Interview with Tara Clark from Blacklash Make up Design
Tara Clark is a mom to 6 year old twins Sadie and Patience, 4 year old Luca and 3 year old Finn. She started her business Black Lash Makeup Design nearly 2 years ago so that she could both follow her dream of being a makeup artist and work around her children’s needs. Black Lash Makeup Design provides makeup services for Bridal, Special Event and Branding Photography. Tara’s style can be described as natural and complementary. She focuses on enhancing people’s favourite features so they always leave feeling like the best versions of themselves. Tara is passionate about helping other mums look and feel their best for the few special occasions they may get to go out each year.
What is your Why? What motivated you to get into business? My why is very clear to me. When I fell pregnant (unintentionally) when Luca was only 10 months old I had no idea how we were going to cope. Financially I needed some sort of income but to go back to my job in Finance just seemed impossible. I had a stressful job that required long hours in an office and I wanted to be able to take my kids to school and dancing and be around for assemblies and school commitments. Once you threw in daycare costs as well it just didn’t seem worth the hassle. Having completed qualifications in makeup artistry when I left school I thought that perhaps it was time to explore that dream so that I could work when my husband was at home and I could actually enjoy what was taking me away from my family.
What are some of the challenges you have had to overcome? I think when you have a young family and you are trying to start a business there will always be obstacles. I really struggle with having time to work on my business. I’ve had to really become ok with my home not being perfect or the kids having the occasional lunch order. I think accepting that you physically can’t do everything is a challenge and I’m still working on that.
What did you worry about the most when you started your business? I worried about spending money on getting the business up and running. I needed to go back and do a refresher course on my qualifications, I needed a kit, I had to advertise somehow. It seemed like the business was costing me a fortune before I’d made any money. I think 2 years on however, I have a greater appreciation of the fact that you need to spend some money to make money and I’ve gotten smarter about how I do that. I’m also more accepting of the fact that most businesses don’t return a profit before the 3 year mark so I’m just working towards that.
How do you find the juggle of kids and a business? In a word tiring! I have two 6 year olds, a 4 year old and a 3 year old. None of my children are really what you call self sufficient. We have school, homework, dancing, swimming lessons and that’s just their scheduled in requirements. The last 6 months have been hard for me but they’ve been really tough on the kids so this year I’m not going to be so hard on myself about building ‘my empire’ and spend more time focusing on their needs because after all, being home to raise my children and be ‘present’ for them is the reason I started this journey in the first place. I truly believe that if I concentrate on being a great mom I will be happier and everything else will fall into place.
How do you prioritise work time when working from home? I’m not disciplined enough to block out work time unfortunately. No 2 days are the same in my house either so things just have to fit in to the day where they can. I do get Wednesday’s “off” though as my girls are at school and my little boy goes to daycare so I tend to book meetings and spend time looking at social media posts and writing blogs on Wednesdays. Otherwise once homework and dinners are done and my husband gets home I work, but I certainly don’t do this as a regimented process because I think time with him is just as important. Every business is different and I’m lucky that I feel I have this flexibility.
What has been a game changer for you in your business? Joining Fusion Biz Babes has been a game changer for me as well as getting some structured Marketing coaching from Vanessa at Vivacity Marketing. Joining a networking group of women where everyone is there to support each other and provide advice on how to grow
your business and provide collaboration opportunities is just so refreshing. The group of women that I’ve met are at all different stages of their business journey and come from very different fields and backgrounds. I’ve learnt so much about small business and I’ve made some wonderful friends and I find sharing in their journeys inspires me in mine.
What do you think is the biggest barrier most ambitious Mums face? I’m not sure that I’m going to be very popular for this statement but I believe the biggest barrier for mums is believing they can have it all. We can, but not all at the same time, things need to be prioritised. I think believing that Jane down the road is running a 6 figure business and being the best homemaker and attentive mum whilst exercising 4 – 5 times a week is unhealthy and self-defeating. Jane may be killing it in her business, she may even be making it to the gym once or twice a week but she probably has 3 baskets of washing waiting in the laundry or has forgotten to make her kids book week costume. Please don’t think that I’m saying business women are bad moms or that moms can’t run a business successfully but we definitely need to cut each other and ourselves some slack and realise that each task takes a lot of attention and determination and mostly we can’t give both 100% all of the time. It just means we become masters at prioritising, some days we need to focus on the business and some days the family needs all of our attention. Just be kind to yourself and know that you are doing the best you can at all times. Hopefully then you won’t end up burnt out or feeling like a failure and give up.
What tips do you have for Mums wanting to start a business? If you are a mom wanting to start a business I recommend trying to find something you either really believe in or really enjoy doing. If you have passion for what you are building it will make it easier to put the time in and it will get you through the times when you feel as though you are hitting roadblock after roadblock. I also recommend finding a support group, or networking group of other business owners that you feel comfortable sharing your wins and your challenges with. I can’t put into words how important it is to have people to turn to that understand where you are going and where you have been to either lend an ear when things are tough, kick you up the backside when you need it or clap and cheer when you succeed. Lastly, make sure you and your partner are a team. Through my journey I’ve always known that my husband is there to support me and to pick up the slack at home when I haven’t been able to do “all the things”.
Thank you so much Tara for sharing your highs and lows.
If you would like to see what Tara gets up to at Black Lash Makeup Design check out her links below