As some of you have noticed, each month I have been featuring a different Beauty Industry Professional from across the nation and beyond. Everyone knows that May is National Princess Mermaid month here in the states, which means Makeup Artist Rachel Lorraine is the obvious spotlight to showcase for you. And although I just completely lied to you about the U.S. having a National Princess Mermaid month, I hope you still enjoy this hilariously entertaining autobiography of sorts, written by my girl, Rachel Lorraine. Have fun with this one! :-)
Well hello there, while you might know me as Rachel Lorraine, Owner of Makeup by Rachel Lorraine, my actual name is Rachel Lorraine Gollihue. I’m sure you are sitting there perplexed, trying to pronounce that last name, which is exactly why I dropped it when going through my branding process a few years ago. When branding my business it was critical to me to use something feminine, strong and most importantly easy to pronounce and remember! So, here I am, Makeup by Rachel Lorraine. However, for those who know me personally, I am just known as Rae-Rae or Achmed (you read that right).
But WHO am I you ask?
I am a daughter, sister, aunt, friend, artist, but most of all I am a dreamer!
As far back as I can remember, I have always been the girliest of girly girls. It’s just in my DNA . My mom will tell you a story of when I was not quite walking yet, if she needed to get yard work done she would sit me on a blanket in the middle of the yard, because god forbid that grass touch my toes. There I would stay, on that blanket, avoiding that grass. Let me tell you, I still do not like the feel of grass on my feet! Maybe it’s the texture, maybe it’s the germs, or maybe it’s just because I am special. I can remember endless battles with my parents about when and how much makeup I was allowed to wear. To this day I still get grief from them, “you are too pretty to wear so much makeup!" But we know makeup is not just about feeling pretty right? It’s about feeling like a BOSS. Where my girls at? I also remember many times (too many maybe?) putting makeup on my younger brothers. Specifically, Jeremy who is not quite 2 years younger than me, I didn’t even have to hold him down! He allowed it, he enjoyed it, maybe just a little too much; I have the pictures to prove it!
Somewhere over the years, I transitioned from making over my brother to making over brides on one of the most important days of their lives. Who knew what started out as siblings having some harmless (hilarious) fun would be the start of a beautiful, lucrative career? I certainly did not!
To say I always knew I would be a makeup artist would not be true. I actually had a bit of a confusing start. While in high school I opted to go to our vocational center where I chose to specialize in Cosmetology. In retrospect, I think the only reason I made this decision at that time was because I was so overwhelmed by the thought of going off to college, so many career options, and had horrible career counselors, who were more concerned about my wardrobe or the latest rumors than helping me with my career path. At that time, I knew and was interested in all things beauty and it seemed like an obvious choice. So off to cos school I went. I did well, really well actually. Graduated in the top of my class (4.0 GPA), was VP of student counsel, was nominated for Homecoming and Prom court and was voted Biggest Flirt and Best Dancer of my senior class. I say this to you not really to brag (ok maybe a little) but to prove my next point.
I am a dreamer. I am also an all or nothing kind of person, which means when I have decided I want to do something, I give it 150%. I consider this both a quality and a fault. Quality, for the obvious reasons, because I tend to excel in anything I put my mind to, because failing is just not an option. However, fault, also for that exact same reason, because most often failure is how we grow and going 150% all of the time is exhausting. At 31 years old, I am still learning that failing is sometimes, the most important part of the process.
Right out of Cos school I took a job at salon in a mall. This salon was a retail store disguised as a salon. I don’t want to speak badly, but, I hated it. The environment was just not for me and really put a bad taste in my mouth for the industry. So with that, I left the field and started my journey through the professional, corporate world. Soon, I found a job as a receptionist for a small, family owned company close to home, where I tapped into my love for the young professional life. Within 5 years I found myself employed by a Fortune 500 company specializing in retirement services, I had nearly tripled my salary and was being recognized and rewarded for my accomplishments in a company with over 3,000 employees. At some point earlier in my life, I had defined what success meant, and THIS was it. In my mind I had made it!
However, while I loved and thrived off of my success in the corporate world, there was always something missing. My love for beauty and makeup was always present. During my time at said Fortune 500 Company I worked in a building with over 600 people. I was often asked about my hair & makeup, which escalated into people asking for advice and offering to pay me to help them with theirs. I would do makeup from time to time for family friends, or girls at work, but I never considered myself a makeup artist.
I wish I could remember the turning point or what exact moment I decided, but there was a day when I just decided, I was going to be a makeup artist. It seemed to just make sense. Most of my friends were salon owners, and people were offering to pay me for a service I wasn’t even offering. If that doesn’t scream fate, I don’t know what does! When people offer to pay you to do something you are passionate about and enjoy, that is your DREAM job! Then came the day when I declared that I WAS a makeup artist!
So it began.
Here I am 3 years into my makeup business, booking 50-60 weddings a year in the Northeast Ohio area. Within my short 3 years officially as a “bridal MUA” I have been recognized by Thumbtack, Weddingwire.com and Theknot.com as one of the Top Makeup Artists in my area. My work has also been published in several Ohio Bridal magazine. Wow, has it been an emotional and humbling few years.
I never sat back and said “I want to do bridal makeup." Yet, somehow it just happened. Women wanted me…and they trusted me and my talents for one of the biggest/most important events of their lives. Arguably the most photographed event of their life! I will say this, when the reviews started pouring in, there was an overwhelming and humbling trend. The girls just loved me, and the experience I provided. In addition to the glam, I truly love what I do, the girl time, making women feel beautiful, the giggling, the hustle & bustle, all of it. My love for this industry and what I do shines through on every single face I touch, and the reviews my clients leave for me. I provide an EXPERIENCE. One of my brides last year said it best “it’s like having your best friend do your makeup on your wedding day!” Yes, girl YES! (Pats self on back).
You should also know that in addition to being smart and artistic, I also have great hair, and I’m a PRINCESS mermaid. I know, I know it’s not fair. But you know what, I also have a butt the size of my ego, because…. BALANCE.
Say it with me… RACHEL IS A PRINCESS MERMAID!
This is especially hilarious, because I am a princess mermaid that is terrified of water. I didn’t even learn how to swim until just a few years ago, and it was really just a matter of swim or die. So, I swam. I still to this day cannot dive head first into water. I suppose that should be on my bucket lists since mermaids can’t really jump?
I always was suspect that I was some sort of princess in another life. I spent most of my teenage years arguing with my parents because they made me live a normal kid life and do things like go to school, brush my own hair and eat off plates that were not gold plated. The tragedy! Ok, all kidding aside, I knew I was really a mermaid when I went on a snuba excursion in St. Kitts a few years ago, and simply just fell in love with the ocean. Fear of ocean, GONE. Mermaid status, REAL.
When I am not working 80 hours a week, I LOVE to travel. With 5 cruises under my belt, I always look forward to our annual family cruise through the Caribbean. If you have not cruised and are negatively knocking the experience, shame on you. I used to be afraid to put my feet in the water and now I’m all princess mermaid status, so what’s your excuse?! It’s like partying, in NYC, on a boat, through the Caribbean and everyone is happy, drunk, sunburnt and dancing to music we don’t even understand the words to! WHAT gets better than that? Absolutely. Nothing.
I love to dance, on anything… I mean to anything. I come by it naturally. While a kid, both my mom and dad would equally find satisfaction in humiliating my siblings and me with their questionable dance skills. Always in public of course. What embarrassed me then, now are seriously some of my most cherished memories! I hope my Dad is dancing his bum off to some Boot Scootin Boogie in Heaven!
So here I am Rachel Lorraine, fiercely loyal, loving, driven, sarcastic, stubborn and dramatic.
Do you have questions about how you too can become a Princess Mermaid? Ask Rachel below! :-P