The secrets of my success
I cannot talk about my recent successes without mentioning my beginnings because, the more successful I became, the more I looked back for clues that made me end up here in my present situation.
Shortly after my family and I moved to London, I became independent — at the age of 14 — when I started making pocket money from babysitting. A few weekend jobs followed until I got my qualifications as a fitness instructor at the age of 18 and ended up teaching exercise to music students during lunch breaks at the university where I was studying hospitality management.
Then I decided to follow my passion for makeup and I gained a qualification as a makeup artist at one of London’s most prestigious schools. But that didn’t guarantee work, so I assisted a lot and offered my services free of charge in exchange for professional photos so I could build a portfolio. After a couple of years of a lot of unpaid work, I got a dream job working with Sony records on many of their superstars.
When I gave birth to my son, I decided to take six months off from work, which I paid the price for because I lost all my connections during this time and Sony got used to hiring other talents.
So then I reinvented myself again and got another qualification as a baby swimming instructor. However, after six months I realized that it wasn’t for me and I went back to find more makeup work.
I salute all women for their continuous hard work and hope that, by sharing my story, I can inspire others to keep working hard toward achieving their goals
I worked for a couple of magazines doing more complimentary work until I decided to visit Dubai. While I was there I managed to get an interview with the head of production at MBC and, after the interview and a pilot, I was hired to produce 26 episodes of my own show. I was, of course, over the moon, but also extremely worried and anxious as I wanted to do a great job. I wanted to succeed to make sure my show was on air for many seasons.
I worked not just in front of the camera but also closely with the production team and post-production to make sure my vision was seen.
When the show became successful, people started asking me: “Where is your salon?” So I decided to open a salon, which took every minute of my spare time and made me take on financial liabilities and risks I had never experienced before.
Of course, building my three brands — Maison de Joelle, Clinica Joelle and Joelle Paris — from scratch wasn’t easy, especially juggling all of that with my TV show and my role as ambassador for five international brands. Without the support of my husband, it would have been impossible.
I have, for the past 15 years, juggled my career with my family life in a successful way. I may work long hours during the week, but I give all my time at the weekend and during school holidays to my kids. I believe in quality time over quantity. I feel my kids have benefited from this experience because, when I’m with them, I’m just mum — I don’t look at emails or work-related messages — and that’s how I’ve been able to grow.
To sum up, my success didn’t happen overnight and I trained in several different work fields before I found my calling. On this International Women’s Day, I salute all women for their continuous hard work and hope that, by sharing my story, I can inspire others to keep working hard toward achieving their goals.
• Joelle Mardinian is a makeup artist, TV host and entrepreneur.