The Community Loan Fund has been helping businesses and individuals be successful since 1985 and offers a variety of programs and resources. They provide access to capital for microenterprises and freelancers for business development. This article is a part of a series that highlights local businesses who has benefitted from a Community Loan Fund Loan, like The Makeup Curio, and have used it to build their business.
Jenn Dugan at The Makeup Curio started her business officially in August 2016 in her home, but when she wanted to expand her business to include facials, she knew she wanted to do it right— and that required her to not only have her aesthetics license but an actual space to run her business in.
She opened the store in October 2017 with the help of a Community Loan Fund Loan.
“It was a gradual progression and took about 4 months from start to finish,” Jenn says.
When asked what advice she has for other creatives and aspiring aestheticians, Jenn says, “Be patient, it’s hard, but it will come when it’s meant to.”
Jenn began as a costume designer with an emphasis in theatre. Many in this job position also have to do makeup as well, so her first job involved both. She started out as a self-taught hair and makeup stylist, and she does not do “real hair” she styles wigs to be worn for costumes.
Jenn’s love for makeup began to develop and she transitioned to full-time makeup artistry about six years ago. Two years later, she began doing professional makeup regularly for special events, weddings, galas, and of course Halloween makeup. She has also been able to enjoy doing work in theater by teaming up with local high school theater programs to do makeup and hair. This way she is able to bridge the gap between makeup artistry and theatre, and still do what she loves.
She has morphed her business in to two parts — “the “Beautiful” and “the Unusual” — allowing her to do classic event or gala makeup but also to get creative with theatrical and Halloween makeup as well. Jenn says this allows her to be creative and she loves doing both.
There is a strong seasonality to her business. In summer, she helps with theater camps and does makeup appointments on the weekends for special events. In the fall, special events continue with the wedding season, and Halloween is another busy time of year.
October has been her busiest month recently. “People forget that wedding season goes through October,’ Jenn says. “There are days when I have a wedding in the morning, then head over to an event makeup appointment, and then have someone who wants Halloween costume makeup later that evening.”
Jenn’s ability to secure a loan from The Community Loan Fund has allowed her to run her business in a space that meets her needs and gives her room to hone her craft even further. When asked why she loves to run her business in the Capital Region, she says “There are so many creatives and collaboration is easy. People actually want others to succeed, and they are supportive of each other.”
The Community Loan Fund offers a variety of lending options for non-profits, small businesses, freelancers, entrepreneurs, and more. Let’s say you are a freelance photographer and you need $1,000 to cover the cost of upgrading your equipment. The Community Loan fund is more likely to approve a loan for this expense over a traditional bank. Many traditional banks would call this a high risk, and it would be highly unlikely that the loan would be approved. The Community Loan Fund offers reviews on a case-by-case basis for its financial viability and positive social impact. If you are looking to expand your business, you can get more information and set up a time to talk with someone at The Community Loan Fund by clicking here.