Make-up artist Gabby Caswell may describe herself a ‘sole trader’ but there’s been more than a little friends and family influence in her successful first few years.
Gabby had been interested in make-up and beauty from a young age, having grown up with a mother who had previously trained in make-up and had a true passion for the art. She pursued a more academic route, however, into a career in marketing. When her mother fell ill, she told Gabby that when the time came, she should use her inheritance to retrain. After her mother died, Gabby did just that, enrolling in a one-year diploma, in January 2020.
“I was excited that out of something so sad in my life, I’d started doing something positive,” said Gabby.
“Unfortunately, I’d hardly got started when we went into lockdown, which could have been disastrous and set me back a year. As luck would have it, though, I was able to use a friend within my bubble as my model, and thanks to that, I managed to get through all my theoretical work and practicals, and finished the course on time.”
A chance meeting with a make-up artist friend who needed an assistant gave Gabby the opportunity to get the experience she needed, including taking courses in lashes and brows, and, in April 2022, Gabby launched Caswell Beauty.
Since then, she’s been in demand for weddings, balls and proms – which she can do at the client’s own home or venue, or at her studio in Moulton, where she carries out all lash and brow appointments – as well as branching out into the world of celebrity.
“I also did a course on hair styling so that I can offer hair-ups for weddings or parties as most clients want both for an occasion like that,” said Gabby.
“I also do make-up lessons for beginners, and I’ve done the make-up for fashion shows, where you really have to think on your feet.”
Social media allows Gabby to showcase the work of Caswell Beauty, which has captured the attention of some celebrity clients. Gabby was approached by April Banbury from Married At First Sight to do her make-up for a photo shoot, and she worked with former footballer Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock to get him ready to have promotional images taken.
“Through another connection I got asked to do the make-up for a war film that was shooting in Lincolnshire,” said Gabby. “That was great fun to do and very different from what I do day-to-day. Two of the actors were in the process of writing something of their own and asked me to do some work on that, too.
“It’s been very exciting setting up my own business and seeing how things develop from word-of-mouth recommendations. I really feel like I’m doing the thing I love now, and I enjoy every minute!”