by Stefan Archuticz
Your friendly neighbourhood journalist covering local news, business reviews and opinions!
Honor Beauty is a Niagara-based business that provides mobile hair and makeup services, using only cruelty-free products. Paje, the owner, has a passion for the art of hair and makeup design. Her goal with Honor Beauty is to help her clients see the beauty in themselves while making ethical choices about the products she uses.
In 2005, Paje graduated at the top of her class, from the School of Makeup Art in Toronto. In 2008, she decided to start her own mobile hair and makeup business with her best friend. They both had a strong desire to work for themselves. For Paje specifically, that desire originated from the birth of her son, who was born around the same time she started her business. Her son is the reason she works so hard and his birth gave her the confidence to control her own future by working for herself.
Paje originally did hair and makeup work for the film industry in Toronto, but she felt a strong desire to return home to start her business. In Niagara, the wedding industry is much bigger than the film industry, so she tailored her mobile hair and makeup services to brides. There wasn't a lot of competition in this niche when she first started, but it was still challenging to find new customers. She had to do other work on the side to help pay the bills, but she never gave up on her passion for hair and makeup combined with serving others.
In 2014, Paje left her original business partner and branched out on her own. Her middle name is "Honor" and that was the inspiration for the name of the business. Although she didn't like her middle name as a child growing up, it popped into her mind as she was thinking about branching out on her own. She felt a strong desire to use only cruelty-free products and made this a cornerstone value of Honor Beauty. She now offers a wide selection of products that are chemical-free with vegan-based formulations and manufactured with the environment in mind. After 12 years in the beauty industry, Paje now has a large following of vegan and mindful customers and she is also a strong supporter of same-sex marriages. Targetting these niches within the beauty industry was a natural passion for Paje and it has cemented Honor Beauty as a unique and compassionate Niagara company.
If she had to start over today, Paje would try and find a mentor to help her with questions and strategies in the beginning. She now teaches at the renowned International Beauty Institute in Hamilton and considers herself a mentor to her many students. She thinks it's very important to have access to an expert in your field when you first start a business.
Currently, the number one way she brings in new customers is word of mouth. Her values and craftsmanship speak for themselves. The wedding industry is a tight-knit community in Niagara and she receives many referrals from other professionals in the industry and previous clients. In recent years, Paje has expanded the service offerings of Honor Beauty. She now offers a professional photography service, as a means to explore her interest in photography and to increase the market share for her business. Those looking for photography might also need hair and makeup services, and vice versa, so it's a seamless fit.
Looking one year into the future, Paje sees her business continuing to thrive. She has built a large team of freelancers that can handle an increase in business. Her goal is to give them more opportunities so she can focus on photography and other creative projects, such as a non-profit she started in the community to assist women who are victims of abuse. She is very passionate about this project and it's shaping up to have a very positive impact on the community. It's called SHE-BE-OK and you can learn more about it here.
To the question, "If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates, " Paje answers, "I would like to hear Him or Her say I'm proud of the work you've done on earth to help people see the positives in themselves and others." Paje is an accomplished, dynamic woman who walks the talk and consistently gives much more than she receives. She is a true role model in the community.