We had the good fortune of connecting with Erin Brown and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Erin, what’s the most important thing you’ve done for your children?
I would say the most important thing I’ve done as a parent in terms of the impact on my child is being consistent. Consistent with how I show up for her, love her, follow through on promises, and how I show up in my work. She will remember that and how safe and secure it made her feel. Consistency brings stability and flow to everything in life and children, more than anyone, need that. I think because I’ve always been able to do that, even in the hardest times, for her- it has allowed me to better show up for myself, too. And, that’s what is so impactful. When she gets consistency from me, she’s taught to show up for herself, others, school, extracurricular activities, etc. That gives her a good foundation for life. Knowing who you want to be, how you go about being that person, and seeing things all the way to the finish line. I am watering her- watching confidence and drive bloom.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I love what I do! I am a professional hair and makeup artist that does everything from production work to weddings and all of the in between. I got to where I am today by putting my nose to the ground and doing the work. My motivation and purpose behind that was being a single mom in my very early twenties with nothing to my name. It was grueling. I wanted to give up so many times, but I needed and wanted better for us. I went to Cosmetology school at Paul Mitchell Dallas to learn about hair and am a self-taught makeup artist. Going to school was a very hard time for me mentally and emotionally, I will say therapy and determination helped tremendously during that rough time. I was terrified I wouldn’t be successful as I knew I never wanted to be in a full service salon. My dream was to be a full time freelance artist and my fear of failing gave me that “fake it til you make it” confidence. I was introduced to some of the best in the biz who photographed and did wardrobe for Neiman Marcus in Dallas. I pretended like I had been doing hair and makeup forever and they welcomed me in on set. It was wild to me. I was always eager, humble, kind, willing, and open to learning. I think being easy to work with is just as important as talent. My personality and work ethic has given me opportunities that I might have not been given based on talent in my early days. I have always made note of that when getting better and busier in my work. Focus on the work and be kind. I think anyone who works in the service industry has dealt with being treated as less than, so my biggest lesson to learn was showing up authentically and knowing my worth. You are the professional. You know what you are doing. Do not allow people to take advantage of or devalue you!
My entire approach to what I do is all about accentuating people’s natural beauty- the features and skin they are in. Being self taught, my approach to makeup and hair is very different than most. I like things more unconventional or not what people would typically expect. I don’t follow trends or try to be anyone else. My hair and makeup does not look like a lot of other artists’ work. I do not ever want to transform anyone into someone else. I want them to feel good in their own skin and love their own features. That’s so important to me. The power of makeup and hair is so incredible and I want people that sit in my chair to fall in love with themself. Making others feel seen, cared for, and beautiful at the end of their service is what makes me excited to go to work every day. I give all of myself to my clients. They are worth it and being there to make them feel good is such a special experience and moment and I always feel grateful for the opportunity. My love for people and passion for what I do is what got me to where I am today. The person in my chair is never just a job- they have a story, they’re unique, and they are all that matter in the world until they leave that chair!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Austin, Tx, so there is a lot to do! It’s warming up right now, so if my best friend was visiting we would be in water. Listen, I am originally from the New Mexico desert, but the heat here is something else. If I am outside, we are in a body of water.
We would go eat at all my favorite spots, first and foremost. I love to eat. I live near Cosmic Coffee and Beer Garden. We would order the lavender matcha latte and order tacos from Pueblo Viejo. We might hike Hill of Life on the greenbelt and swim in the crystal clear water before making the hike back up that will inevitably have me out of breath. It’s a good one. For dinner we are doing Sway. Sway has a dish called Jungle Curry with brisket and a dollop of coconut cream to help cool down your mouth from the spice. It’s orgasmic. Thai food forever. For cocktails we are doing Austin Proper for ice cold dirty martinis and then hitting the dive bars on the east and south side of town. You can bring your dog everywhere in this city, so my mini dachshund, Cujo, would be tagging along to most of the outings. A great brunch spot is The Little Darlin- great outdoor space to hang, yummy food, and fun people. I feel like I run into a lot of my friends there! We would probably take my 1990 Ford Bronco I am restoring to McKinney Falls, a state park here, and do some continued hiking and swimming. There is SO much to do outdoors in ATX. Then, we would find a local show to go to. This is the music capitol of the world after all! There are so many incredible tattoo artists here, I might convince my girlfriend to get a matching tattoo with me by Kevin at Royal Legion Tattoo. He’s done most of my right arm and his style is so cool and distinct. There is something for everyone in this city. We would not have a dull moment.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give my shoutout to my daughter, Ryen and my big brother, Anthony. I was a single mom of a toddler and going to school full time in Dallas, Tx when I started out in my career. My daughter really motivated me to do well and push myself. She is my purpose. I left an incredibly abusive relationship with my daughter’s biological father with nothing to my name at 21-years-old. She was my center, my sun, and my reason to find my passion and go after it. My brother lived 45 minutes away, one way. I would make that trip to and from every weekend, so that I could go to school. He would sacrifice his weekends to watch her, so that I could be successful in school. Without that kind of love and support I do not know if I would have been able to do it. It truly takes a village and I feel so blessed to have the people in my life that helped me every step of the way. I’m not sure that my daughter even realizes the power and impact she has. And, I have no idea if my brother, Anthony, will ever know how much his love and support has forever changed my life.
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