We had the good fortune of connecting with Phaedra Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Phaedra, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I believe that life is all about taking risks. A lot of times we will tend to fall into our comfort zones and get complacent to try something different or do something different. I have found that not taking risks, usually stems from fear. Fear of the unknown, the what if. What if I fail, what if I don’t succeed. You will never know if you don’t take the risk first. I have always been a risk taker. One of the first big risks I decided to take was move across country at the age of 24 from Cleveland to Los Angeles. Another big risk was to leave a job I had to start my own business. Of course I had a lot of what if’s in my head, but now it’s 19 years later of being self employed, and I’m so glad I took the risk.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Being a good artist will get the attention of people, but connecting with people is what keeps them coming back. I like to say that there are many hats that I wear underneath the beauty umbrella. I originally moved from Cleveland, Ohio to Los Angeles to become a professional makeup artist. Was the road an easy one, no it wasn’t. But I knew I had a passion for it so I made a lot of sacrifices along the way. I took part time jobs to help supplement my income while I would freelance as a makeup artist. I would freelance at department stores applying makeup on customers as well as working as a receptionist at Lady Dee’s skincare studio. While working at the department stores, I discovered that there were not enough available foundation and powder colors that matched darker complexions. And when I worked at Lady Dee’s she taught me how to custom blend foundations. That inspired me to create my own line of cosmetics focusing on foundations, powders and concealers for darker skin tones and for women who struggled to find colors to match. I now have several online stores where I sell my cosmetics. One online store is where I offer foundations, concealers, powders and lip glosses for retail. The other online store I offer wholesale lip gloss supplies to help women start their own lip gloss business.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
If they were visiting LA for the first time of course you’d have to take them to the most popular places like Hollywood to see the famous sign. Venice beach would be another popular spot. As far as places to get food, you have to go to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles and definitely Fat Burger.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shout out the late Dianne Abang also known as Lady Dee. Lady Dee hired me as her front desk receptionist at her Beverly Hills skincare studio years ago. Lady Dee was Nigerian born. It was definitely a different experience to work for a woman of color. To her staff, she was tough as nails. But believe me, there was so much I learned from her about running a successful business. There are business practices that I learned from her that I still incorporate into my business today.