Hey friends! I’ve been getting awesome feedback regarding these small business features so I’ve decided to keep ’em coming. Today, I’m interviewing the incredible Kristina Han from Own Your Wonder, and I couldn’t be more excited. Whether you want to take makeup lessons or get done up for a special occasion, her local DC studio has you covered.
I had the pleasure of getting my own makeup done at OYW a while back, and they did a truly incredible job. I wanted to look polished but “natural,” and they killed it with the execution. It took a little less than an hour, and I left feeling like royalty. Here’s a shot of what it looked like!
Could you please introduce yourself and tell me what inspired you to open Own Your Wonder?
My name is Kristina Han and I started Own Your Wonder (OYW) because I wanted to create an affordable and inclusive place where a professional artist could do my makeup that was appropriate for my skin tone and facial features. I was looking for a place like OYW when I needed to elevate my daily look for work meetings and social occasions but wasn’t able to find one.
Is there special significance behind the name?
OYW is named as such because I believe the future of beauty is beyond inclusivity and it’s all about individuality. This means feeling confident and joyful with one’s unique look and feeling empowered to define that look.
Have you always loved makeup and beauty? When did you realize you had a passion for it?
I actually hate putting makeup on because I’m really bad at it and have never had much interest in beauty products. However, I am all about self-care and looking my best for whatever occasion. When I was growing up, my mother used to drill into my head that it was my responsibility as a woman to take care of myself both physically and emotionally. So, I approach makeup as a service and experience, and not necessarily a product. For me, it is a form of self-expression and self-care.
As a working mom of three, I’m also very pragmatic in that I want my makeup to be functional and multi-purpose, and not just glam, for example.
I understand you have a very unique and special background. Could you tell us a little more about yourself and your very impressive accomplishments?
I was a competitive swimmer when I was growing up and I used to be part of the US National Team as well as swimming in the Olympics for South Korea! My family immigrated from South Korea when I was a teenager so that I could swim with some of the best swim teams in the US. I studied at Harvard, then went on to graduate schools in law and public policy at Duke and Johns Hopkins, respectively. Before I started OYW, I was an investment banker, a lawyer and a consultant.
What makes OYW special?
OYW is special because it’s for the everyday woman (and any other gender) who understands and appreciates the interconnectedness between how one feels and looks. After their lesson or makeover, our customers walk out feeling confident and joyful because they look their best.
What kind of services do you guys offer?
We offer 10 min, 30 min and 60 min makeover services, as well as champagne makeover parties and individual/ group lessons. Basically people can choose to either learn to apply makeup on themselves, or have a professional artist do it for them for any occasion.
How many make up artists do you have on your team?
We are very lucky to have 8 amazingly talented artists on our team.
How do you choose who joins your team, and how would an aspiring MUA go about applying to OYW?
The first thing I do when I interview a prospective candidate is to ask her to do a trial makeup on me. As a middle-aged Asian woman, I never felt comfortable walking into any beauty shops or makeup counters because people didn’t know how to work with my skin tone and/or weren’t comfortable working with my facial features. So, my first test is to see if the artist has appropriate skill sets and experience to accommodate someone who’s not “mainstream” like me. I also look at the candidate’s makeup kit to make sure that their sanitation standard meets our high expectations and that they have products to accommodate all skin tones.
An aspiring MUA could apply to us by sending us their resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How far in advance do potential customers need to reserve sessions?
I would recommend at least 2 days in advance for weekdays and 5 days in advance for weekends.
Why did you choose to open OYW in Georgetown? Was there a specific reason?
I fell in love with our space in Georgetown because it has a lot of natural light (a key ingredient for flawless, natural makeup!), a private room for anyone who needs privacy for their makeup service and a beautiful garden in the back.
How has COVID-19 affected your business? Are you still open for clients?
Sadly we have had to close our business because of COVID-19. Even though we can’t see clients IRL, we offer one-on-one and group online lessons. This service has been very popular because, in the new “Zoom era” these days, people want to learn tips and tricks for achieving a video-friendly and flattering look that is appropriate for their face. All they need is makeup they already own at home. Many people also have more time at home for self-care and learning makeup techniques they have always wanted to learn to elevate their daily routine.
How can customers support you during this difficult period?
Please support our artists and buy our online gift cards! You can also sign up for one of our fun virtual lessons by sending us an email at email@example.com or sending us a dm @ownyourwonder.
Alright friends, I hope you enjoyed learning all about Own Your Wonder today! A huge thanks to Kristina for taking the time to answer my questions. I know I sound like a broken record, but it’s so, so, SO important for us to support local business during this trying time. If you don’t have the money to purchase a lesson or gift card, it doesn’t cost anything to like, comment and share their content on social so you could always help that way.
If you enjoyed reading this feature, make sure you check out my interviews with Match Made Stores, The Codex Club and Undeniable Boutique as well. I’m also planning on hosting a giveaway for Undeniable Boutique soon so definitely make sure to check back. I share new content every Monday, Thursday and Saturday so I hope to see you soon. Sending you all the positive vibes, friends.