
“My Fair Wedding” Momzilla episode aired.
Reached 3,000 Likes on Facebook
Was introduces to Jeunesse. And became a distributor. It is truly and amazing product!
Got things rolling in Hawaii!!!
Was notified we won “The Knot Best of Weddings 2013″ for Los Angeles County, Orange County, Inland Empire, Santa Barbara & Ventura Counties.