Farewell Auckland, I bid you adieu
As an Aucklander all my life, owner of a successful cosmetics retail empire, a consistent Makeup Artist in the beauty industry for the last 20 years, I am making a big move!
Phoenix Cosmetics has been my baby since I was 15 years old & I will dearly miss my beautiful pink stores but the memories I have, I will cherish forever.
We will still continue to operate our GreyLynn store until the end of July 2019.
Phoenix Cosmetics is and always has been available ONLINE. Since 2004 when I first built my website, we have had e-commerce. You can see, demo and buy all your favourite products still.
We could have just snuck out and left it at that. But I wanted to give some insight into some of the reasons for our move, for those who are interested, curious and who care and have supported me over the years…. so here goes;
I have lived in Auckland my entire life.
My life, my family, my dreams have all been based in this once incredible exciting city.
(I say once because damn has Auckland City changed).
On reflection of my career in Auckland, Ive accomplished many things in this city, I started at the bottom of the makeup industry as a 15 year old & worked my way to the top in a competitive industry through sheer persistence, hard work and passion. Before the days of Social Media and “the uneducated beauty guru” who’s following, lighting & editing means more than talent alone or experience. (No shade, no tea). Back in the days where you had to get makeup experience and work on countless shows and shoots to pay your dues & hone your skills.
Together, my husband and I with our small family unit have made all our goals and dreams a reality here, in this city. As one hell of a supportive and hard working team.
We have a lot to be thankful for and proud of.
Aside from my role as CEO and Creator of Phoenix Cosmetics; I have done many things in the makeup world, take a little walk down memory lane with me…….. I have won makeup, and beauty awards, created my own makeup shows (the first and only MUA to do this in NZ), produced fashion week shows for designers, built an enormous clientele through my business, worked on countless events, fashion projects, drag shows, charity events, TV shows, films, runway and theatre shows. Taught hundreds of makeup students. I’ve spoken & presented at many prestigious business and beauty events, written for countless blogs, magazines, books and websites. I have worked with and alongside the most talented and extraordinary photographers, directors, dancers, stylists, producers, celebrities, and creative artists in my field. I am super proud to have trained, employed and staffed hundreds of Makeup students and artists and given them a starting point in their Makeup careers.
Hell I even got to hand Phoenix Cosmetics Makeup to my living IDOL Mariah Carey.
In the makeup world, you name it, I’ve done it.
I am so proud of the career I’ve had and my portfolio of work and memories.
My husband, As humble as he is, never publicly talks of his SPFX and prosthetic, sculpting successes. However in Auckland he has worked on some major international movies, tv shows and advertisements. He’s never been actively ambitious but my gosh did he achieve!
He won’t mention such things like him working for the SuperBowl, being flown on private Jets, being headed hunted by world famous companies, not to mention… huge accomplishments this past year, which is a secret until the films are out, but trust me, you will be Shook.
The highs however come with the low blows. Together through the years of owning a business we have fought against many battles: character assassination, countless attacks of sabotage, enormous theft from those we employed, and all the nasty things that come along with success, and the envy of others.
You would not believe the amount of unenviable positions we have been put in simply by owing a beauty business. The audacity that people have around theft is astounding to me, and still shocks me.
The self entitlement mindset that people use to justify theft in many forms is something I cannot wait to leave behind. It’s astounding and shocking the lack of morals and ethics some people have.
I have so many absurd, unbelievable, hilarious and outrageous, disturbing stories that I could write a book.
I have never spoken on these attacks publicly as we choose to fight in silence, we choose to be positive and graceful role models for our children and for my staff.
However it would be untruthful if I didn’t say after 16 years of battle in business, it has taken its toll on my self belief and confidence. However much to their dissatisfaction, they are not the reason for this change & I am proud that through all of that nonsense, lies and theft we have stayed strong & successful in business for 16 years because that is such a huge achievement.
95% of business in NZ fail within their first year. Of the 5% that survive, 98% go on to fail within the first 5 years of business.
My pink baby survived. Phoenix Cosmetics has been here for 16 years! We beat the odds.
The birth and after affects of my second child Cayden was difficult and it changed my whole world. His birth came suddenly and with complications, physical and mental. The unexpected health issues and loss of control of day to day tasks was challenging. I am still sorrowful when I think of how he came into the world and the pain and suffering that followed. After the darkness comes the sun however and I am incredibly lucky and greatfull to have such a beautiful healthy boy.
During the recovery process, I silently battled with post-partum depression and anxiety, all new things for me, while trying to remain in control, being a Mum and business-woman who had it all together. A constant mental battle, not wanting to let anyone or myself down, and holding myself up to very high expectations and the pressures that come along with being a wife & mum, running 12 stores, employing 30+ people & endeavouring to become part of the social media world.
A small glimpse by example of this; lying on a hospital bed, recovering from an emergency c-section, pumping out breast milk, with a chest infection thanks to influenza and pneumonia, pumped full of drugs and anti-biotics, and a new born baby who was struggling to feed, an infected dead arm, lack of sleep, poor sleep deprived and sick husband and worried mum and daughter; knowing I must find the strength to sit myself up in that hospital bed and make calls to discuss the organisation of a store premises move, process and pay the staff wages for the week, all while receiving frantic messages from staff wanting me to problem solve business issues.
A day in the business life.
It took 2 & 1/2 years to overcome and work through, and then came the death of my Dad, which has shaken me endlessly. I’m a changed person and I’m thankful that hitting an emotional and physical rock bottom opened my eyes to re evaluate my life.
I’m so grateful to my rocks, incredibly supportive loyal husband; whose love knows no bounds.
My dear dear supportive mum; we would not have survived without her love and care.
My gorgeous children who helped me get through.
No one can prepare you for the loss of a loved one, nor what it takes to run a multi-faceted small business, and until it happens no one can ever truly understand what life is like when you have more than one child.
There also comes a time when as a creative you must look forward or you’ll get stifled. If something no longer sparks your passion, and doesn’t excite you as it once did, then you must move on and find that spark in something new or you’ll stay stuck and unhappy.
This past year I have asked myself; Is this exciting me anymore or has it become expected, mundane, the norm?
You know I hate the norm.
We have accomplished everything we wanted to in Auckland, and now we want something different. Something exciting & new!
We want to put our family ahead of our work.
The recent death of my Father, has made be re evaluate my life and priorities.
So, as the united unit we are, my family are moving up and away from Auckland and to beautiful Marlborough. We will be close to our Mainland family, in a stunning picturesque setting and beautiful healing environment.
We will miss you all!
I am so excited to transform & elevate my brand in this new chapter of our lives, to greater and higher levels in the digital world we live in. Closing the doors to an era and opening a new chapter.
We hope to lead a peaceful, tranquil, creative and happy existence in a new but familiar land.
It’s a small town that feels like the perfect place to raise our children. To get them out of the big city, away from the stress and anxiety and to a quieter, simplified outdoors lifestyle.
The sale of our business and home in Auckland has meant we are lucky enough to live the stress free lifestyle we so desire. To be selective in our work choices and most importantly, to enjoy our children.
We are so grateful to be in this position, when so many people are not so lucky. We empathise with so many Aucklanders (and NZers throughout the country) who are finding the cost of living difficult, finding rental housing difficult and finding the house prices out of their reach.
We have worked incredibly hard to have what we have and have faced countless battles and pressures to be in this financial position. We understand the struggle, but believe in hard work, achieving goals and pursuing your dreams pays off.
Thank you to everyone who has supported myself, and Chevron throughout our careers in this incredible field.
I want to take this opportunity to thank some people who have been incremental, inspirational, and invaluable in our professional lives:
Richard Mercier & Barbara Crawford
Annah Stretton (the worlds greatest mentor, friend and business partner, whom I am always greatly indebted to and in awe of).
Rog & Felicity
Gael & Earl
Jono & Kevin (Buffy & Bimbo)
Val & Micah
Nadia, Jodie & Nikki
The Pink Ladies who supported & inspired us
Finally but definitely not least, to all of my followers and Phoenix Cosmetics clients and customers who have supported my brand and stores throughout the years. I am truly indebted to you, thank you for your trust and support and for enjoying and loving my brand.
To anyone I’ve missed, you are not forgotten & we thank you deeply.
We are indebted to you always.
Love and Peace from Sunny Marlborough ✨
Phoenix, Chevron, Clara, Cayden & Hunnaey, and Mama Fern.
Photos by Katherine Ann-Marie,