Support – it’s such a simple word but such a strong emotion. When you feel supported by your loved ones, there’s no limit to how much you can achieve. That holds true especially for women. With supportive families and friends, it becomes just a little bit easier to make it in the world. However, when women don’t get that support, when the very people who are supposed to encourage them start holding them back, a woman’s life becomes a tale of survival and perseverance. One such tale is that of Shallu Chandla, a renowned makeup artist.
From a school teacher to a makeup artist, Shallu’s journey has not been easy. In fact, when she started working as a makeup artist, Shallu was a single mother who had to earn for herself and for her daughter. As part of our #EveOfTheMoment campaign, we spoke to Shallu Chandla about her story. Read on to get inspired.
All About Eve: In your experience, how easy or difficult is it for women in India to excel in their careers?
Shallu Chandla: Considering that we are in 2019 today, a lot of developments have been made where women are concerned. They have become more confident and independent themselves, and families have also grown to be supportive. But there are major struggles for women in places that are not developed and open-minded, where one doesn’t get enough opportunities. In the end, though, only dedication, hard work and talent matter, coupled with the right opportunities.
AAE: What made you choose a career in makeup?
SC: I started my career as a school teacher and worked for nine years in the profession. That was going pretty well, but I got divorced during the early years of my marriage. Since I was always inclined towards brushes, strokes, colour palettes, how beautifully shades merge to create more shades, and because of my die hard interest in paintings, I knew this was my calling, and I started makeup and hair styling as a profession. I considered this as an alternative to be financially stronger to raise my child as a single mother. After a while, I enjoyed this a lot more and found my peace in what I love to do.
AAE: As a woman, have you ever faced any obstacles – either professionally or personally – that may have made you stronger?
SC: Everyone has a mix of ups and downs in their respective journeys. Life is challenging for everyone, more for some than others. The most challenging obstacle that I faced was when I got separated while in the process of becoming a mother. I was mentally and emotionally disturbed, but I kept a smile on my face during delivery and while generating a business to pay my dues. I did every small job in the beginning of my career to save money, and I would calm myself down by telling myself, “This too shall pass.”
Maintaining the balance between work and my daughter’s needs and expectations from me was so challenging. Thankfully, that situation transformed me completely as a professional, a single parent and, most importantly, as a human which only made me strong.
AAE: What advice would you give to young women who are just starting their careers, especially in a competitive field like makeup and hair styling?
SC: Persistence, hard work, and no shortcuts. Most importantly, be humble in any situation, even if your client is a bit arrogant or not satisfied with the final look. Make sure it ends on a happy note, and you leave a positive impression. Use quality products because that is directly going to represent who you are as a professional artist. Be honest to any job even if it’s not ideal for you. Do your homework before going for a particular job. Know the trends and stay updated. All in all, be professional, friendly and approachable. Even if it’s not a good day for you, be pleasant and accessible. There is no room for negativity in this workplace.
Do you have an inspiring tale to tell? Do you know someone whose story is worth telling? Come, be a part of our #EveOfTheMoment campaign and let us tell your story to the world. It could motivate another young girl to take on the mightiest obstacles in pursuit of her dreams. Write in to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your story.