My name is Julia Pawlak, I will never forget the mixture of nerves and excitement I felt on starting my business as a permanent makeup artist! I started with no money, no savings, and no beauty background, and this is my story of how I became a PMU.
Before I started this journey, I managed three jobs! I was a waiter on a breakfast shift in a hotel, from 7-11am in the week. Every day, after my hotel shift was over, I worked in a cleaning business. On top of that, every weekend I would work in a fish & chips shop from 5pm-12am. I have no idea how on earth I managed to juggle this! But I was so determined to do better and follow my dreams.
In 2013 I got a tax return, and I decided now was the time to invest in my training and my future. I asked myself, what is it I want to do? I knew I wanted to work in a way that meant I had more freedom, and to do something I enjoyed so much that it didn’t feel like working.
I had the dream of being able to help women to look and feel better and help empower them. But with little money for training to do this, I didn’t know what to do! I always knew deep down I was an artist, but how could I make this my job? I had so many questions!
Around that time, I started losing my eyebrow hair. They became thin and sparse, which was made worse when I exercised as I would lose hair from sweating – I was beginning to lose them completely. I decided to get my eyebrows done with PMU and booked my appointment. I was excited, but it was a disaster!! They looked so bad after my treatment that I ended up spending more money to laser them off – now I know to do my research before getting any treatments done.
However, after this I had my answer for what I wanted to do . . . I wanted to do what the PMU artist did, but better! I would bring women the confidence to look and feel better, so they didn’t have the same experience I did. I decided to invest my tax return into a beginner’s PMU course in Poland.
When I came back to the UK, I had my qualification, but asked myself, what next? I had no money for the equipment, no way of renting a salon space, and no extra cash to help set up my business. So, I went back to my old job to raise the extra money.
Finally I got the PMU equipment and two pigments – I was so, so proud of myself! I started practicing every day between shifts at work and at night before bed. When I was ready, I asked some of my friends if they would be models for me, and I had to use my bed as the treatment table. I was so determined and desperate to start somewhere it had to be this way, but I knew I would get a beauty bed when I started properly. Once I had saved up enough to buy one, I started working from home as a PMU artist on a Sunday which was my only day off.
To help me get into the business, I would also go to Glasgow at the weekend and rent a little space in a salon to do party makeup. I had a hunger for the work, and it was a way to make more money. I would bring all my makeup and brushes to the salon and work from there. Once I had saved up, I went to Lancaster for my first PMU masterclass on ombre brows. Here I met one of my best friends and a lovely lady called Christine who was impressed with my work and offered me spaces in her salon for a percentage. I was now so happy; my hard work was paying off!
I was still working all my other jobs whilst I worked in Christine’s salon and it was overwhelming working in so many places, when I just wanted to focus on permanent makeup. My determination would win!
I was in a relationship for 10 years at this point, and as my business grew it was clear we had grown apart and I wasn’t happy anymore. We both decided that was the end, and we went in different directions. Because of this I moved into a flat with another girl, who was working from home as a nail technician. I said to myself; this is it
I transformed my bedroom into a treatment room so I could work from home and quit all my other jobs. I could finally concentrate on being a PMU artist full time. I advertised a little to start building my client base and started doing well. Some of my clients would ask where I slept as the house was so small, and I would tell them I slept in the treatment room! I would get up early and properly clean and transform the room into a treatment room for my clients. Of course, it wasn’t easy, but I was finally doing what made me happy!
My story has more ups and downs and keeps on going!
What I want to say is: if you have dreams and you want to make them reality, start now! If I can do it, you can too! I know my dream is to help as many women as possible to achieve their goals and start believing themselves!