Happy weekend, Cowes!
Give us your elevator pitch — tell us a bit about yourself. We want to know what you’re all about.
I’m a creative entrepreneur. An artist first and foremost with my main trade being makeup and hair for my company, Sher Beauty Inc. I do makeup for stills and motion projects ranging from commercial, editorial and personalities. I have a passion for art and the wellness and beauty industries. I love learning how things work from a biochemical standpoint and I’m obsessed with product ingredients and efficacy. I’m also a co-founder at Inkast Studio– a fully equipped production rental space in Toronto’s studio district.
#LocalLove is all about showing love to bad-ass bosses like yourself. Can you share with us what you do for work and how you make an impact?
I wear many hats! As noted above, I’m a beauty professional with a career spanning 10+ years. In my past life, I worked in a corporate setting and after leaving the industry, I decided to follow my heart and pursue makeup.
An art form I’ve loved since childhood for its ability to elevate one’s self esteem with swipes of colour on the lips, eyes and cheeks. I make an impact by giving my clients a boost of confidence after they’ve sat in my chair. Often times I’m the last point of contact before an actor, model or music artist get on stage, in front of a camera, or attend an event. With that, I take extra care to ensure my subject looks and feels their best before they face the limelight.
My other role is running a creative studio with my partner. The thought of it began organically over 10 years ago but the timing wasn’t quite right. In the back of our minds, we always dreamt of having our own studio to use for our personal projects, as well as for the creative community in Toronto. The initial idea did evolve towards the latter upon taking on a physical space. We decided to create a brand that stood for something greater than a basic production studio. We grew the brand to encompass things that we hold dear and strongly believe in since starting out in our industries. Inclusivity & diversity are one of our core values. The name of the company, Inkast Studio, is meant to be the opposite of an outcast.
Although diversity and inclusivity happen to be two big buzz words as of lately, they have been constant in our vocabulary since we started out. Growing up both feeling like outcasts in certain industries and in mainstream media, we found that although television and some publications occasionally exercised inclusion by peppering in racially ambiguous people, or diverse/ unique looking individuals in high fashion editorials, there still was not enough diverse representation behind the scenes.
The fact that Vogue has only had one African American photographer (Tyler Mitchell in 2018) shoot a cover since 1892 is still shocking but somewhat expected. Our goal is to change the common narrative that’s happening, even to this day, not just by putting more ethnic and diverse people in front of the camera but also by encouraging the younger generation to produce, direct, create and be part of the creative process behind the scenes as well.
There are so many amazing and talented creatives in this city. We always thought it was fitting to have a space where we could host artists looking to make their dreamworks come to life. The aesthetic of the studio is very similar to our personal styles- clean and minimal, that makes it a blank slate for whatever clients want to create.
How did you get into this line of work?
I’ve always had an affinity for all things beauty and fashion related. Since childhood, I loved getting into my mom’s vanity and experimenting with her makeup. I loved playing dress up with my cousins and producing mini fashion shows and shoots using my dad’s film and video cameras.
I assisted a friend doing makeup for a hair show and ever since that day, I knew I wanted to do something different than my 9-5. Something that allowed me to express my creativity. I took a calculated risk and began evening art courses which really helped me to get back into the groove of being an artist again. Shortly after, I took makeup artistry to the next level when my partner encouraged me to follow my bliss. It’s crazy to think how my natural gifts would have fallen by the wayside had I not taken the risk to leap from the corporate world.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (career or otherwise)
“Keep those hands moving” and “practice makes progress”. If you don’t utilize and put your skills into practice, you can easily get rusty. And for life advice, “kindness is timeless“ and “feel the fear but do it anyway”- I need to practice this one more!
How about the worst?
“You can do it all on your own.” Being afraid to ask for help, delegate or outsource has held me back in so many ways.
If you could paint your ideal life, what would that look like in 5-10 years from now?
I’m not really the planning type- life has a funny way of surprising us and if a plan doesn’t go accordingly, disappointment ensues. I like drafting out a loose plan with lots of room to pivot in order to avoid expectation hangovers. My ultimate wish in life is to be happy with what I’m doing and to be surrounded by people I love and trust.
What are your favourite resources that you’ve come across over the years (e.g., email extensions, design apps etc.)
I love a handful of podcasts- I enjoy listening during my morning ritual, or I alternate with Audible books. I love using VSCO for photo editing when I’m on the go and Instagram is my go-to for social.
Who are 3 of your favourite Canadian entrepreneurs that our readers should absolutely be in the know about?
So many to name! I can list my top 3 below:
- Grace Mahary – Founder Project Ttsehigh
- Candice Kaye – Candice Kaye Designs
- Susanne Langmuir – Bite Beauty SL & Co
+ a bunch more honorable mentions in *alphabetical order:
- Alicia Jenelle – Alicia Jenelle Events
- Catriona Smart – Coco & Cowe
- Cleo Ellis – LUXELIFE SOUND
- Giselle Bullin – Top Home Stylist
- Gloria Chik – Rogue Stories
- Josette Blackwood – 1618
- Julien Lutz – Operation Prefrontal Cortex
- Kat Torres – Boxpower Entertainment
- Kena Paranjape – Wear All You Are
- Mary Futher – Kaia Wipes
- Nicole Babb – Rich & Poor Home
- Nimea Ariana – Visionary Art
- Sasha Exeter – So Sasha Lifestyle
- Sarah Devika – Urban Minerals
- Shannae Ingleton – Kensington Gray
- Shawn Pinnock – Cultiv8
- Tavis Gordon – Inkast Studio
- Winy Bernard – Ice Podcast
Explore more #LocalLove here.