Pooja Mehta, founder and owner of Makiaj, is also a global makeup artist and star of Bravo’s “Dancing Queens.” “Establishing Makiaj in 2010, I am proud of our dynamic company which focuses on growth, artistry, and digital creation. We are always striving to be the best version of ourselves. As the leader of Makiaj, I continue to cultivate our core value of inclusivity. We believe beauty is diverse and pride ourselves on having a vast range of knowledge about various complexions.” Learn about Pooja Mehta…
Follow at: @makiajbeauty
First job: I made $6 an hour as a receptionist for a hair salon (I thought that was so much money). I would perform all the necessary front-desk tasks, including sweeping the salon, managing guest checkout, answering phones and scheduling clients.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in AZ: My favorite thing to do is adventuring the outdoors, exploring all of the nature of Arizona. A large misconception about our state is that it is all desert. There are many elements and climates to explore. We have such a variety, including mountains, snow and desert— amazing hiking and scenic wonders.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Starting my own business and how we have sustained success. I’ve worked hard to maintain a standard in unprecedented times, through a pandemic and dark economic times. Typically these services are viewed as a luxury and are the first to struggle, but we’ve persevered. The industry is also ever-changing. We’ve witnessed an evolution in the beauty space, so continuing to pivot and grow has been a big accomplishment.
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Having to do it on my own: no one in my family is an entrepreneur and so I learned a lot by trial and error. I received my degree in pre-med with a focus in biology. After following my own path and not knowing anything about business, I learned to embrace uncomfortability and uncertainty. I have made many mistakes and have learned far more by doing rather than learning.
Someone who inspires you and why: My children. They are a constant reminder of what it’s like to be present and live in the moment. As a business owner you’re always thinking about the past and future, but many forget the present. They demonstrate that true joy is enjoying the moment.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Do something because you love it. Make sure you feel aligned with what it is you choose to do, rather than for outside pressure or superficial reasons such as money, and fame. Life is short, live for you.
Be realistic, set realistic goals, but never stop dreaming. Create a balance.
Network and create genuine connections. Try not to bury bridges. Don’t let your ego get in the way. Always leave situations in a professional manner. Industries are small, and word travels.
Favorite quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” –Mahatma Gandhi
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I am a competitive ballroom and Latin dancer in my free time. But as a mother, spouse and business owner, what free time?
What makes someone fabulous: Doing things for yourself, making an impact on the community you’re a part of. Showing up as a parent. Practicing gratitude for the people in your life who have helped raise you. Being courageous. Being fearless to make difficult decisions. Someone genuinely interested in others. Someone with contagious energy. That’s a fabulous person.