BH Interview Brittany Gray
Tell us a bit about your background and why you started Fancy Face.
I have been an actor, singer and a dancer where I also did makeup for other performers. I needed help so I built a team. At that time, I realized that mobile beauty is a luxury service that women were requesting. We were the only GTA makeup team and we were expanding.
Now we have a team of 30 artists, which ironically, many are former dancers or performers so they are skilled in artistry for stage and photography. A wedding is like a performance and our artists know how to create the looks required for our bridal parties. I am very selective about choosing our team. They have to love people, be reliable, responsible and a perfect culture fit.
How has the pandemic affected your business and your team?
The pandemic has taken our business, and many other small businesses, and turned it upside down. It completely halted the service side of our business, yet at the same time, pushed us forward in ways that I’m tremendously thankful for. The weddings that continued this year had reduced their numbers of bridesmaids and guests and others have made adjustments by moving their weddings into 2021 and 2022.
We’ve had to pivot multiple times throughout the past 7 months and after 15 years I can honestly say, I’ve never learned so much in such a short period of time. It’s taught our team to be tremendously resilient, to keep our chins up always and to always look for the silver lining.
What business changes have been put into place that will continue in the future?
For over a decade, we were primarily a service-based business, providing exceptional in-home and on-site hair and makeup services to all women, as well as for 500+ brides each year on both coasts. However, when the pandemic first hit, thankfully we were already in a position to successfully pivot. Almost two years ago, we began developing a cosmetic line, and launching an e-commerce site to compliment our company as a whole. Once the lockdown hit, our direct-to-consumer cosmetics line was already up and running, so ultimately the product side of the business carried us through the hard times, as the service side really took a hard hit. We are dedicated to expanding this side of the business as we continue to develop new products for our community.
What made you create your own line of makeup and brushes?
Our clients helped create the products. Our 45 and up demographic were looking for a new look from what they had been doing for many years. We had lots of feedback from clients who felt lost in Sephora or Shoppers looking for the best products for them. We wanted to take the guesswork out of it. We wanted to keep it simple so we developed a few universal shades that flatter everybody from fair to deep skin tones. You don’t need 25 options for a blush! Our mantra is to create looks that suit our clients versus what is trendy.
Do you have e-commerce/products and have you made any updates or changes to this aspect of your business?
The e-commerce and product side of the business really carried us through this time, as our wonderful following supported our brand and were excited to try our products! The feedback has been nothing short of amazing and because of this, it’s really made us sink our teeth into the cosmetics line, focusing on developing and releasing exceptional beauty products.
What are your thoughts about mobile beauty?
This question is a challenging one for me to answer and I say that, because it brings on some feelings of sadness. Our business was built on the idea of accessible, mobile, at-your-door beauty. We have a team of 30+ women who have always arrived at the homes of our clients to ‘fancify’ them for occasions of the utmost importance to them. The notion that we can no longer do that without the fear of contracting or potentially spreading a virus is a hard pill to swallow. As of now, I think mobile beauty will likely take a back seat to women learning to feel empowered in their own beauty routines. I think as soon as we get a handle on this thing (that is COVID), mobile beauty will continue to be desired. However now, I feel excited about the notion of teaching women how to feel their absolute best using products that are highly effective, easy to use, easily accessible and luxurious in composition and feel. After all, we all deserve a little self-care & pampering after what we’ve been through.
You now have a boutique that your clients can go to get pampered. Tell us about the Rose Room.
It was time for us to create our own luxury environment for our clients. The design was based on what a famous Hollywood actress from the 1920’s boudoir would look like with theatrical elements and opulence. We have four chairs and offer services of makeup, makeup lessons and hair.
What are your thoughts on the future of the beauty industry?
I genuinely think no matter what we go through, women will always want to look and feel their best. I feel like it’s the one industry that you can always pivot within and make adjustments to suit the times. The result of the pandemic has brought upon a heightened awareness for self-care at home, something the beauty industry was already well in place to provide the needs for. Between skincare and beauty, the industry has never been so robust with offerings as it is today. Ultimately, you just have to be creative, take risks and think outside the box.
You can find Brittany on Instagram: