We had the good fortune of connecting with Amber Rose and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amber, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I never really thought of myself as a risk taker in my personal life- but in my career I’ve taken quite a few. I grew up in a very small town (pop. 67) in Southern Minnesota where a lot of people in the area are born, get married, have kids and choose to spend their entire lives there. From a young age I knew I didn’t want that, I wanted to be in the beauty/fashion industry and knew I would have to move to a bigger city to achieve that. California was always the goal but I never thought it was in the cards for someone like me…a low risk taker, small town girl from a low risk blue collar family. Moving to Minneapolis for Cosmetology school was my first ‘big’ risk (and scary for me at the time) but well worth it. After graduating from the Aveda Institute I worked in a few salons for 5 years but didn’t feel fulfilled…I wanted to be doing hair and makeup on set for models, actors and celebrities. Which led to one of my biggest risks- becoming a full time freelance artist. My mindset changed and I had no choice but to hustle to make ends meet and push myself to network with others. I worked my butt off creating a beautiful portfolio which led to more production work. I was also doing around 100+ weddings per year. Eventually I started attracting the clients and jobs I wanted. In 2013 my work caught Prince’s eye and I was lucky enough to tour with him that year. I had absolutely NO experience with A list celebs, being a touring makeup artist or even doing makeup for stage performances that big. It was a HUGE risk to accept that job but I did and I figured it out and learned so many valuable life and career lessons that year. After the tour ended I was finally confident enough in myself and in my artistry to make the big leap- moving to Los Angeles! Starting a business from scratch in a highly competitive city was risky- I could have stayed comfortable in Minneapolis with the clientele I worked so hard to build for 10 years but I just wasn’t happy. I felt stagnant and I wanted more for myself and for my career. I’ve been in LA for 6 years now and can say the hard work has paid off once again. A well thought out risk is usually worth the reward and if not, it’s a lesson well learned and will build better character and a better business. I’m so happy I’ve taken the risks I have (good and bad) and plan to take many more in the future!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’m freelance artist who does both hair and makeup who has been in the beauty industry for 15 years. Most of the work I do is in beauty, commercial and lifestyle brands, so a lot of natural clean looks. My career has taken me on quite the journey! From working in a salon to doing 100+ weddings per year to being on tour with someone very famous and then starting all over in another city with new goals to now navigating work during a pandemic. It wasn’t (and isn’t easy), but like everything, you just keep pushing and adapting.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was in town for the week and we weren’t in a pandemic here’s a few things we’d do: – Have a beach day! I really like Zuma Beach near Malibu. – Mexican food! Probably hit up a taco truck or have margaritas on the patio at El Porto in Pasadena. – Hit up a flea market! I still haven’t been to the Rose Bowl one, so that’s on my list of things to do. – Have a day Downtown LA: Santee Alley, Cole’s French Dip and The Last Bookstore
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve been lucky to have such a great support system throughout my life and career. My family has always encouraged me to go after what I want and to be self sufficient. I’ve also had a few mentors and amazing experiences with other artists that have taught me so much. Jules Annen is an amazing makeup artist, holistic health coach and just a generous and kind human being. She was the first person to really believe in my artistry and help me grow- she gave me the confidence to take risks and set goals I didn’t even think were attainable. I also have to give a shout out to the artists I’ve met and worked with in LA (they know who they are!). I think it’s important to have a supportive community where there’s no feeling of competition and you just trust each other and help each other grow. And last but not least, my boyfriend! He’s the most supportive person in my life and biggest fan.
Betsy Newman, Kate Moore, Catherine Powell