Aheli x Makeupbyshimona Interview

We recently interviewed makeup artist and entrepreneur Shimona. Read her inspirational story below <3 

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Shimona! I’m a first generation Indian Australian and the oldest sibling in my family. Consequently, I’ve always had that leadership and initiative inclination in me. I’ve always been a creative person and my watercolours and art books turned into eyeshadows and faces by the time I hit my teens. 

What are your top 3 achievements to date and why?

  1. Getting into a Selective School (may not seem like a huge deal, but 12 yo me studied super hard and was very proud for getting in) 
  2. Starting and growing my makeup business that keeps me very happy and occupied today 
  3. Gifting a 5-star stay in Dubai for my parents anniversary after saving up from my part time jobs  

What are your top 3 learnings to date and why?

  1. Comparison is the thief of joy! Work hard and focus on your own craft and you will see amazing progress and see the right results come your way. 
  2. Everything you do should be done in good faith - no short cuts, no easy ways out. Karma has a way of biting you back. 
  3. Go above and beyond with your business. You may not be the most known person in your field but service and interactions can make such a difference. It may just be the deciding factor for someone who chooses you over a competitor because of their initial experience with you. 

You are clearly a very talented makeup artist. Tell us a little bit about where your passion started and your inspiration to makes this a part of your career. 

Thank you so much! My passion started out of procrastination. Instead of studying I discovered the magical space of YouTube in year 6. Since then I have taught myself hundreds of techniques from makeup to hair. I would not be where I am without my friends and family who allowed me to experiment on them and allowed me to make them my guinea pigs in my early years. My mum’s my biggest critique, she’ll still tell me if the eyeliner wing is slightly lopsided but I am ever grateful to her for telling me what I needed to hear! There was no intention to make my love for makeup into a career. Thanks to social media and word of mouth I have been able to make it one of my income sources, but I am also focussed on my law/arts degree and on becoming a lawyer to provide me with stability.  

You recently launched and innovative retail concept - Shimmer Bazaar. Tell us a little bit about where you got the inspiration for this and how you made your vision into a reality! 

Shimmer Bazaar (SB) is very new and it’s super exciting to re-experience the whole setting up a business again after finding consistency and stability within my makeup artistry business. It first started off as an idea to supplement my makeup services with products - namely lashes. However, it was quite a struggle deciding which lashes to choose from and I just felt like I was doing it for the sake of it rather than stocking products I’m actually passionate about. SB arose out of noticing a gap in the South Asian Australian space. I started SB with my business partner Neil who also thought that it would be a great idea to get local vendors on board and showcase their amazing products by creating a one-stop-shop for desi events from makeup to jewellery to fashion. Nothing like this exists in Australia (to the best of our knowledge!). With COVID-19 significantly hampering my makeup services it was the best time to work on SB. Neil’s IT and E-Commerce expertise and my creative side and passion for beauty allowed for us to create what we have today. We didn’t exactly know what it would turn out to be like but we are very happy with its progress so far and can’t wait to grow it overtime with the help of our amazing Australian vendors like yourself! Lucky to have Aheli Collections on board.  

How do you manage to juggle all of your commitments? 

I manage my life with the help of my Google Calendar and without it I’d be a mess! I’ve always been someone who can’t sit still. I don’t watch TV shows, I’m not interested in movies. Every morning I wake up and I’m so excited to work on it or attend to a new task in my businesses. My parents often have to drag me away from my work to spend time with them. It never feels like work for me, as I’m passionate about my makeup artistry and this new retail venture. It’s a bit of a double edged sword because I end up getting so caught up in the future, my biggest flaw is not being able to live in the moment. It’s a constant balancing scale I have to manage but my  friends and family help me through it all. 

To all the young girls out there who want to be entrepreneurs like yourself, what is your advice to them? 

To anyone out there my biggest advice is to “just do it”. Don’t think about what other people will say. Life’s too short and if you don’t give it a try you might have a feeling of regret later. We live in a country and generation where we can take those risks that our parents may not have been able to take. So I say do what makes you feel happy. But also remember that life is not a bed of roses and you should always consider a plan B or something to supplement your passions until you reach a stage where you can solely rely on it! 

Follow Makeup by Shimona on https://www.instagram.com/makeupbyshimona/ and don't forget to check out Shimmer Bazaar to shop for all your makeup and fashion needs at https://shimmerbazaar.com/ (HINT: you might even find some Aheli products ;) ) 

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