Corbin Johnson Data News Weekly Contributor
Being in the beauty business can be very challenging.
It’s competitive, requires a lot of marketing, and the pressure to keep a steady stream of clients. In New Orleans it also means taking advantage of the many festivals and events to make a living. This did not deter Mikita Edwards, a local makeup artist, to start her own makeup business called “Makeup By Mikita.”
With over a thousand followers on Instagram she offers the works: a basic beat makeup, cosplay makeup right in time for Halloween, and look-alike make-up from your favorite celebrities. She’s been into makeup ever since she was a little girl because of her parents having creative backgrounds and Edwards hopes to inspire more Black business owners to come out and start their own companies as well.
“Makeup has always been my calling,” Edwards said. “My father was a painter, and my mother was a hairdresser, and they both taught me the ins and outs of the creative arts industry,” she said.
The idea of being a makeup artist was instilled into Edwards and she has been practicing and perfecting her craft since she was in high school. Her first job was doing makeup for models at a fashion show, and it was her first big step into the makeup world. She had no work experience at all, but she knew she could do it by all the practice that she had before.
“That was a very nerve-wrecking experience for me,” Edwards said. “I had an hour and a half and was extremely nervous. Luckily, the owner of the clothing brand gave me a pep talk and I was set, and all of the models were raving about the looks I did,” Edwards said.
She started her own makeup business because she always felt like her own boss. So, after working for a company, she was not a big fan of because of complaints due to her schedule, Edwards created her own limited liability company in 2019.
“This is a field I knew was meant for me because of how beneficial it was,” Edwards said. “Starting my own business has helped me to grow into a better businesswoman and a better artist,” she said. Even when the COVID-19 Pandemic happened, Edwards still managed to overcome it due to having other part-time jobs, which allowed her to stay afloat financially. She has since quit her other job and her business was able to start back up again.
“My business is thriving, clientele is booming, and my name is getting out there,” Edwards said. “People now recognize me, and it has been amazing thus far to see people appreciate my work,” she said.
Her family has been the backbone of her business. They have supported her from the start and helped spread her name around on social media and have introduced her to new clients from her parents’ childhood. She has booked over a thousand clients and has even done looks for big names such as Big Freedia.
“My daughter is truly a force to be reckoned with,” said Wandella Dolliole, Mikita Edward’s mother. “I helped her with business cards and helped set up her email accounts, and set up her in my house,” Dolliole said. “I really went above and beyond with helping my child, and I just know she’s going to be a big name in the industry,” she said.
Edwards said getting started in the industry was a bit hard at first because of the previous companies she had to work for. She hopes that people are enthusiastic about being in this field and make sure they look for the best product. She loves making bold and dramatic looks that help bring out people’s outer beauty. Her favorite was a sea-witch look she did for Halloween where she created her own crown from scratch, and painted her face half-green, half-white.
“I’m really proud of her, and the things she’s done thus far,” said Maci Abrams, Mikita Edward’s niece. “She doesn’t realize the impact that she’s going to have as years go by,” Abrams said. “I can’t wait for everyone to see my aunt’s name and just how talented she truly is,” she said.
Edwards hopes to create her own makeup line in the future and wants to go into skincare in the next couple of years or so. “That will be the next step in my business, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me and what ventures will come my way,” Edwards said.