Growing up in Suburban New Jersey, New York city served as a huge influence to me with it’s diversity, culture and opportunities. I knew early on as a child that I was an artist at heart. Innovation and creation made me feel alive, and gave me a deep sense of purpose. I dreamed of one day working for myself, and the feeling of fulfillment in having a career of which I was passionate about. Once I started my high school years, it was time for me to start focusing on the future. So I began focusing on my love for fashion design and decided to take courses at The New School. On weekends, I would take a bus into NYC and attend pattern making a fashion design courses at Parsons. The energy I felt around me was inspiring and opened my eyes to the possibilities. I suddenly was customizing all of my closest friends and family from not only their wardrobes and accessories, but with their hair and make-up as well. I loved making people over into what they always wanted and envisioned for themselves. In our modernized world we lose a sense of touch with individuality. I saw the need and desire for customizing your everyday apparel and cosmetics, but at a level that the average person could afford.
In 2002, I made the move to Miami to obtain a Bachelor’s of Arts in Fashion Design at the Miami International University of Art & Design. As soon as I graduated in early 2006, I moved back to NYC and began my career as an emerging designer and fashion stylist. My days were spent sewing and designing for couture specialties of mine, while my nights I was bartending to pay the bills and network. I started styling my fellow colleagues that were primarily actors, dancers, and models with my designs. This is when the industry of hair and make-up was introduced to me. The whole look is truly everything and one element out of place is make or break. I wanted to be able to do all three and have that creative freedom as an artist. By the end of 2006, I wanted to learn in-depth about make-up artistry. So I moved back down to South Florida to study at Cosmix School of Make-up Artistry. There I was cultivating my passion with multi-media make-up artistry training from top TV/Film and celebrity artists. I developed my artistry even further, and my mind was awakened to a new path. Every woman wants to feel beautiful inside and out… And that was what I was destined to do.
By 2007, I was back in NYC and building my dream… I transitioned from a fashion stylist into a full-time hair and make-up artist. From music videos, advertisements, commercials, editorial and fashion I was building my experience in the beauty and fashion industries. Some of my work has been networks such as: NBC, MTV, VH1, TLC, and A&E. National magazines and publications including: Elle, 944 Magazine, Ocean Drive, The Knot, Modern Luxury Weddings, Brides and many more. By the end of 2008, I was a full-time make-up artist and living my dream… Or so I thought. The traveling and unpredictability of the freelance world was wearing me out. Missing the interaction with everyday people pushed me to begin the process of opening a beauty studio of my own. I wanted to caterer to the average woman, and show the world of hair and make-up that only the elite and celebrities are accustomed to. Striking up my client’s confidence and bringing out their inner-glam side that they never knew existed really excites me. By 2009 I opened the doors to Asteria Beauty Studio, and began to build our brand.
As the business began to evolve, I knew I needed more than just myself … I needed a strong team behind me. That was definitely easier said than done, but I kept on my search for someone like-minded to grow with me. In May of 2010, I met Jade and we instantly connected with our artistry and passion for the beauty industry. Together we formed our Beauty Troops Hair & Make-up team, with amazingly talented artists, and took on the specialty of on-location bridal hair and make-up.
Beauty Troops Hair & Make-up Team
Our Beauty Troops Hair & Make-up Team is based in the South Florida and Orlando regions, lead by Nicole Gibon and Jade Harris. Our team consists of highly experienced, licensed and professionally trained celebrity stylists actively working in the TV/Film and fashion industries. We are a team of hair and make-up artists available for: weddings & special events, photo shoots, fashion shows, TV/Film, workshops and make-up lessons.
AVAILABLE ON-LOCATION South Florida, Orlando, Florida Keys, Treasure Coast, and Destination Locations Worldwide (expenses paid).
Write a bio she said…. Here is my story so you know who I really am!!!
I began my career in the hair and makeup industry over 12 years ago. After my mother discovered my affinity for burning off Barbie’s hair in the curling iron, she was sure beauty school would be first on the list! I had always wanted to be a media makeup artist but when I discovered I could go to cosmetology school for hair AND makeup it seemed more logical. I was always about knowing how to do everything possible so I could make the most amount of money! I can still here my mom saying “If you ever need to fall back on something everyone always needs a haircut!” Oh my mom always the voice of reason. Thank god.
After I graduated beauty school I got a chance to study at one of the top salons in Washington State. 1 phone interview, 4 face to face and one last demo interview and there it was, the job of a lifetime. Well so I thought. First day as a master stylist and only to discover my amazing talent at folding towels and holding foils for everyone else. At 21 after a year of grinding 8 hours in school and 6 hours a day at a job to pay my rent and feed myself (barely) I was a shampoo girl… lt was not a title I took to well. I had managed a salon before beauty school so it was like going from the boss to the hired help … In so few words I hated my very existence every time I walked through the doors. One day I woke up and said to myself “Ya know what I AM going to be amazing, and it isn’t from this garbage level, snob filled, over rated salon.” And that was it. I never went back, and certainly never looked back.
Shortly after I answered an ad on craigslist from a women who would forever change my life. She owned a huge salon and spa where she took me under her wing and said “Jade what do you need to make it in the world?” I was speechless; someone that had no clue who I was took a chance and believed in me! I said “purpose and money” and there it was. She offered me whatever it took to build my clientele and pay my bills for 2 solid years.
I worked my ass off for her. Not only did I take every lice filled dread locked kid, but every neurotic middle aged nitpicky women, and every men’s clipper cut and old lady perm I could squeeze in between! There I spent years working my way up to THE Master stylist and Salon Coordinator of New Attitude Salon and Spa. I learned every aspect of owning and operating, I hired, I fired, I created, I built my own little empire. I had purpose and joy, and changed people’s lives with every customer I met. Oh and of course I made a lot of money! Funny how that becomes less important the more you’re happy.
Then one day that was it. I stood at Kathy’s memorial service, laid a rose on her casket and watched it disappear into the earth never to see her again. Hear was the women that gave me my career, filled my life with growth and support, she was like a mother to me…. Gone from a rare form of brain cancer in 11 months. Crazy how life can be so good and so crappy in the same moment.
And so, once again, I found myself making new moves. The women who took over the salon drove a 40 year successful business right into a big, giant, gaping hole in the ground. Bankrupt, doors closed, sorry for ya, better luck next time. So there I was, staring at myself in the mirror. Now what… Ok ya know what this time I AM gonna be a makeup artist. Not a department store makeup artist, but the awesome ones that work in film!!! Big girl panties were on!!
I decided beaches and sun was what I needed to rejuvenate and clear my head so I applied for a loan for media makeup school and took off to sunny Miami! It was everything I needed and then some! I learned from the most sought after teachers in the media makeup industry. TV and film, print work, special effects, everything I needed to be in production was at my fingertips. When I was done I hustled everything I could to build my resume. TV trailers for shorts, runway, print ads for magazines, news castors, reality shows, big studio work small studio work, and even went back to Seattle to work on a full length film. I got to blow up people’s brains, make blood; I’ll never forget the last day we filmed 24 hours straight in the snow! Coolest thing Ive ever done!
So after largely dabbling in everything that was awesome in the media world I decided I wanted to do indie films and south Florida got a tax break to do more filming, so I packed my tiny car with everything I could and took off to start a new life in Miami! We always think we know what we want till we get it then we realize what we need is gifted to us in forms of unthinkable things. After realizing I needed to be in the union for hair and makeup in the film world I took a step back. It limited me to my creative abilities, to what I stood behind and what I had passion for. At 30 something would a career in film be it for me? How would I have a family and a life?? Could I make money doing other things? Would I be fulfilled? Could I still have control?? Well of course! Life always gives you lemons and mine were in the form of Asteria Beauty Studio! Lemonade coming up!
And so here we are 4 years later…. funny how things come full circle. Back to making people feel beautiful. Back to my roots where I once had an impact on way people feel about themselves inside and out. What I do truly changes people’s lives. From the hair chair, to the makeup brush. One client at a time.
Best lemonade you ever had!!!