Bride’s Side Beauty: Making dreams come true
Author: Linda S. Hopkins | Photographer: Photography by Anne
Pictured left to right: Lindsay Mack, Daisy Leiva, Megan Evegan, Alex Turner, Jessica Shefsick (owner), Kiah Holland, Jen Youmans-White, Courtney Marine and Shauna Phillips.
Which comes first, the passion, the purpose or the plan? For Jessica Shefsick, there was no plan other than the one the universe secretly set in motion. Starting her beauty business seven years ago, she had no formal market study, college degree or map to success. What she had was a passion for business, a talent, and a need. She also had the drive, determination and courage to follow the path of the unknown.
Business advisors certainly don’t recommend such a bold leap, but it worked out for Shefsick, who now has a growing, thriving, full-service wedding beauty business, providing makeup and hairstyling for bridal parties that includes meticulous attention to detail and the all-important handholding. And while she is busy helping others fulfill their dreams, it is her own dream, perhaps, that is the fairytale come true.
Shefsick’s family moved to Hilton Head Island in her senior year of high school, which very well might have been the first bend in the road for a young girl deciding who and what she wanted to be when she grew up. After graduation from Hilton Head Island High School, Shefsick enrolled at the University of South Carolina to study social work. But it was her part-time job at Belk that began gently tugging her in a new direction. “I was in school and working part-time at Estee Lauder selling cosmetics and doing makeup. I realized that I liked doing that more than I liked what I was in school for,” Shefsick said.
The position at Belk propelled Shefsick to get her aesthetics license, which landed her at FACES DaySpa, where she worked a total of five years, two of which she served as general manager. Quick to praise her mentor, FACES owner and highly-respected local entrepreneur Patricia Owen, Shefsick said, “When I was 25 years old, I was managing her store and staff of 25. She put me in charge. That molded me. Working underneath her taught me so much, and working with a business and team of that size equipped me to be able to run this business. I honestly attribute a lot of my success to her.”
Once upon a time…
Success stories such as Shefsick’s typically include a bit of serendipity and a few crossroads along the way. But almost always, anything that remotely looks like luck is hard work in disguise. Remember 2008 when the economy tanked? Shefsick does, too. She was teaching aesthetics at the International Spa Institute in Bluffton when faced with the fork in the road. “When the economy started to decline, I had no students, because people couldn’t afford tuition,” she said. “My husband, who was in the home industry, was temporarily furloughed,” meaning fewer hours and less income.
Shefsick started doing makeup on the side to make a few extra bucks before opportunity walked by and kissed her on the cheek. When classes picked up and she was teaching again, in March, 2010, she started her business (SKINZIN) by enlisting two of her best students, Alex Turner and Kiah Holland, who are still with her today. “I knew their character, I knew they had skill, and I knew I wanted them on my team,” she said. “It just rolled from there.”
Up until 2013, SKINZIN had specialized in skincare and makeup for bride’s and their parties. It was around year three that Shefsick realized she was losing clients because she didn’t offer hair services to complement her company’s makeup services. So, one day while on the phone with an inquiring bride, she just said yes! “I didn’t have a hairstylist, but I got right on it and hired two,” she said.
Over time, she also realized the name no longer fit, because her business was now more than just skin and makeup. That’s when she rebranded, becoming Bride’s Side Beauty in 2015.
“To me, this name is brilliant, because it has so many meanings,” she said. 1) We’ll be by your side—we have packages for that where we stay with the brides all day. 2) It’s a play on words and sounds like ‘the bright side’. Our tagline is Always Look on the Bride’s Side. 3) We service the bride’s side. I like to make a joke if someone from the groom’s side is down for service; I tell them I’m sorry we can’t do it because we only service the bride’s side. The look on their face is priceless, and it makes me laugh.”
Far beyond her beauty counter days, Shefsick is not interested in telling you what makeup to buy or what shade of lipstick to wear in your daily life, and she’s just as likely to be seen about town without a lick of makeup as with a full face. She is strictly in the business of providing brides with a well-trained, experienced and professional team that can be trusted to enhance the overall beauty of the bride, her party and the wedding day. Period. End of story.“When you have something specific that you do that you’re good at, I think it’s best to stay in that niche. That has a lot to do with our success, too. I don’t try to do anything else. I just do what we’re good at,” Shefsick said. She enjoys the business end of her work, but what she loves most is being on location with the brides, sharing their special day in the most beautiful places in the Lowcountry.
Shefsick loves supplying work for her team, too. “It makes me feel proud to sign their paychecks. The fact that I can supply jobs to hardworking women, which, in turn, benefits their families, is a big deal to me.” she said. “I also enjoy being part of the wedding community. Other vendors have become my friends, and I enjoy working with them to make sure that this bride, this couple or this family gets the wedding of their dreams. It’s really neat to come together like that with the same purpose.”
Past + present = future
As a wife, mother of two and entrepreneur, Shefsick wears many hats, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She is excited for the future to see how her business will continue to morph as times and demands change. “When you see an opportunity, it’s important to recognize it and pursue it,” she said. “That has been my mentality from the start—embracing change and pursuing opportunities. I pinch myself all the time, because I’m in my dream job, and I created it!”
Attention future brides: Make YOUR dreams come true with the help of Bride’s Side Beauty. Services are available on Hilton Head Island and in Bluffton, Beaufort and Savannah. For more information, call (843) 368-2660, and be sure to visit bridessidebeauty.com to see their portfolio and learn more about the team and their services.
Drum Roll, Please!
• Over 500 weddings successfully executed
• Wedding Wire’s Couple’s Choice award 5 years in row
• The Knot, Best of Weddings award 3 years in row
• Featured nationally in The Knot magazine
• 18 CH2/ CB2 magazine covers
• Featured on the TV show Four Weddings on TCL
• Featured on numerous online wedding websites such as MarthaStewartWeddings.com, Brides.com and StyleMePretty.com.