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Conversations with the Inspiring Sevan Kalaydjian and Ani Artsvelyan

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sevan Kalaydjian and Ani Artsvelyan.

Sevan and Ani, please share your story with us. 
We met in college, at UC Irvine, and realized that we both had an affinity for makeup. We were usually the go-tos if our roommates and friends were going out or had special events. After graduating college, we still found ourselves bonding over makeup artistry, going to trade shows, trips to Sephora, product testing, etc., and in 2013, we figured, hey, why not start a business? We put our heads together, put our names together, started Makeup by SevAni, and hit the ground running.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Yes and no. When we started off, we worked closely together to create our brand. We created an Instagram page, a Facebook page, and a website, and figured that things would go pretty smoothly after becoming “official”. We soon realized that forming and creating a business from scratch would take more than just having a few social media outlets. There would be months of no work and no recognition. By working on our skill sets, putting out quality work and images, and keeping our existing clients happy, we found our new clients and next gigs via word of mouth. We had to work hard to remain visible and get our names out there. We’re thankful for our extensive support systems in helping us with that.

Makeup by SevAni is our passion project. We are lucky to be able to pursue this while still having full-time jobs and we recognize the amount of effort, dedication, and commitment it takes to keep a freelance business like this afloat. Our experience has taught us that you can pursue a career and a creative passion, simultaneously. Our word of advice for other young women starting their journeys is, never say never. If you’re passionate about something, make it happen. Set your mind to it, invest in education, perfect your craft, put yourself out there (even if that means working for free sometimes), produce quality work, stay committed, and be the best at what you do.

What should we know about Makeup by SevAni? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We provide a full-service makeup experience to our clients. We’re here to help women be the best versions of themselves and bring out their inner beauty. From a natural look to full glam, each client receives attention to detail. We’re known to ensure that every single individual leaves satisfied with how they look. We want women to feel beautiful in their own skin and not feel like they have become someone they don’t recognize in the mirror. We won’t stop working on a client until they are completely satisfied with the final product; we value feedback, patience, and a steady hand.

Sev specializes in special event, commercial, and editorial makeup. She loves the process of preparing for clients and shoots, drawing from inspiration, using products in unintended and diverse ways, and creating final looks that make her clients look and feel their best, whether they’re attending a wedding or stepping in front of the camera.

Ani specializes in special event and bridal makeup. She loves beautifying brides and their closest family members and friends on their most magical and special day. Not only does she love playing with glitters, shimmers, and bold colors, she takes pride in creating natural and elegant makeup looks that even teens can rock.

What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
Unfortunately, different industries and different areas within industries come with their own sets of barriers. As female freelancers, we see unhealthy competition as quite a large barrier. We believe in bettering ourselves and helping others out along the way, sharing best practices, techniques, and products. In the past, as up-and-coming makeup artists, we would often turn to social media to see what our favorite artists were using, or how they were applying certain products. We quickly realized that not everyone is open to sharing, to the extent that some artists would even distort the names on products in pictures. Not everyone is open to referring other artists if they themselves are not available for a gig… that’s just not how we function. We enjoy sharing just as much as we enjoy learning; we believe in empowerment, especially female empowerment.

We would like to give a quick shout out to some female, powerhouse artists who have been extremely generous in sharing product names, resources, and techniques: King Mali Magic, Nikki Wolff, Lilit Caradanian, Danessa Myricks, and Liz Castellanos. THANK YOU for helping us become better at our craft.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Brightwood Photograph (photographer), Stephanie Uribe (photographer), Kenny Glover (photographer), Jaedon Thomson (model), Shae Flynn (photographer), Carter Cruise (model), Maricel Sison (photographer), Sophia Pozzi (model), Heather Parks (hair)

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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