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Meet Rachel Kissel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rachel Kissel. 

Hi Rachel, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
In 2015 I was very much struggling with what to do with my life. I had a ton of interests and ambition and passions but wasn’t sure on the direction of my life career-wise. In late 2015 I had my second child and then got thrown into post-partum depression – makeup became a huge distraction for me, and I started a YouTube channel since that was all the rave. It didn’t take long for me to realize though I loved makeup and the creativity behind it, that doing makeup on myself was unfulfilling to me. I then met a couple of makeup artists in the area, and this whole realization was born that people were doing wedding makeup as an actual job, and my mind was blown. I was already being asked constantly by friends to “do their makeup” for events and weddings that they were attending. So, I started assisting other artists, growing a professional kit, and started Makeup by Rachel Gabrielle in early 2016. I also graduated from beauty school in 2017 with an esthetician license to help and protect my brand. In 2020 Makeup by Rachel Gabrielle became Rachel Gabrielle + Co. when I rebranded and added my first additional makeup artist to my team. Since then, I have added 3 more talented women to the team, and the growth has been incredible! 

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It is definitely hard running a small business, and there have been plenty of bumps along the way! I think being a makeup artist and a creative there is a huge learning curve. I struggled a lot in the first few years in terms of the business side of things! I don’t have a business degree – so you become a makeup artist and just kind of think, “man, I love making people feel beautiful” or “I get to play around with this pretty face,” but there is SO much more to it than that, and I don’t think people realize that actually applying the makeup is only half (or less) of what we do. I spend probably 60-75% of my week and time working in front of my computer and whether it be answering inquiries and emails or posting to social media, creating content, or whatnot. I still struggle with all of that because with the tremendous growth we’ve seen comes more of the time I spend working being office-type, back-end things vs. creating with makeup. And I’m very type B, lol! We also just went through a pandemic that stretched for a few years! That whole time period initially was terrifying as a small business owner with all of the not-knowing, and then watching other small biz shops shut down it was just scary. 

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Rachel Gabrielle + Co. is a makeup artistry team of elite beauty experts specializing in on-location luxury services. We do not work out of a salon but travel to all of our clients for their makeup needs! Weddings are definitely our specialty however, we also do a lot of photoshoot work. We work for some amazing photographers throughout Northeast Ohio to provide services for their clients’ engagement, maternity/newborn, etc. sessions, or any makeup need you might have! We have won numerous awards including 2020 Best Wedding Hair + Makeup, through the Cleveland Hotlist and have been published in a handful of popular wedding magazines and blogs. I think one of the things I am most proud of is the across-the-board 5-star rating we have on all platforms where reviews can be found. Our clients are the absolute best! 

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
I definitely have a lot of drive and ambition. I’ve always been that way, and over my life, it’s been said to sound like a negative quality however it’s definitely gotten me to where I am in my career and life in general. I absolutely do not see failure as an option. If you want something bad enough, you can make it happen! 

Contact Info:

Image Credits

Drzazga Photo
Ashley Tracy Photography
Jasmine Lea Photography
Dilshad Yogismith
Dee Myers Photography
Olivia Wenger
Courtney Paige Photography
Marina Claire

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