The Green Brush Part 1: Introduction

The Green Paint Brush with Heather Green

This is the first installment in The Green Brush, a Marketing and Business tips and tricks series by Heather Green. sponsored by Silly Farm Supplies.


I have spent the past six years making youtube videos on face painting to help you to become better painters, but I totally neglected that being the best painter isn’t good enough. It’s like living on McDonald’s, but then working out every day of the week. You have to combine business skills with talent in order to achieve a winning combination…. So I am dedicating one video blog a month to helping you improve your business, grow your business, and answer your questions.


What makes me qualified to be in a position to give advice? For those of you that don’t know me… My name is Heather Green and I am the owner of Silly Farm Supplies, the creator of FABAtv, the co-producer of the FABAIC, publisher of the FABA Blog, a business partner for My FAB Events, a mom, a friend, a face & body painter, and the First Lady of Greater St Mark Ame church. I have been painting for 15 years, have grown my companies into something I am very proud of. I spend much of my time researching, reading, and investing in learning how to be a successful entrepreneur. My goal is to condense my findings into useful information and business advice that you can use and make money from. I feel my face painting Youtubes and teaching style have been so well received because I take a lot of concepts from all the classes I have taken and simplify it to make it attainable for all levels of painters. I want to do that in the business sense too.


My business video blogs are meant to help anyone, not just painters, but all entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. I know that watching my face can be boring, but hopefully the content will make it all worth it.


My goal is to publish video blogs at least once a month. If you like them I will try my hardest to post 2 a month.

So what’s on the agenda for today?

Getting Started

In order to get ourselves in the business frame of mind there are a few things you need to do to get started on the right path.

Start with time management…. There is a direct correlation between time spent/ invested and success. When I bought silly farm almost 9 years ago I told myself I wouldn’t take a paycheck until we were out of the red. I face painted on the weekends and used that money to live. I didn’t mind working 19 hours a day, and I believe that my time spent obsessing, building, growing Silly Farm is the reason we have grown from 2 employees to 27 employees. If you are only spending two hours a week improving your company, investing in yourself as an artist, or your phones aren’t ringing like you would like then it’s time to take a look at how you are spending your time. I wrote the book on No Time. I get up at 5:00 am, go to the gym, get home to get my son ready for school, go to work, go home, feed him, bathe him, and then go back to work. Now my life style isn’t for everyone, but if you don’t make the time, you can’t expect the results.

Start by dedicating one hour a day to yourself and your business. Spend an hour emailing customers, or taking a class on FABAtv, or seeking new leads. If you invest an hour each day it’s easier to increase the time you spend on your business daily without feeling overwhelmed.

Setting Goals

How many times have you said to yourself I just want to loose 10 lbs or 20lbs? How many times have you said tomorrow I am going to eat better and start laying weight? For better or worse, goals are a huge part of the human psyche. Goals are important because they help create vision and focus. Set, type, and print your goals, make them visible at all times so that you don’t loose sight of what you are working towards. When I launched fabatv I printed a paper out that said 1,000 subscribers … Ready set go! Every morning I looked at my goal and within 9 months I reached my goal. I wish I could say the same about these last 8 baby pounds, but I won’t be too critical. If you make a goal to book five new parties a month, or a goal to save 30% of all your take home, then you keep it where your mind continuously views it. Then you will train yourself to keep the pot at the end of the rainbow in mind. Don’t let your goals become out of sight and out of mind.

Invest in Yourself and Your Business

We learn from others and feedback is essential! Please like and share this post if it helped you. Leave a comment below or send me an email if you have any questions! Who knows, maybe your question will be on the next video!

The Green Brush Part 2: Marketing Mindframe

The Green Paint Brush with Heather Green
This is the second installment in The Green Brush series sponsored by Silly Farm Supplies. Marketing and Business tips and tricks by Heather Green. Heather is the CEO and Owner of Silly Farm Supplies, an international supplies shop for face and body art. Heather is also the co-producer for the Face and Body Art International Convention.

In this segment of The Green Brush I will show you how to get into the Marketing Mind frame.

I breakdown the FREE steps to marketing your business and introduce the 4 P’s which I will explain in detail in future segments.

Marketing & Sales GraphMarketing and Sales are not synonymous, they compliment each other,. You don’t have to fear marketing your business. Marketing is relationship building. Marketing is taking the time to get to know how you can best service your clients. I will guide you on how to achieve effective marketing campaigns.

I urge you to choose a soundtrack that gets you motivated; to get in a working mode and pursue new business avenues.

I also explain sources of free marketing including grass roots campaigns and getting yourself organized to be able to effectively follow up leads. I have created a “Follow Up Form” for you to download and use free of charge. My goal with this form is to help you keep better records, so that you can keep in touch with your customers and build better relationships.

[button type=”ambitious_button” url=”” target=”” ]Download Follow Up Form(Excel Format)[/button]

I am focused on helping you create and build a business you are proud of. I hope you enjoy this segment of The Green Brush and I encourage you to share your ideas, stories and business successes. Please leave me a comment with your ideas or questions and don’t forget to like and share this article with your friends!

5 Tips for Budding Entrepreneurs

By no means do I assert that I am no longer “budding” – I remain deeply entrenched in my fledgling status – but I would like to share with you some words that have stuck with me in this journey. Some pearls of wisdom fall on deaf ears, but some seem to ring loudly just when we need them. These are the ear-piercing bits, the ones that resonated with me and shaped my outlook on business.

“Work hard now, coast later.”0acf4f8b2a5234f6fbb4932589da5245
-Mr. Hikel
This was the mantra of my first boyfriend’s dad, which he gave me a solid lecture on during freshman year of High School. Climb towards your goals with all the tenacity you can muster, and you’ll be able to coast on your successes later. The longer I adhered to this, the more obvious it became that the people who work so fervently towards their aspirations don’t actually intend on ever stopping to “coast”, but the point was that success grows exponentially, and hard working people tend to get swept into wonderful opportunities.

“I could be getting in on the first floor of…Google!”
-Claire Stoddard
I’ve always had a penchant for business, starting around 14 years old. The first business I opened was for a clothing line, and I asked some close friends and family for assistance with seed money. Turns out that banks aren’t keen on giving 14 year olds loans. Claire wrote me a check for $500; I was astonished that one person was willing to fork over that much to my measly operation. The quote above was her response, and it was profound for me to consider. It made me realize that if she had so much faith in me, I should too. I assumed it was impractical to aim high, but who’s to say that you won’t end up at the top of the food chain one day?

“Automate it.”
-Dan Gargano.
Dan is a tech savvy fellow who completely redesigned the way I look at business from both an internal and external perspective.  His main focus was to automate, streamline, and simplify as many aspects of his business as possible. I didn’t realize how much energy I was expending towards menial tasks; now I operate with automated email templates, payment systems, databases, and have more time to devote to core functions. Dan also made killer sales pitches and owned the room when he walked in, which would be especially impressive if you could see how mousy and young he looked. I’ve done my best to assimilate his well-dressed confidence into my own life, and started making a point of surrounding myself with other powerful people who I could learn from by example.

“Realize that Despite Your Worst Fears, You are now a Salesperson”
-Kurt Johnson
This quote was part of a longer, and very insightful article that I highly recommend. I briefly worked retail sales, and it was certainly not my forte. I refused to harass passer-bys, felt awkward during my sales pitch, and not even a commission bonus could convince me to do cold calls. But when you run 97e31e6c8ed196012fb09ba7307d896eyour own business, you’re head of the sales department. And marketing department. And secretary. Embrace it! Find ways to promote yourself that are within your comfort zone, but also make a point of stepping outside the box from time to time. You have to become wonderful at all aspects of business, and you don’t really have much of a choice!

 “A good entrepreneur is a heat seeking missile”
– Josh Kopelman
I read this on a website while researching investors, and it was like that missile hit my brain. BOOM. My days of running a business tentatively were over. With renewed determination, I decided all of my goals were within reach, and that my business was going to succeed because I would give everything to make it happen. On hard days, days when I’m tired or feeling burnt out, I remember this quote and it pulls me through.
“If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.”
-Kim Demulder
I’ve worked with Kim frequently over the last four years. He’s an incredibly talented artist with a big smile and a bounce in his step. He’s worked for DC Comics and is currently teaching at the Joe Kubert School of Graphic Arts and Cartooning in Dover, NJ. He’s spouted off this saying to students for at least the few years, and it seems to have done well by him. Remember that whatever your current business venture is, that you’re in it because you love it. That’s ultimately the end game here – to do so much of what we love that people start to pay us for it. The money is great, but the art is better.

Keep on keepin’ on, friends!

Supporting Your Industry

Christmas OrnamentsThis Christmas was the most laid back Christmas in my 30 years on this planet. I don’t think I entered a department store or waited in a line. My mother kept asking me if I wanted to go shipping with her and I kept telling her I was done and all the presents were wrapped. This year I did 100% of my shopping online. While some people like my mom think I am nuts, I believe that you have to support your industry. As the owner of an online store, I feel that by shopping online I do my part to support my industry. Not only do I invest in online retailers, I use the experience as a chance to do research, gather ideas, and learn ways to improve our Silly Farm store.

I ordered a set of baby shower invitations from a site called The transaction of personalized invitations was simple, easy and I loved the overall look of the site. But that wasn’t the best part. The invitations arrived quickly and were gorgeous, but that isn’t the best part either! The best part was one week after the baby shower I received a hand written note that said, “Heather, we hope the baby shower was a success and that everyone enjoyed themselves. If you ever need our services again please don’t hesitate to give me a call or email, always happy to help. Have a great day and thank you for shopping with Simply Baby Stuff.”

I was blown away. I consider myself a customer service junkie and I was so impressed with my card. Sometimes the service after the sale is what counts the most.

Thank you cardSomething as simple as a thank you card, left the best feeling in my mind and I will forever use Granted, I could have walked into a card shop and received great service, but I didn’t. I learned a very valuable lesson from shopping online. I learned through my experience that just because there was not a personal exchange of goods, that doesn’t mean you can’t make the sale personal. I have incorporated their style into my own business practices. Every month I send several handwritten notes to our customers just saying thank you and reminding them I am here if they need me. I use every opportunity to learn and improve.

I encourage each of you support your industry. I am a crazy birthday person. I love birthdays, or any reason to celebrate for that matter. Each year I plan a super-duper birthday extravaganza for my son. I feel an obligation to give him the best parties because of the field I am in. Because I have been in the “biz” for so long I have a lot of friends that would gladly offer their face painting services for free for my sons party, but I will not let it happen. I am not rich and I didn’t win the lotto, but I like supporting our artists and I don’t mind hiring them. I think it’s good to support our industry and give artists work. When I book them for my party I don’t book them under my name. I use an alias so they don’t feel guilty. I prepay them so I know they can’t be mad after the fact, but I do this so that I get to experience being on the other end of the service industry. I watch and observe, will they show up on time? Will they stay later if they don’t finish every kid? Do they eat on the job? Do they bring their own table and chair? Many of the people I hire are friends and I already know how they operate, but it’s nice to see them in action when they don’t know the client.

By supporting artists, internet shopping, and supporting industry events I feel that I am giving back to the people that have given so much to me. Even if Amazon never places an order with Silly Farm, I believe that the universe creates a cycle of giving & receiving and I get included because I did my little piece.

My handsome husband is the Pastor of the Greater St. Mark AME Church and after every service during the benediction he reminds us that when you give in abundance you are setting yourself up to receive a harvest. You can’t expect that business will bloom without investing in both your business and your industry. I encourage everyone to make it a habit to support one facet of your life each day. Whether its posting a friendly compliment to a fellow painter on Facebook, volunteering for a cause, or supporting small businesses.

Mind ToolI will conclude with this little word of advice. Your mind is the most powerful tool in the world. When you manifest your beliefs they can become reality if you invest enough energy into them. Make giving your motto, make support a daily piece of your vocabulary and you will be surprised at how many doors open.

Happy painting!

The Pro’s and Con’s of Teaching Body Art

Pros & Cons of Teaching Body ArtAre you getting requests to teach face painting or another form of body art? Are you wondering where you want to take your face painting career and if teaching is your next step?

It’s a great question to ask yourself and put some thought into. Teaching is rewarding, it also requires a level of selflessness, confidence, and organization.

Face Painting Class in Holland

The pros of teaching face painting are that you will share your passion with other painters and hopefully inspire them to transform their love of art into a business. You will no doubt become a better painter, because you will be forced to practice, refine your designs, and constantly be creative. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to teach a class, watch my students exceed my expectations, and leave energized.
Student at Holland Workshop

Heather Teaching in Holland Face Painting Practice Heads

However, there is a downside to teaching. Many of my workshops are 6+ hours. They require a level of dedication, planning, and energy to motivate your students. You also have to be willing to take criticism of the students that are unhappy or be patient enough to handle the students that require a little more help.

When you become a teacher you also have to factor in that you will potentially inspire someone else to try their hand at teaching. Are you willing to share your designs and teaching abilities with others that will use the information for their own personal gain? Will you be okay if one of your students gets booked for a gig you used to do?

The most important question to ask is: How will teaching benefit me?

Traveling to teach can be exciting. I am grateful I have been able to see half the world because of my teaching engagements. I get to travel to different countries, meet artists, try new foods, and advertise my companies. International teaching opportunities are worthwhile for me because I have product to sell after the class. If your money making opportunities stop at the end of the class, you might want to re-consider if teaching is for you. Every chance I have to teach is a new potential market opening doors for me to sell, increase my distribution, and expand my network, but for every day I am away from my desk I am also losing time and opportunities. So I weigh the pros and cons prior to planning classes.

Group Picture at Holland Workshop

My first class I was asked to teach was in Orlando for a clown convention. They did not have a large budget. They could only offer me $100 for gas, tolls, and my class. At that point I was just starting Silly Farm so I didn’t have travel inventory, a system in place to sell on the spot, or a website to direct students to. I jumped at the chance because I was excited and honored, but after I spent $75 on gas and tolls, $100 for a hotel, 8 hours of driving time, and 6 hours of teaching, I ended on a down note. It was a fun experience and helped me get my feet wet. From a business stand point it was not a good investment because I had no means to extend my money making opportunity.

If the local PTA, theater department, clown alley, or any other group want you to teach, start by making a list of opportunities and possibilities.

Ask yourself these short questions.

  1. What am I trying to accomplish from teaching?
  2. Will I cover all my expenses and have anything left?
  3. What investment in supplies, advertising, or travel will i need to make ?
  4. Am I okay if some of my students become teachers?
  5. Am I comfortable in front of a crowd for long periods of time?
  6. What would I like to see happen after the class?

Silly Farm Supplies - Everything Face and Body ArtIf you have a passion for teaching, consider finding additional means of profiting from your class. Do you have your own products to sell? Are you part of a company’s program that allows you to earn commission from selling their products, such as Silly Farm’s Incentive Program? Do you have a company you can work with to sponsor the class?

The difference between a career and a hobby, is that your career should be making money. If you want to take your business to the next level you have to get in the business frame of mind. Place a value on your time, services, and talents. When you sell your services remember the fee for your services should net you at least 10% more than the other opportunities you are turning down.

I love to see face painters blossom into strong entrepreneurs. Sometimes a little guidance and out of the box thinking is all it takes. I wish you a prosperous and success filled 2013!

Happy painting my friends, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year!!

Sweet Treats

Sweet TreatsIf only each of you reading this blog could have been a fly on the wall the day I bought Silly Farm. If only each of you could see where we started and how far we have come, you would look at Silly Farm in a whole new light. But my road to success wasn’t paved with gold, but rather it’s a road built of Starbucks, birthday candles, ladies nights, caring, sharing, and sweet treats.

Allow me to explain:
Your company is only as good as the team that runs it. Man power is powerful, teamwork is essential, and treating the people that work within your company with respect and appreciation can be your GPS to success.

We have a ritual at Silly Farm. When someone is celebrating a birthday we each pitch in money, sign a great big card, celebrate with cake, balloons, and flowers and a roaring, pitchy version of Happy birthday. We stop what we are doing, put aside the work, and take those 20 minutes to acknowledge and appreciate the relationship we have as fellow ‘farmers’. These rituals create loyalty, love, and devotion within our walls. Silly Farmers know that we are a family, and when a family stays together they can move mountains.

Happy Birthday at Silly Farm

Many of you might be operating as a one man show, and some of you have grown your businesses to new levels. Some of you have several employees working underneath you. Regardless of the level of your business, treating your employees right can be the push that gets you over the hump. Simple gestures like an employee movie night, or surprise Starbucks day, shout to your employees that they are important. At the end of the day people want to feel validated, and sweet treats are sure fire ways to make someone feel special.

Starbucks Day at Silly Farm
Rewarding Silly Farm

I had a great talk with a fellow entrepreneur in the previous month, and she was telling me that she is so grateful for her staff. They were working so hard and treated her business as if it was their own. She was saddened because she could not afford to give them a raise at that moment, because she needed to invest in a new processor. So I told her about our Team Twilight (yes, the movie) parties. Everytime a new Twilight movie premieres I sponsor a dinner date with the girls. We dress up, wear our shirts, and have a blast. So, my friend decided to surprise her staff with a dinner date to the karaoke bar, dinner, and a $25 gas card to each employee. It cost her about $700 in all, but the goodwill and enthusiasm it created could not be quantified.

If you truly want to grow your company, you need to start at the top and work your way down. The same way you want your customers to be happy with your services, you want your employees to feel important. Start at the top, set the standard of paying it forward, praising good work, saying please and thank you, sending handwritten notes, and random sweet treats will build the foundation for a strong business.

Silly Farm Supplies

Thank you for supporting my blog. Individually we are one drop, together we are a bucket of paint! Happy painting! Leave a comment below and tell us how you treat your employees!

P.S. Make sure to check out FABAtv, Silly Farm, and the new FaBAIC convention info. :)

Selling a Smile

Last month I spent almost $200 to see one of my favorites DJ’s perform at a night club on Miami Beach. I fought myself when buying the ticket because I think paying $200 for general admission is ridiculous, but I have been waiting for years to see Tiësto up close and live.

So I saved my tips from my face painting jobs and treated myself. My sister and I got there early, we wiggled our way to the front of the dj booth, and 2 hours later we were waiting patiently for Tiësto to take the stage. I was so excited that I ignored the fact my feet were burning from my ‘too cute to walk in’ heels. Another hour passed and still no sign of Tiësto. It was now 2 am. I was irritated, tired, and questioning why I wasted $200 to see someone that might not even show up.

TiëstoAt that moment, Tiësto and a cannon of confetti lit up the club. I couldn’t believe I was 2 feet away from the world famous DJ Tiësto. With one glance at is face, I was no longer upset. All my feelings were swept away in a glow stick trance and all I could focus on was the biggest smile on his face. Tiësto spun for 5 hours after that. By 7 am I was almost in a coma from being so tired and deaf. I took a picture of Tiësto right before he left the stage and he had the same kool aid smile 5 hours later. I began thinking to myself, “He really loves what he does, it’s written all over his face”.

Heather in HollandI’m writing this blog from 30,000 feet in the air. I’m heading home after teaching three awesome classes in Holland. I asked the organizer of the classes why he wanted me to teach and not the other great talents of our industry, and he said because the people of Holland call me smiley. They enjoy the fact that I smile from start to finish while I teach and always welcome them with a smile. I never really thought about it, but a smile can be a game changer.

A smile speaks a thousand words in any language. A simple smile can invite someone to conversation, cut the tension, welcome communication, and make someone feel important.

One of my favorite business role models, Jeffrey Gittomer, once advised to put a mirror in front of your office phones and look at yourself when you are talking to customers. Try to smile the whole way through the conversation and see how different the conversation will be. Our faces wear our emotions, so when you are frowning, in a bad mood, or can’t muster a grin, the customer can feel it. So, that mirror still sits on my desk. I practice a smile every day. As silly as it sounds, I contribute much of my success to my smile. (Time to get Veneers, lol)

Wearing and using a smile is a small move in the right business direction. Think about times where a good smile has won you over, and how it changed your mood at that moment. Think about Julia Roberts in pretty woman or George Clooney and his seductive grin. Think of President Obama and how he smiles when he looks at his wife and children…. Those moments are contagious and memorable. I know it may sound cliche, but start with the man in the mirror. When you are on your way to a gig, getting ready to knock on the door of a party, or meeting the crazy birthday mom, check your smile first. There is always a reason to smile, let success be the biggest motivator!

Happy painting friends!

How To Get More Business

Creativity Takes CourageThere comes a time in every entrepreneurs journey where the road splits and we have to shift gears from operating as a hobby to full throttle sales. Many of us start off small, clients here and there, passing out the occasional card, and answering calls at our leisure. Problem with that is, at the same time, we have invested in hundreds and even thousands of dollars in supplies that aren’t generating income. So the real question is, “How do I get the business I want and need?”.

*Disclaimer: The thoughts, advice and information provided in this post are solely the opinions of the author and should be followed up with due diligence prior to holding them as truth.

  1. Determine the level of business you are looking to pursue.
  2. If you want to do the occasional birthday or town event, or if you only want to work one weekend a month, I don’t suggest that you flood the town with business cards. If you are looking to work every weekend and possibly a restaurant or two during the week, then your strategy will differ. Some of us have BIG plans for our face painting businesses. We want to bring in the bucks, book tons of good paying gigs, and paint till our hands hurts. But it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. Typically a face painters busiest days of the week are Saturday and Sunday, which are also the days we like to spend with family, catch up on house chores, or attend our own personal events. Are you ready to commit your weekends to work? If you are, I will tell you how to get more business, but if you don’t want the responsibility of booking, invoicing, inventory, and working on the weekends, then you will want to consider working through an agent that will book you based on availability.

  3. There are no shortcuts to being successful in business.
  4. Investing is one of the most crucial aspects of business success and growth. When I refer to investing, I’m not just talking about in product. I am talking about investing your time in marketing (meeting people), volunteering, doing research and learning.

  5. Marketing yourself in most cases is free.
  6. Marketing involves putting your people skills to work. Get out there and network. Talk to your neighbors, teachers, friends, and get involved in your community events. Visit a local family restaurant and offer a family night to drum up business. That alone gives you the opportunity to network with other families in your area. Invest time in people and those people will turn into customers.

  7. Planning can mean the difference between success and failure.
  8. What am I talking about you say? Suppose it’s a busy weekend and you have three parties booked back to back. Rather than waiting until the day of to punch in the addresses in your GPS and drive frantically from event to event, map out your day on Thursday. Call the party mom’s or event managers to confirm locations and ask for any special instructions. Planning early will eliminate the surprise factor that can cause you to run late, mess up an address, or forget about a road closure that may take you 20 miles out of the way.

  9. Research is another core component of being successful.

Creativity is a way of LifeI spend no less than 20-24 hours a week researching trends, color schemes, browsing the web for ideas, new products, reading blogs, answering questions, watching you tube, teaching myself new skills and finding inspiration. If you are a newbie you will want to spend your time browsing the net looking for pricing ideas for your region, local events to market, research what services others are offering and at what prices, and how you can possibly collaborate with local agencies. Being prepared is important because when push comes to shove knowing your worth will mean the difference between ending the day in the red or the black.

Every year I face paint at the largest Hispanic festival in south Florida. Over 100,000 people attend this festival and being prepared pays off. I am hired to face paint the public at no charge. For me it’s a great event because I get paid whether I paint 10 people or 100 people. The difference is that we are allowed to accept tips. So it’s in our best interest to move the line. After several years of doing this event, I have my system down packed. I have a limited display and work from a board. I can paint almost 20 people per hour based on the board designs. I print off the flags of the various Hispanic countries, laminate the sheets and offer them as designs. This formula works to my advantage because I can move quick and my customers are happy.

open your mindLast year a local new painter decided to set up shop at the festival. Her first mistake was that she failed to do her research. One, you have to have a permit and insurance to set up a concession at a city festival. Two, she did not bring a table to set up her supplies, so she asked me to share mine. My client that hired me did not want her painting next to me because she didn’t know if she was using proper materials or had proper paperwork, so she made her move. Later that afternoon I saw the poor girl using an empty box as her table. Third, she didn’t come prepared. She did not have pictures for the people to choose from, she had to “look up” the flags on her iPhone, and she didn’t have extra water to use to change out her cup.

After the festival I walked over to her to talk to her and introduce myself. I handed her my card and told her to give me a call and that I’d help her. At first she seemed put off. Perhaps she was slightly embarrassed or didn’t know what my intentions were, but that call is the reason she is now running a successful face painting business.

If she had taken the time to visit the festival and do her research to find out if there were painters at the festival, what designs they were offering, what they were charging, if she was legally able to just show up and paint, what products they were using, etc.., she would not have faced the embarrassing challenges she brought upon herself.

Lastly, I want to stress the importance of learning. I have taken well over 300 classes on just face painting. I try to use any free time I have to watch a FABAtv lesson. Learning helps you be prepared, helps you service your customers better, and helps you gain an advantages over the other painters that only paint three designs or cheek art. For example, one of my favorite customers called and asked me if I could paint her daughters synchronized swimmers team and she was looking for water proof make up. Luckily for me I had just watched a class by Nix Herrera about airbrush make up application and that gave me the knowledge on what to offer her.

Another time when I was hired to paint at a boy scout convention. I stayed up till 3:00 AM watching classes by Mark Reid, Lynne Jamieson, Sammie Bartko, and Wiser just to brush myself up on the designs boys love. Learning is what engages us to try new things, explore beyond our comfort zone of butterflies and princesses, and can open up doors of possibilities. If you are struggling with speed, invest some time in learning techniques to help you speed up your designs without compromising quality. If you are uncertain about how to file your taxes or incorporate as a business in your state, invest time in reading and learning about it on the SBA website or business blogs. Don’t underestimate the importance of investing in yourself. You are selling yourself and your services. It makes perfect sense to be prepared with the right tools, the right knowledge, and the insight about how to do the best job possible.

Having those tools will certainly take you 10 steps in the right direction to create more sales, gather more clients and grow your business.

I write these articles to share my knowledge and help other artists grow. Please feel free to share you business advice with me and our community of painters. If you wish to write for the Faba Blog, contact us.

Happy Painting!

Creativity never goes out of style

DIY Website Building

Website Savvy

This article is a submission from Artist Alley. Click here to view it on Artist Alley.

With the ease and availability of search engines, the World Wide Web has become a cornerstone directory of information. And you – as an upstanding professional artist – should be on it! People want to know about you before they promise you money: They want to read about you, find great reviews, and scope you out a little bit before allowing you into their homes.

Now, I am not the most tech savvy person. My initial foray into website building was long, laborious, and fraught with disappointments. Hiring a reliable web developer on a budget seemed impossible, so I joined the ranks of DIY’ers (Do-It-Yourself’ers). Here are some of my favorite website building resources and tools – designed specifically for the tech-illiterate!

  • Wix – A drag-n-drop style editor for beautiful Flash or HTML5 websites.
  • Carbonmade – Focuses on creating sleek, stylish, online portfolios.
  • WordPress – A very SEO (search engine optimized) option, based on a core “theme”, customized by the addition or deletion of “plug-ins”.
  • Godaddy – Offers free design templates, pre-made websites, and a website builder with a slew of additional tools.
  • Blogs, such as Tumblr or Blogspot, also allow you to add pages and connect to a domain name of your choice, giving the benefits of a website with minimal effort.

Most of these allow you to build your website for free, only charging you if you choose to upgrade to a higher package. Freebies are great for the nonexistent budget of a budding entrepreneur…however, I have found that upgrading to a paying package has been well worth the professional appeal it offers.

Remember that a website reflects you and your business; You might be a fun, lighthearted person, but an unkempt or unprofessional looking website can derail your efforts to be take seriously. Here’s some things your website should include:

  • Functional, easy to navigate pages
  • A professional aesthetic
  • An “About Me” section
  • A list and explanation of services
  • Photographs of your work
  • Contact information

From there you can always expand. Adding additional pages, comment widgets, interactive Google maps, or payment integration, is much easier than you’d think! Look at the design and layout of other successful websites for some inspiration. FABAICWolfeFXKryolan, and Mehron all fit the bill.

Happy Painting!
-Caitlin St. Angelo

All logos are intellectual rights and trademark of their respective owners.

Scared of the Truth

Better not Bitter We all have that friend or partner that asks the dead end question, “Does this dress make me look fat?”, and 99.9 % of us give the answer they want to hear because deep down we know no one wants to hear the truth. The truth might be that, yes, the dress is not flattering. The dress could be the wrong color, wrong length, too tight or just plain ugly, but if you told your friend that you would probably lose a friend and receive a bill in the mail for their therapy sessions.
Scared of the Truth - Suggestion BoxThis happens in business too. We avoid the potential of hearing the truth because we are scared to hear the negative. When I worked at Chuck-e-Cheese I was responsible for collecting comment cards about my service as a hostess during parties. I was only 15 and super sensitive to all feedback. I dreaded reading the comment cards, and even though I aimed to please and I always felt I did my best, I took every comment personally. Sometimes I would cringe as I read the cards. I was so scared to hear that someone didn’t like me after I gave my all. The great majority of the comments loved my service and I could never understand why I was so uptight about it, but it took me years to get past the fear and to use it to my advantage.

During one summer I interned at a booking agency. We were required to call clients from the weekend and ask for feedback and to rate our service. Most of the calls were not related to my event, but sometimes they were. I would swallow hard, take a deep breathe and call. I would never let the person know I was their painter, because I wanted their honest opinion. I would fill out the survey and then I would make my personal notes.

Outside Your Comfort ZoneHearing the good, bad, and ugly helped me grow as a business person. It helped me improve my services, and think out side my box. One birthday mother said she loved me because I was early and professional, but was disappointed because I couldn’t stay an extra hour. She felt I booked my parties back to back and I didn’t leave her an option of keeping me longer. After that conversation I made it a point to keep 2 hours between events so that I had flexible room to add an extra 30 minutes at the end of a party.
Another time, I spoke with a birthday mom and she said she loved my face painting but she really wanted balloons as well. I didn’t have a budget to hire both myself and a balloon artist separate, since she only had 12 girls. After that day I took a few balloon classes so that I could offer face painting and balloons to smaller parties.

Customers are looking for businesses that will increase their pleasure or decrease their pain. Work on your plan on how to incorporate those principles into your business practices. Don’t be scared of hearing something that might make you upset, instead formulate questions that will fill you with feedback that helps you grow.

If you ask the question “How did you feel about the quality of the face painting provided?”, that is the same question as asking, “Do I look fat?”. Instead try asking, “How would you rate the face painter on a scale of 1-10?”. Asking rating questions forces the person to think beyond just good and bad and assign a numerical value to their service. A great follow up question to the rating question (if the answer was not a 10) would be, “What can we do to reach a 10?” Not only does a question like this validate the customers concerns and opinion, but it might be your opportunity to gather information that can help you improve your services.

The truth doesn’t always have to hurt, it can be your best business builder.

Happy painting friends.

Look the Look & Talk the Talk

Heather Green Working

Last year I made a major breakthrough in my career.
For the past seven years I have worked 7 days a week, sometimes clocking in 95 hour work weeks. It was brutal but a necessary evil in trying to create my dream career. Last year I made the best business decision to date, I hired an assistant! What was I doing before I found Andrew? How did I get everything done and still walk a straight line? Hiring Andrew was the first time I felt like a true legitimate CEO. Even though I have been blessed with a growing business and now employ 22 hard working women (and 3 men), it wasn’t until Andrew took his position that I felt like I made it. When I introduce Andrew I feel accomplished because the term assistant makes me sound professional. Bill Gates has an assistant, and Oprah Winfrey has an assistant, I like putting myself in their category. Truth is that an assistant didn’t change a thing about me or my status, besides lightening my workload, but it gave me the confidence to walk the walk and talk the talk. I’m still the same old Heather, with an organized (messy) desk, old Cheerios under my keyboard (from my 2 year old), and piles of unopened mail.

Professional Business Woman

If you want to be a professional you need to put yourself in the mind frame of a professional. The first person to believe the hype needs to be YOU! Believe it, think it, make it happen. One way to do that is to invent your own manager/ assistant/ agent. Typically birthday mom’s don’t want to go through an agent to hire a face painter for their birthday, but they will be impressed if Jennie your assistant answers the phone and checks your schedule. You are Jennie, you are not you, when booking an event.

  1. Jennie can say no to a free job or a discount.
  2. Jennie knows how to spell out the services you will be providing during your booking.
  3. Jennie creates the illusion that you are so busy and big, that you need an assistant or agent.

Agents and large booking companies like dealing with other professionals. They sometimes see us artists as flaky and dramatic. They feel a level of comfort when they are working with someone that appears organized and thorough.

One time I got myself in a pickle while I was booking a birthday party. After I went over my spiel about how many kids I can paint etc… The mother asked me if I could do better on the price. I told her that I could not offer a discount on my rate but if she needed someone in her price range I could recommend someone else. The mother was so upset and proceeded to fight with me about lowering my price and how I needed to give her a break because she was a single mother. She kept asking me why I couldn’t lower my prices. If Jennie had answered my phone then there would have been no fighting or debating. Point blank, if you want to book Heather, her rates are $150 for the first hour and $100 each additional.

Email Connection

Another way to walk the walk is to answer your phones and emails. I make it a habit to answer all emails and calls within 24 hours. In most cases the early bird gets the worm, and failing to answer emails can cost you big. On average I receive 100-450 emails daily! Not including my YouTube, Faceboo, and other social media. So I start the morning prioritizing emails. I created blanket answers that I can use to respond to catalog request and shipping quotes, and then I work my way through. Waiting on someone to answer your email is like waiting to get asked to the prom by your crush. Business is business and grabbing the business by the horns will usually seal the deal.

No matter your business goals, conducting business as a professional will pave the road to future possibilities. Spend 15 minutes each day setting goals, verbalizing your vision, and speaking affirmations into existence. Everyday that you invest in walking the professional road, you will be one step closer to making things happen.

Don’t forget to share your stories and ideas with us, I’m a firm believer that we stand to learn the most from each other.

Happy painting my friends!

Born with Teeth

Born with Teeth - BIZ
How many people do you know are born with teeth?

Being born with teeth is creepy and extremely rare, almost as rare as the entrepreneurs that make it big overnight. If you find yourself frustrated that your business has hit a lull or that your business isn’t growing at the speed of success, then it’s time to start counting your teeth.

When our teeth first start to grow in, it’s painful and it seems like they take forever to cut the gums. Once they are through, then you can eat and drool and enjoy the pleasures your teeth provide. Then you start losing some teeth and it’s fun because you get money for the teeth and then you also make way for bigger and better teeth. Then out of the clear blue, you visit a dentist and end up having a cavity and your teeth and wallet take a hit. Then you are back to enjoying the delicacies of life.

Business is just like that. You have to suffer a little, grow a little, loose a little, and it’s not always good, but it can be really great. When your business is bursting through the gums of your mouth (sorry for the pun) use a little whiskey to numb the pain and keep on going. Anything great is worth working hard for.

Businesses grow in stages, having realistic goals will set the stage for success. Rather than expecting the gigs to roll in and the money to rain from trees, take the time to research and do your homework about potential earnings, growth possibilities, man power, and capabilities.

For example:
If you can only do 3-6 parties a weekend because there are only so many hours in a day, and you charge $80 an hour what is the most you can net on a weekend? If you raise your rates to $100 an hour, can you work less hours and make the same thing? What happens if you get sick and have to cancel jobs, do you have a back up? Who answers your phones on the weekend? These are valid questions you will need to answer in order to estimate the direction and growth your company can accomplish.

I encourage each of you to nurture your businesses, don’t just dump them at the first sign of obstacles. Perseverance will pay the bills, not unrealistic hopes of overnight success. Make a plan, write out your goals and set target sales numbers. Take the time to measure your success, because knowing where you started and where you are going will navigate you on your road to entrepreneurial success.

Happy painting!

New Year, New You? | The Power of Presentation

January is typically the slowest month for face painters besides the incredibly hot summer months. This is the best time to re-invent yourself and re-vamp your overall presentation.
When you buy a new dress or shirt, you feel brand new when you step out in it. The same principals apply to your business.
My favorite face painting table recently bit the dust after 12 years. I have searched long and hard for a table just like it but the manufacturer no longer makes them. The perfect table can make or break your face painting set up.

As I was browsing the local camping store I found an awesome replacement table from Bass Pro. It is light weight, compact, sturdy, and affordable.

Bass Pro Medium Folding Camp Table

My old table cover didn’t fit my new table so I decided to revamp my set up and invest in a new table cloth to complete my overall new look. So I went to Joanne fabrics and bought 2 yards of sparkly fabric and a piece of black vinyl and had a friend sew me a new table cloth. The total investment with the table, fabric and friends sewing fee was $98.

As I broke open my new table on January 1, I felt like a new me! As silly as it sounds, adding something new can re-energize you and give you a fresh start. Investing in your business should be a top priority, the more you put in the more you get out. Laws to live by.

The folding table can be purchased at Bass Pro Shop, via:

The folding face painters chair can be purchased at Silly Farm, via: