Painting On Smiles
Gabrielle Silva sets pretty high standards for herself. She’s the only face painter in Huntsville with a business license and the only that’s a member of The Arts Council of Huntsville.
Gabrielle’s Face Painting’s mission is to promote confidence, self esteem and imagination through the medium of art and entertainment. “No one is too old to express their inner self though color,” is one of Silva’s mottoes. Sure, she specializes in children’s parties, but she’s also done work for several bands and performers, like Polyphonic Spree and Sean Lennon, as well as provided concert entertainment for performers like Katy Perry and The Flaming Lips. Some of her most important work has been with special needs children and adults through the Bringing Up Down Syndrome program (BUDS).
You might have seen samples of Gabrielle’s work running gleefully around Mellow Mushroom or Lowe Mill, and you’ll definitely see her at Panoply this weekend – just look for the really long line! Her artful designs are worth the wait, as many families can attest.
But none of this was really supposed to happen. About three years ago, Gabrielle worked as an Assistant Vet Technician and had an artist studio at Lowe Mill. She performed with Crash Boom Bang Theatre and was an avid volunteer in the community. The impending arrival of her daughter gave Silva the opportunity to discover her new skill. After a referral from Lowe Mill to do face painting at a birthday party, she knew there was a way to use her artistic talent to build a business. “I woke up the next day and said to myself, ‘That was like a dream – doing something I loved, making children happy, and making money at the same time!’ I have been doing it ever since. I give major credit to Lowe Mill for all of the love and inspiration that I have received from their community. I wouldn’t be where I am at today without them.”
What is your favorite thing about owning your business?
“In my business there are several. I have found myself in doing what I love, which I know will leave an impression on my little girl to live out her own dreams and make the world a better, brighter place. I make my own schedule which is a plus, but really it would have to be when that person looks in the mirror and is not only happy with the result of my effort but they are truly surprised and enriched by the experience.”
What kinds of events can you accommodate?
“I am versatile and I can work with any theme and can do just about any design from seeing a picture and given enough time. I also do have UV neon blacklight reactive paint and several portable lights to make any event glow. We have many designs to offer for smaller events but also can work with hundreds of children with my festival board that offers 36 designs and can be done in less than 5 minutes. I also believe in the less is more approach. Most of my designs I have found a way to do them without covering the whole face. It makes it easier to maintain the design and also easier to remove. I use only professional cosmetic grade face paint.”
What is your entrepreneurial advice to other small business owners?
“I’m always growing and developing my business. Never get caught without business cards! NO matter what even if you are in the grocery store. You never know when you will be asked about what you do or find someone interested, so you have to always be prepared.”
Gabrielle has painted two parties for us and we search her out during her public appearances. We Love her. She is a fantastic artist and very very good with children. Her team was professional and organized. I would use her for all my face painting needs.
Gabrielle is giving away a party of up to ten kids in Huntsville, valued at $75. (Book one month in advance, and adjusted rate available for more than 10 kids.) Enter below to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.
Gabrielle did facepainting at our son’s birthday party, and she was a hit! She was so patient and great with the kids, and really did a fantastic job. I recommend her to all the moms I know! You rock, Gabrielle!