4 January, 2018. Samoa – Single mom, full-time student, entrepreneur and self-taught makeup artist, Angela Scanlan’s story is one of creativity, hard work, and fierce commitment in the face of great challenges.
21 year old Angela from Aleisa is the owner of Savanah Artistry which is based in Motootua. Angela offers makeup services for all occasions.
As part of her services, Angela travels to most of her clients and gives them the high end glamour treatment within the comfort of their own homes. Savanah Artistry was officially launched in 2016.
“I didn’t have any formal training although I would love to and do aim to take up some courses for it next year in New Zealand”, Angela told Samoa Planet.
Angela wasn’t always interested in doing makeup, but while she was in New Zealand a few years back, boredom led her to watching countless makeup tutorial videos on YouTube. That’s when it sparked her interest.
“I barely owned any makeup at the time, aside from the basics – eyeliner and mascara. I had one eye-shadow palette and sometimes when I’d get bored I’d give it a shot but what looked so easy to do in the video always ended up with me looking like someone just gave me a hiding. So I gave up for a while”, Angela explained.
She then began to educate herself on the many types of makeup products that were out there and turned to online reviews for guidance.
“There was so much more to makeup than I ever thought and it was actually overwhelming.”
Angela never intended to turn her newfound love for makeup into a business.
“I honestly just wanted to learn for myself, how to not look like a victim of abuse every time I attempted a smoky eye.”
When Angela gave birth to her daughter in 2015, she did not have a lot of time to pamper herself or pay much attention to her appearance.
“When you’re looking after a child on your own, even just putting your hair up nicely feels like such a chore. After the first few months of motherhood hit me, I was just so drained”, she said.
“I looked a mess and I felt like it too.”
Angela began purchasing different makeup products during her casual trips to the store for diapers and baby formula.
When her baby took naps, Angela would experiment with the products she purchased.
“It felt good to pamper myself a little bit. It felt good that I was giving my own health and happiness some attention too and actually starting to take care of myself again”, Angela told Samoa Planet.
That positive vibe got Angela thinking, “Why not share that feeling with others?”
“The little boost of confidence is all you need some days and I love seeing other people experience it when they see themselves afterwards”, she said.
Savanah Artistry started off on a bad note for the young entrepreneur. Before returning to Samoa, she made an effort to purchase a variety of makeup products, including expensive brands.
“Money was definitely a challenge. I was already on a budget so I had to buy things one by one.”
“Just a few weeks before it was time to come back to Samoa, my aunt’s home was robbed”, Angela explained.
All the makeup she had purchased for her new business had been stolen.
“I felt so discouraged. The thought of starting all over again from scratch was just so overwhelming. When I was finally willing to give it another go, it took me months to pick up again where I left off.”
It has been nearly two years since Angela started Savanah Artistry and the feelings of independence that come with working for her own money is something Angela loves.
“I love that I can make my own money and not have to worry about depending on anyone else to provide for me and my daughter. It’s also nice to work for your own money as it teaches you to value it more and spend wiser since you’re working for it yourself rather than just having it handed to you.”
According to Angela, one of the best feelings about her job is seeing people’s faces light up when they finally open their eyes after the transformation.
“Sometimes a little touch of makeup can make all the difference in someone’s day or mood and it’s always a great feeling to be able to brighten up someone’s day or be a part of helping someone to be able to put their best foot forward”, she said.
Angela’s clientele has grown since she first started out and she hopes to learn more skills such as hairdressing so she can offer more services to her clients.
In addition to being a young mom and an entrepreneur, Angela was able to commit to both roles and also graduate from UPY in 2017.
“It’s hard going back to school again after you’ve had a child. It can be very discouraging and intimidating seeing everyone who used to be in the same level with you, all a few steps ahead of you. It can be embarrassing.”
Despite all that, Angela learnt that at the end of the day, as long as you cross that finish line, it doesn’t matter how long it takes.
“In the society we’re living in now, it’s so easy to feel like life is a race to achieve success and there is so much pressure coming from everywhere and everyone to have accomplished certain milestones within a certain timeframe”, she explained.
“It’s important to remind yourself that life isn’t a competition, and the only person you should be worried about bettering is yourself.”
“Do what you need to do, at your own pace, and in your own time. Keep your head up, stay strong, and when times get tough remember who you’re doing it for”, she added.
Angela told Samoa Planet that she would not have managed to graduate without the support of her parents and siblings.
“My parents have always been very passionate about pushing us to prioritise education so it was mostly them urging me that it was time to get back into school again and that I needed a degree and proper qualifications to secure a good future and lifestyle for my daughter.”