Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Customer Service Tips For Face Painters

Face painting has become a popular part of the entertainment fare in parties and special events. Flowers, butterflies and an assortment characters come alive on the skin in the hands of a creative face paint artist. For many, face painting is your business so we wanted to give you some great tips to help things to smoothly when dealing with customers.

Crowd Control for Face Paint Artists


Many face paint artists are in the business because they love interacting with the public while getting the chance to share their art and show off their skill, but the lines can be long and unbearable at times. Controlling the line will allow you to truly focus on the kid in front of you and do your best work every time. Often, it is up to the face painter to manage the line while ensuring that everyone leaves happy and well decorated. Try and create some ways to pass the time from books to browse face paint ideas or games to play for kids.

If waiting customers make you anxious, hiring a line manager will ease your troubles. The line manager can set up a sign in sheet or text message customers when their turn has come. This will help to alleviate stress and avoid rushing jobs.  With these tools you can allow customers to wander off and enjoy other festivities until it’s their turn. Be honest when you estimate wait times so customers can come back later when the rush is over. If you are calling their name or contacting a client by text – make sure to be clear about how long you will wait before taking the next customer to avoid confusion and frustration. By using these methods customers will be happy and relaxed when they sit in your chair and will barely think about the wait.

Using cones and strings will help reduce cutting in line, and creating signs that give the customer an idea of how long it takes to paint each child will also help customers decide if they want to wait in a really long line, or come back later. Posting in large print the time that you will paint the last face will also reduce confusion and uncomfortable interactions when it is time for you to leave. Make sure not to ignore the line when you get down to your last 20 - 30 minutes…be sure to cut it off when you think you have the most kids in line that you will be able to paint before you leave. Create a large Line Closed sign, or have the last person in line wear a vest that says that the line is closed. You can hand out stickers or tickets or paint a dot on each kid left in line so you will know if someone snuck in. At closing time, apologize gently, but insist that you have future commitments and you really must leave right away. Sometimes you will know when you need to make an exception, and paint that one last adorable kid, just don’t let it domino unless the client requests that you stay longer.

Work Efficiently


It is important for face painters to be organized. Tools and materials should be lined up and within reach. Have a mirror handy so that customers can see their new look once you are finished. Having a spot away from your chair that has a big mirror will give the kids all the time they want to check out their new look. Always remember to fill up water buckets and have plenty of sponges to get you through the gig at the start so you never run out of sanitary tools while working. Rainbow cakes, stencils and temporary tattoos are fast to apply and can help you cut down on time while making more complex designs.

Interact with the Customer


Have several spiels ready to make children comfortable while sitting for their face paint. Conversation starters consist of age-appropriate jokes, rhymes and riddles. To include other children waiting in line, be prepared to tell humorous stories or even sing a few tunes if you can multitask while painting. Asking them their age and name is the most simple way to start the fun.
Talk with the children and accompanying adults if needed to try and draw out what they want for their face paint design. Ask specific questions to make sure you know what is really important to them and let your creative juices fill in the rest. Let the child choose a few colors and effects, and explain the face painting process as you proceed. This will help you take all of their wonderful ideas and manage expectations of what’s possible at the same time. Warn them when you are going to paint around their eyes or mouth so they are not surprised, or move suddenly.

Prepare a Selfie Spot


To get the line moving smoothly, designate a photo spot that can be used for before and after shots. This spot should be set off from the work area and decorated with a suitable background. The selfie spot may even be a great way to include some of your branding in the background so everyone knows you created these fabulous looks.

Use Quality Face-painting Products


The best thing you can do to ensure customer satisfaction is to use good, quality face paint. There is no excuse to use inferior face painting products when premium quality brands are available and convenient to use. Whether you prefer to work from solids or split cakes, make sure that each one is hypoallergenic and safe for sensitive skin. When dealing with small kids, face paint may be the first makeup on their skin so use products that are good for everyone rather than trusting them to know if they have sensitive skin.  Quality face paint also makes for smoother applications and may be less likely to run, and will not peal or flake off.

Face paint is usually water-based to ensure easy clean up, but customers will appreciate a few tips to make their face paint last longer and how to properly remove face paint once they get home. You can have these instructions on the back of your business card so they can refer to them at the end of the day, and have your contact info for future bookings. 
(This cute design was done with the Cameleon Roses Color Block)

Have Fun


Fun is contagious! If you are in a great mood and love what you do, you will inspire that joy in your clients and others around you. At the end of the day, face painting is all about bringing creativity and happiness into the world so take minor frustrations in stride and keep loving what you do.


Have any great tips for dealing with customers from your face paint business? Share your experiences in the comments below!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Vegan Face Paint

Vegan face paint is the newest craze to hit the face painting world.

Living vegan just became a little easier for families across the United States. Gary Cole, a well-known face in our industry has introduced a new line of  Ruby Red Face and Body Paintto the world as vegan. The regular line of  Ruby Red colors are Vegan but the UV/NEON paints are not vegan (they contain shellac) and the "Natural" line of face paint is not vegan because it contains beeswax.

 Calling this new line vegan is a quick and savvy way to explain to customers that their face paint is free of harsh chemicals and animal byproducts. Vegan body paints are free of lanolin, carmine or other animal byproducts, and they have not been tested on animals, making these products an excellent solution for animal conscious families, individuals and organizations interested in face painting for recreational or fundraising purposes.

Ruby Red manages to maintain great quality and bright long-lasting colors while ensuring the products you put on your skin are healthy, safe, and free of animal involvement. Ruby Red Face Paint isn’t the only product line offering safe, friendly alternative paints.

Here at JestPaint we make it a point to carry a variety of high quality products for you to choose from- all of our items are hypoallergenic and none of them are tested on animals, and many are also Vegan. Some of our featured face paint brands that meet the Vegan requirements are Ruby Red, Global Colours, Cameleon, TAG, Kryvaline, Paradise, and Diamond FX.

have been gaining popularity nationwide as conscientious consumers look to avoid animal products. Customers with sensitive skin are gaining more options to avoid harsh chemicals and enjoy the fun of face painting and body art.


Additional Benefits of Ruby Red Face Paints

Vegan products have become increasingly popular among professional face and body painters in recent years thanks to their hypoallergenic and cruelty-free attributes. Some of the most important advantages of vegan body paints include the following:


• Paints created without the use of animal products or testing can be used by all customers, vegan or not.
• Ruby Red does not contain lanolin (the only face paint brand that contains by products from lanolin at our store is FAB, all others are also lanolin free).  Lanolin can produce rashes and discomfort in those allergic to wool. By choosing products that contain no lanolin, face and body painters can protect customers against these unpleasant side effects and ensure no sheep were involved in the creation of this face paint.
• By their nature, vegan body and face paints are more environmentally friendly than comparable items manufactured using animal products or testing.
• Beyond being Vegan, Ruby Red does not contain paraben preservatives. Parabens in cosmetics have been loosely linked to health issues in recent years and many customers are opting for paraben free shampoos, deodorants, and other beauty products. By avoiding the use of parabens as preservatives in these products, vegan paint manufacturers can appeal to customers who are adverse to the use of these chemicals. Many other brands at JestPaint are paraben free, like Diamond FX, TAG, Cameleon and Wolfe FX.
• Ruby Red, as well as many other brands at our store (like Paradise and FAB) are perfume free. Eliminating perfumes can reduce the risk of skin irritation or general reactions from those who are sensitive to the scent of perfumes, or have perfume allergies. This can help professional face painters and their clientele with sensitive skin avoid allergic reactions to face and body paint.


The increasing availability of vegan products within the industry will allow professional face painting studios to serve all their clients more effectively and safely. Reducing the incidence of irritation can produce a more attractive end result and can provide positive buzz for companies locally and in the regional marketplace.

Creating a Unique New Look

http://www.jestpaint.com/ruby-red-face-paint-s/2042.htm
Face painting can provide entertainment for children and adults alike. By choosing from among the products available at Jest Paint, both professional and amateur painters can create beautiful looks to delight and impress their clients. Vegan paints from the Ruby Red Face and Body Paint product line designed and developed by Gary Cole are available in a range of colors and formulations, including the following:

• Neutral and bright tones that provide outstanding coverage for face and body painting
• Metallic tones for special effects and accents
• Pearl colors that create an iridescent shine for beauty make-up
• Pre-packaged palettes to make purchasing basic face paints easier and more convenient for end users

By purchasing these products online through Jest Paint, professionals and amateurs can ensure the best prices and the highest quality for innovative vegan face and body paints. Jest Paint is always available to answer any questions you may have.

We believe vegan face paint is the way of the future, as people become more selective about what products they allow on their skin. By using vegan face paints from Jest Paint, you can find great vibrant colors that will work well for everyone.

The full line of face and body paints available from Jest Paint can provide the variety and quality needed to achieve outstanding results. The addition of Ruby Red Face and Body Paint products to Jest Paint's inventory will allow an even greater degree of choice for professionals in the modern face paint industry.

UPDATE! Ruby Red also has a line of Natural Face Paints, made with all natural base products and natural minerals for coloring, though they are not vegan since they have organic beeswax. Click here to see a video demo.



We’re excited to hear your opinions. Let us know what you think about vegan face paint by leaving us a comment below.

Here are some links to check out if you want more information about using cruelty free products:
www.eceae.org www.leapingbunny.org www.peta.com www.neavs.org www.aldf.org Thanks to Nancy Kartoon from Fantastic Face Artist for providing these links!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Keeping

What essential part of your business you might be overlooking...

For many painters, reality is that they love to paint, but they don’t like spending time adding up invoices, preparing taxes, etc. However, if you want to run a successful business you need to keep an eye on your expenses. Paying taxes is the law, and it will help you know if you are making a profit at the end of the year, and what that is. 

Bookkeeping is an essential part of your business and it can be done easily if you do it regularly enough and you get used to saving all of your paper records. To know what records to keep you should contact the IRS or a CPA to check what expenses can be deducted as such, and what income qualifies as business income.

There are plenty of software programs out there that could make your task easier to accomplish if you are a computer kind of person. You can go as simple as an Excel workbook, or you can use a software like QuickBooks. We use QuickBooks and we had our CPA set the file for us according to our needs. We were able to get trained in 2 hours, and every now and then we call our CPA to ask questions. It is fairly easy to use and it really makes tax filling a lot easier at the end of the year.
Below is a list of the things you should keep records of. These are just examples, your business might have different categories, but the ones listed below are pretty basic:


EXPENSES

A – Face Painting Supplies: keep records of all of your purchases. All stores should send you an invoice with your order, either by e-mail or with your order. Make sure you keep copies of them and make a small chart with each purchase so that at the end of the year you don’t have to go over your invoices again. Keep in mind that if you did not pay for sales taxes when you bought your paints you must do it at the end of the year. If you did pay taxes for the paint to a state different to the one you live, you might need to pay the difference between that tax rate and the one for your state.

B – Costumes: do you have specific outfits that you use only for your face painting business? Keep records of those purchases to make sure you count them as business expenses.

C – Office Supplies: to run your business most likely requires paper, ink cartridges, pens, etc. Keep a chart with those purchases, save the receipts, and add them up at the end of the year. Again, if you fill in your chart every time you make a purchase, it will be much easier to find the total spent at the end of the year.

DServices: do you use internet, electricity, your own home space? If you, you are probably entitle to deduct part of that as a business expense. Keep records of how much you spend on your phone, internet, rent, energy bill, etc. At the end of the year you should be able to deduct a portion of those expenses. Usually, you will calculate what portion of your home you use exclusively to run your business, and then divide that by the total surface of your home. That will give you a number below 1. You will multiply that number by what you spend on rent and energy to calculate how much you could deduct. Please visit the IRS website or contact your CPA for specific rules.
You should also be able to deduct part of your internet and phone bill; the total should equal what you think is proportional to your use of those services for your business versus personal use. So, if 10% of the time you are using your cellphone for business, and 90% of the time you are using it for personal purposes, then you should be able to deduct 10% of your annual bill. Some exceptions apply (normally you can't deduct expenses on your first land line).

E – Marketing: do you spend money on business cards, website fees, yellow pages, gig salad (or other directories), printed ads, online ads, etc? If so, keep records of each expense on a chart and save your receipts. They could all be listed, for example, under an “advertising” account.

F- Insurance: do you have business/entertainer insurance? If you do (we strongly recommend for you to have it, you can check our previous post about it here), you can deduct that as a business expense.

G – Miscellaneous: any other expenses that you don’t know exactly how to classify. Keep records, and later you will find a category for them when you are filing your taxes.

H- Mileage: if you want to deduct miles driven that are work related you must keep a mileage log. The log should include your odometer reading at the beginning and end of the year, the odometer reading at the beginning of a business trip and at the end of the trip. It should also have the address of destination and the purpose of the trip. Depending on who you ask, they might give you a different opinion on how detailed that log must be. Another option is to do an online search of the trip you made and calculate the miles driven back and forth, and write that on your log instead of the odometer readings. That might not be compliant with IRS regulations though, so double check. Also, keep in mind that some car insurance companies require that you have a business rider on your insurance if you want to use your car for that purpose. Not having that rider could potentially create issues at the time of a claim, so check with your car insurance agent.

I – Legal and tax related expenses: have you paid a lawyer to draft a contract for you? Do you pay for a CPA to help you with your taxes, or you bought a tax preparation software? Keep records of those expenses in a chart with descriptions of the purpose of each expense.

J – Bank fees: does your business bank account has maintenance fees? Did you get a bounced check fee, and overdraft fee, etc? All of those might be deductible expenses, make sure you keep records of them.

INCOME:

A – Full payment for your jobs: keep records of the person or company you worked for, the date, location and total billed. You should have a copy of the invoice or booking sheet for each gig.

B – Tips: although it is hard for the IRS to realize if you are declaring your tips, it is always a good idea to declare all of your income. It will keep you out of trouble and increase your contributions to Social Security, which should reflect on a better Social Security check at the end of your career.

C – Other income: as an example, you can receive payments from Google if you make YouTube tutorials and are part of their partner program.

It can look like a lot at the beginning, but as you get used to keeping your records updated with every purchase or gig, you will realize how easy it is to know what you are making, and make adjustments to your business accordingly. This way, filing taxes at the end of the year will become a much easier tax.
Also, good records will make a tax audit a much less stressful experience. No one is exempt from tax audits, so it is always better to be prepared. When keeping records, you should think that they need to be good enough so that you can explain your expenses and income up to 7 years back in time. That is a LONG time, so keep your records as complete and clear as possible.
Don’t stress, this might be a boring part of your business, but the information you will get from doing this will help you accomplish your business dreams, and will put you a step ahead of your competition.


Disclaimer: these are opinions based on our personal experience, we are not lawyers or CPA’s, so we recommend for you to contact a lawyer and or CPA before making any decisions. We are not in any ways giving legal or tax advice and we are not liable for any decisions you make or stop making based on the opinions provided above.

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net