Crew Faced is happy faced

Crew Faced Makeup Artistry.

Carole Levy

Finalists in a few categories in 2018 and 2019, Crew Faced Makeup Artistry made it into the winners’ circle at last year’s Geelong Business Excellence Awards (GBEA), taking out the Health & Wellbeing Promoting Business category, sponsored by Barwon Health.

Crew Faced owner Jessica Anderson and her creative team felt honoured to win the prestigious award.

“It took us three goes but we finally cracked it – and every attempt was worth it as a learning curve,” Jessica says. “By our third application we felt like old hands, and it proved a great chance to deeply analyse what worked for the business, what didn’t, and what we could do in the future. Our collective feedback was very valuable.”

Since winning the award, Jessica has added to her team of seven by employing a makeup artist from a local VCA program, a move that underscores her commitment to her community.

Jessica is also committed to the mental health and wellbeing of her team, aspects brought to the fore during the Covid season and recognised by GBEA judges.

“The first thing was financial support of the crew, with Jobkeeper coming into play. But we made sure everyone was doing well emotionally, staying in close contact, offering support, and rethinking what we could do as a business in order to survive.

“We soon realised women still wanted access to glam, even if restricted from lots of socialising. To this end, I provided free makeup education courses online and we had such a good response we were soon selling makeup kits.

“Also during Covid, we launched a new and exclusive range of magnetic eyelashes – and that’s still going gangbusters.

“The Crew Faced team hung together through challenging times and we’ve come out the other end even stronger, with business booming right now.”

As well as working out of her main studio in Lara (launched in 2014), Jessica also has a studio in Malop Street and another in Geelong West. The business specialises in hair and makeup, as well retail, events and education. And Victoria-wide mobile appointments accommodate location shoots, weddings, and freelance collaborations.

On the awards night, Jessica heard Crew Faced announced as winner in the company of Katie, a friend from Sugar Images and fellow GBEA finalist. The pair agreed that, while there were no handshakes, the event had people all over emailing/messaging congratulations.

“This just showed how much our wider community is on board with all the excitement that local achievements can generate.”