Stephanie Flor has that a sort of impelling naiveté that is worthy of envy. It never dawned on her that twenty-five could be too young to start her own business via a blog. The idea that she wanted to document the beauty secrets of world, having zero experience behind the camera, with limited funds and only two languages under her belt was all just a minor hiccup. Nothing to sweat and nothing to hold her back from taking her dream and making it all real.
Real— as in two years later, she was at Glamour Magazine’s Women of The Year event because of her blog, Around The World Beauty. Real, as she’s been featured in publications like Latina, Glamour and Go Girl Guide for her exploratory work in finding beauty rituals from around the globe. And real, as in she will be hosting her first event, just weeks away, sponsored by some of the beauty industry’s biggest power players (and somehow little old me).
Stephanie is doing it all. And she is not afraid to talk about it.
When did you decide to do Around The World Beauty? How did it even happen?
I started ATWBeauty in 2012 on my twenty-fifth birthday. I was at a crossroads with my career as a Makeup Artist. I loved what I did, but I needed more. I needed to feel like I was leaving something behind, something bigger than me. I thought of ways that I could challenge myself and break out of my comfort zone. I asked the simple question “What could I do for the rest of my life that I would be proud of?”
I came up with my three passions — beauty, travel and documentaries. And that’s when I decided I would do a documentary about beauty as I travel around the world. I said, “If I could do those 3 things for the rest of my life, I would be happy.” Since then I haven’t looked back.
ATWB is interesting because it involves skills that you have built a career on (make-up / hair / beauty) and then combines them with some skills that are totally new to you (video production, design, web development). Was there ever a moment that you thought maybe… how can I do this? I don’t know these things. And if so, how did you push past that?
I’m a makeup artist / beauty expert and I’m a really good one. But I’m not afraid to try something I don’t know. Everything from website design, to shooting video and editing is a learning lesson. I’m still trying to be better, but I appreciate that I’m not afraid to not know. I’m not afraid of feedback and the only way I learn is by messing up and seeing what works and what doesn’t.
I’ve lost a lot of money with failed logo attempts, website designers, postcard print-outs with bad graphics and a lot more, but it’s all part of the journey. I’m young and driven. This is exactly where I have to be. I do ask for support a lot from my friends who are incredibly talented. It sucks not to know how to do certain things, like website design or graphics, but I’ve learned by taking classes. I’ve traveled to countries where I haven’t gotten the shots or didn’t get what I needed. I’m a dreamer first before a videographer, so sometimes I do put the camera down when I should be shooting but I can’t stop myself from being in the moment. Being naive, in some way, is truly bliss.
Did starting ATWB ever feel like too big of a job to do?
Yes and no. Yes because it has to make sense. There have to be press releases, bios and website content so… sometimes it does feel like a big job. But it’s a job I enjoy because I see the fruition of every seed. My vision grows as I do the duties that it takes to be successful. I speak from the heart when sharing my project and that’s something a job can’t always offer.
What has ATWB done for your self-confidence?
Well, travel is the secret to finding your true self. I’ve changed on every journey to be more detached to what my life is suppose to look like. I’ve always been confident because of what my mom instilled in me. But I’m not sure if confidence is even the word, because that word seems superior. And what I’ve become is secure and humble for who I am and the process I’m going through — which is learning from the beauty of others. Throughout the past year, I’ve become more quiet, but in a good way. More present and less about my five year plan.
What would you tell someone who wants to start their own venture, but may be too overwhelmed or scared to begin?
It’s scary. And sometimes I’m up and sometimes I’m down. I’m not sure what the future looks like, but none of us do. So why not try?
My number one piece of advice is: Surround yourself with the believers. The ones who believe in what you are up to. The ones who also dream and can tag along for the ride. Take every day one step at a time. It becomes less overwhelming and just learn as you go. I still overwhelm myself. Even right now I have thirty things to do, but I’m focusing on this one interview, being present and giving value to this moment. Why not try? Why not be scared?
Stephanie is hosting her first event for Around The World Beauty on December 4th at Inglot in Chelsea Market. Visit her site for more information and snag yummy make over treats, meet other beauty experts, try some henna and more.