Would you agree that we all try to do our best for the environment; water conservation, using fewer chemicals in our lives, recycling, selecting locally grown produce to reduce fuel consumption, etc?!? We’re all aware of the changes that need to take place, to ensure a more healthy planet for our children and grandchildren.
But I know of a young lass who is actively trying to improve the environment through her business practices. Let me introduce Amy Sumner from Amy Sumner Eco Makeup Artist. A passionate advocate for positive change, who just loves dogs, making brides happy, being a good person and living a life of fulfillment.
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Name of your business and number of staff that work for you?
Amy Sumner and it’s just me!
Date you started the business?
How long has the business been established?
I started working as a makeup artist 5 years ago, but I was still studying naturopathy at the time. My business has now been my main focus for the last 3 years.
What was the core of your business when you started?
When I began my makeup career, I wanted to get into special effects and was more passionate about film, fashion and character makeup than bridal work. At the same time I was studying naturopathy and felt very torn about my two passions.
Knowing so much about health, I felt conflicted about the toxic products I was using for my makeup artistry work and didn't know how to combine my two passions - but I also knew I couldn't choose between them.
What is the core of your business now?
My business has evolved a lot since its beginnings. I've moved around a lot and finally settled on Dunsborough as my home, where I intend to stay for many years. I'm practicing as a naturopath, and my special interest has always remained in skin health, although in recent years I've also developed an interest in chronic fatigue syndrome and children's behavioural disorders.
Over the years I have discovered so many incredible natural, cruelty-free, eco-friendly makeup brands from all around the world. Finding these high performance products that are beautiful in every way really reignited my creative passion. I've also got hooked on weddings, and most of my makeup work now consists of bridal parties and makeup lessons.
I am launching makeup masterclasses and natural beauty workshops soon to teach bigger groups makeup skills as well as how to create beautiful skin, hair and nails with nutrition, herbal medicine and natural beauty. My business is a lot more cohesive now and as a result I've been more successful and confident in what I offer.
Where do you service in the Region?
I will travel anywhere for my work and seeing new places is one of the great joys of my job. I'm a beach girl at heart so I love working coastal weddings around Eagle Bay and Dunsborough, but I also love the enchanted vibe of the southern forests.
When looking at the wedding industry as a whole, in locally/nationally/globally, where do you think the Southwest sits?
The Southwest has an incredible wedding industry, and certainly the best in WA. When I first started my business I lived in my hometown of Geraldton, and although it's a beautiful place, I found the wedding scene quite dull. Moving down here has been wonderful for my business.
The southwest has a great, vibrant industry which draws engaged couples and wedding vendors from other regions so it really feeds on itself. There are also endless options for marketing, with fabulous wedding directories such as CTCW, and fantastic expos and open days that make it a lot easier to reach engaged couples and other complementary businesses.
What is your all-time favourite month for weddings, year in and year out?
October always seems to be a very busy month and the ‘Spring’ feeling adds a bit of sparkle.
Is there a service, product or natural resource that you think is genuinely unique and actually cool about our Southwest, and that makes Southwest weddings the best?
It's all about the locations.
We have some of the best beaches in the world, and beautiful forests and wildlife. The Southwest will always be unique and irreplaceable in that way.
What do you love about the wedding scene in the Southwest?
There are so many options and sources of inspiration. Having such a vibrant wedding industry inspires my own creativity. Even though there are so many vendors here, it doesn't feel competitive, it just makes it more exciting and means that there's something for everyone and you get the clients that are really suited to your expertise.
People here are also very environmentally conscious and I've had great support from people who love my eco-friendly, natural products and who are embracing of naturopathy.
Who do you admire or aspire to emulate, that is a leader in your field of weddings?
Mia Connor really inspires me with her makeup artistry skills and attitude to business. She works incredibly hard and has achieved amazing success as a result. Her makeup artistry is always evolving and she has really earnt her place as one of the top makeup artists in Australia.
Emmily Banks is also an amazing eco makeup artist who really made me realise that it's possible to be successful using only natural products, and she just has a beautiful soul that I really connect with.
In your experience in this whole industry, what do you think is the most underrated element of a wedding celebration?
I know I'm biased, but - makeup!
It's sometimes an afterthought, when really, your face is pretty important. There's not much point having an amazing dress if your face looks pale or washed out.
I also think it's important to consider your ethics and values when planning your wedding, and create a celebration that really reflects you both authentically. If you love animals and live a healthy lifestyle, why wear makeup that's been tested on animals or put toxic products on your skin on the most important day of your life?
If you got married in the next 12 months, what would be your number one priority/expense
A great photographer. Photos are one of the only elements of your wedding that you will keep, and as a makeup artist I know that a good photographer is basically a magician; it's astonishing what they can create with their unique perspective.
Your wedding day is such a whirlwind and it's important to have someone you trust capturing all the little moments you might miss, like your family's reactions when you're walking down the aisle or precious hugs with grandparents. I don't think you would ever regret spending the money to immortalise those moments in the beauty they deserve.
Can you recall and share a wedding that caught you by surprise?
Once I was attending a beach ceremony after doing makeup for the bridal party. I think everybody was taken by surprise when a family of emus walked through the archway and parted the crowd just as the bride and groom were saying their vows!
Is there ‘something’ that you see in some couples, that makes you think that they’ll be a couple to ‘make it’?
It's a hard thing to describe. I think it's an energy, an aura you can sense when two souls perfectly complement each other.
What is your all-time favourite location for a wedding in the whole Southwest?
The Secret Garden
What does marriage mean to you?
It's a divine commitment to inspire and support each other to be the best and truest version of yourselves, and to share the highs and lows of life together as one.
What is the best piece of marriage advice you have ever heard or been given personally?
To have a great marriage, you need to first be comfortable and happy within yourself. Looking after yourself allows you to be a better a partner for your ‘other half’.
I think it's also important to have gratitude for your partner and appreciate all the little things you love about them, even (and perhaps especially) when you're going through difficult times.
Five things that you carry with you on every job, big or small?
* Rescue Remedy in case my bride is feeling anxious or I'm feeling under the pump.
* More makeup brushes than you would think!
* Inika Pure Primer (I use it to prime the skin, but it also acts as a makeup eraser when used on a cotton bud, and mixes with eyeshadow to create liquid eyeliner).
* Rose water for toning the skin and refreshing makeup.
* Disposable mascara wands for hygiene.
What’s one trick/secret that people in your industry/field covet, that everyone should actually know?
The right brushes make a huge difference to what you can create. The best makeup brushes to invest in are a small angle brush and a flat top kabuki brush.
In your opinion, as couples plan their wedding day, in which month or season should they plan to have their wedding day?
It's definitely important to consider.
The weather and season sets the scene for the kind of day you will have, and influences things like the colour of the landscape and which flowers are blooming. Embrace the season for what it is, so you can make the most of it instead of worrying about it. If it's going to be Winter invest in some luxurious Winter coats for the bridal party, or for Summer make sure you plan for plenty of shade and provide lots of hydration for your guests. Always have a back-up plan though, so you won't have to stress if the weather takes an unexpected turn.
Whenever I visit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Pemberton, I feel like I'm stepping into a fairytale.