Women Making it Work #4

Welcome to part four of our Women Making it Work series. Following in our ethos of empowering women, we want to help support you beyond a great fitting bra. With the rise of the female entrepreneur, what better way than showcasing their companies and offering inspiration to other budding business hopefuls.


This month we meet Berkhamsted-based make up artist and beauty expert Zoe Kennedy.

Award-winning Zoe has over six years experience in the beauty industry and has worked behind the scenes for TV shows, films, theatre productions and at London Fashion Week.

Before taking the leap into freelance in 2017, Zoe was a make up and brow artist in a hair salon while also collaborating with high fashion brand Face-Lace.

Since then, she has built up a substantial clientele for herself; over a thousand customers have sat in the chair in her very own salon.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s no secret that the beauty industry has been incredibly hard hit. Zoe gives us her top tips for keeping your business going through the toughest of times.

What made you want to go into the beauty industry?

I knew I wanted to have a career in make up from a really early age as I was always very creative and I loved drawing portraits and eyes. I suffered from awful skin when I was a teenager and found make up was the one thing that would make me feel confident in myself. I wanted to get into make up and brows because I fell in love with the feeling that make up gave me and how it meant I could have an outlet for my creativity while making women look and feel fantastic.

What traits do you need to succeed in your field?

You need to be willing to put in the work, you must learn to be a one-woman band and know how to utilise social media to promote your work. Talent is one thing but you need to have the work ethic to go alongside this, as it is not plain sailing. Sometimes you have to do things for free to end up getting paid jobs, this is even more true for the fashion, film and TV industry as it is all about who you know.

What are your proudest business achievements so far?

Opening up my own salon aged 25 and having an amazing team working alongside me with make up artists trained up by myself and seeing their talents grow.

How did you set up your own salon?

I set up my own salon after two years of freelance working from a space in my parents’ home and doing weddings. I missed working with a team like I did in the hair salon I worked at so decided I wanted my own salon and to rent chairs to other talented self-employed people in the industry. It took me a long time to find the right space but I am over the moon with my space I have found as there is unlimited free parking and it overlooks a beautiful pond.

How have you kept your business going through the Covid-19 pandemic?

I made sure to make my salon Covid secure ready to reopen and whilst I was unable to work I kept active and positive on social media making sure to give my clients lots of content to watch in quarantine. I did zoom masterclasses which were extremely popular and started in depth YouTube tutorials.
I feel like, despite having to close for half of the year, when I have been able to work I’ve been busier than ever and I think part of this was due to me being more present on social media and letting my followers get to know me more. I was always too insecure to speak on camera or film myself make up free but over the lockdown I became more and more comfortable in doing these things.
I was also very lucky to get government support which helped me pay my rent and have some form of income whilst I couldn’t work. I focussed more on getting brow bookings than make up as with limited events going on I knew make up would take a hit.


To succeed in the beauty industry, you need to be willing to put in the work, you must learn to be a one-woman band and know how to utilise social media to promote your work. Talent is one thing but you need to have the work ethic to go along side this, as it is not plain sailing.

What advice would you give others who are looking to set up their own business?

Firstly, make sure you are willing to put in the work, it’s not a 9-5. You sometimes have to spend your evenings marketing your services and responding to emails and you may have to make sacrifices early on in your career to help build your client base, like working late and working weekends or bank holidays.
I would tell them to make sure to create amazing relationships with clients and ask them to help you grow your business, don’t be scared to ask them to tag you in selfies or to tell their friends about you.
Invest in upskilling and training, make sure you don’t get stuck in the past with your techniques and continue to refresh your knowledge on your craft.
My most important tip would be to act busy as this will attract more clients, after all why would you want to go to someone who is never booked up over someone who has waiting lists. Soon this will become a reality and you will be turning clients away.

Do you feel empowered as a female entrepreneur and why?

I do feel empowered as a female entrepreneur because I am in control of my own success and goals. I love owning my own business because everything I have done is off my own back.


Invest in upskilling and training, make sure you don’t get stuck in the past with your techniques and continue to refresh your knowledge on your craft.

Emily Jefferies

Figleaves Content Writer Emily Jefferies has written for multiple national titles and is here to keep you up-to-date on trends, offer style advice and review the latest launches.