Tiffany Green on Why Community is Everything
Every artist we’ve talked to has inspired us here at MEI-CHA, but more importantly, this blog is for you, and we just wanted to let you know that you have inspired other PMU artists who see and hear what you do. Tiffany Green of Tin Kitten Beauty Bar in Apple Valley reached out after hearing us in Sheila Bella’s podcast. We love that she took the initiative to DM us. It’s the perfect example of community and how paying it forward is worth it, every single time. Hear from Tiffany as she describes how community can get you through anything.
Sterilization is something that you’re very passionate about. Tell us about that.
I’m not afraid of conversation -- what’s the difference between client and manufacturer? I love the sterilization part of it because that’s ensuring people’s health. I use single-use, disposable products for procedures. I do a major background check before even touching a product: I check the packaging, Internal membrane, and correspondence. I make sure the company has great customer service because if i ever run into anything, like the Lot # isn’t on there, I would call the company. I like to have a one-on-one contact with the company.
How did you get into permanent makeup?
When I was fresh out of high school, I took special effects makeup and loved it. I actually had a different career for 18 years in customer service, focusing on horticulture. I have degrees in botany. Plants were my forte, and I did private makeup on the side. And in my early 30s I decided to rotate it -- plants on the side, makeup full time. I’m also in the tattoo community, and I had friends telling me “You should do microblading!” but I brushed it off.
What was your training like?
Four years I took training, but it wasn’t that great. Then I did a training in Utah and met a group of girls, my tribe. I just flourished from there. In talking to different people in the tattoo and PMU community, I came across women who had health issues like alopecia.
The second I touched blade to skin, I thought it was amazing. It gave someone confidence. I myself used to wear piles of makeup. I now barely wear lipstick and mascara. I love the empowerment it gives people. They feel beautiful in their own skin.
What was it like transitioning to a full time PMU artist?
I used to have a horrid schedule, working my other job the first 2 years. I worked double -- 80 hours a week. I had to learn the legal and the business on my own. I was a total newbie to social media, asking my 13-year-old how to use Instagram. I just wanted to show personality and have fun with it - but keep it professional of course.
I did tons of freebies -- a year’s worth of freebies. I redid them all when I got decent. When you look back three years later, you know you are not as good then as you are now. It was scary and hard - I took every inch of my savings out. I put everything on the line for this. It took a year to see return. You have to put in money to get money. Now I see myself growing and needing to go to a bigger facility. All the hard work is paying off. It’s scary, it’s hard, but if you believe in yourself and keep showing up, you will succeed.
How has community helped you get through the beginning?
Creating my own source of income now is giving me the power to be a better mom, a better friend -- my adult life has changed completely. When you talk for 3 hours with a woman, they love you when you’re done. 90% of my clients text me random memes.
I have repeat clients that come annually. Relationships and the way you make people feel are way more powerful than anything. Even if you’re not doing or giving them anything, when they walk away happy, that’s what matters.
What is your daily routine like?
I drop my kids off, then I go straight to work. I get off at 2pm, pick up kids, do homework, make dinner - the whole run, then in the evenings I work. And I work every weekend. I do the business aspects in bed until midnight. I don’t even notice time anymore.
Time doesn't matter when clients are curious about something. Who wants clients stressing out at midnight on day 1? I’m such an open book with them. There’s no time to be uncomfortable. If I don’t respond, by next morning I'll respond.
What advice would you give to new PMU artists?
If you build it, they will come. You can’t have instant gratification, it doesn’t work like that in this industry. You should have some form of artistic ability and have a passion for it. You have to be patient with yourself, and every other person associated: family, friends. If you’re not patient, you're going to fail.
Even when you feel you’re good, keep practicing. Find girls in the industry you can connect with. We use the Marco Polo app, and we’re nonstop. I’ve been so lucky to know these girls. Find your tribe, go on forums, and just start talking. It took me 2 years to get comfortable talking with people not in my bubble. The worst thing people can do is not respond to you. Find someone in the industry you can talk to one-on-one.
Want to be part of Tiffany’s community? Follow her on Instagram and reach out!