Jessica Fierro is one of Arizona’s top makeup artists. Normally she stays behind the camera, making everyone from models to brides look their very best for their big moment. We wanted to take a minute to switch things up and put the spotlight on this incredibly talented and sweet individual in our latest Couture Conversation.
CitS: Who is Jessica Fierro?
JF: The best answer I have is that I am what I choose to be and do every day. I’m a wife, a mom, a creative professional, a makeup and hair stylist for almost 10yrs in the valley.
There are a million things running through my head at all times these days, like ideas that I have for my work and spending time with my husband Eric and son Tom. The hard part is that there is only so much time in the day, but maybe that’s also a gift. I say that because having to choose what’s most important to us every day also helps us to answer that question we have for ourselves about who we are. And that realization helps to shape how we spend our time and devote our effort.
I have accepted that it is physically impossible to achieve everything I’d like to accomplish each day. I give myself the grace to prioritize and give my best effort and then start again the next day. If you know me even a bit well, you understand that this is a daily trial. I have and would continue to run myself ragged if I didn’t set some limits. Inside these limits I am a woman and a lover and a mother and an artist and I can honestly say that I like that person. I think maybe she’s a cool girl to be around. (We think so too!)
CitS: Who were some major influences in your life and how did they help you get where you are today?
JF: I’d have to say that my great grandmother comes to mind. She always told me that I was smart and that I was an artist. I had different ideas about what that meant as I grew older, but her sureness and belief in me is something that I think about when sometimes I don’t feel very smart or creative at all. She also loved me in this incredibly selfless and unconditional way. That kind of love leaves a mark on you and once you experience it, you recognize it when you see it again.
That leads me to my husband Eric. We met when we were 15 years old and have spent almost 20yrs together. 13 of those years we’ve been married. We’ve grown up together. We’ve loved each other through incredibly difficult times as well as wonderful ones. He accepts me, for who I am in my flaws and failures as much as in my strengths and successes and this life is full of both. My deepest personal and professional disappointments are as much a part of who I am as my greatest achievements and proudest moments.
My son Thomas is also a shining light that has recently entered our life these past couple of years. He truly makes me into a better person every day. Being a mom makes me kinder and more patient and loving than I could ever have imagined. Dear Thomas, thank you my son for making me better than I was before you.
CitS: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten?
JF: Some of the best advice that I’ve ever gotten is to really listen well. I had a mentor explain to me how important it is to listen well and that many times we don’t really hear what’s being said to us. I always think of this and it reminds me to slow my mind and to be present with people.
It’s a hard thing in the world we live in to be completely present sometimes. We place so much value on multi-tasking that stilling our minds almost seems counterproductive. The truth is, being able to focus your attention and take in the ideas and words of others and make them feel that you are really hearing them is so important. You’d be surprised how much you learn about others and yourself when you are actively listening and being present and how this can add value to your business.
CitS: What’s one of your favorite things about Phoenix?
JF: My favorite things about the Phoenix area are that it’s such a beautifully diverse place and that no matter what you enjoy you can find it sprinkled around the valley. There’s downtown Phoenix with its business district and hipster arts scene. Tempe Town Lake is great and Mill Ave of course. Scottsdale has great shopping and nightlife, but I’m a little partial to the East Valley. It’s this really great mix of what makes this desert an amazing place to live. The East Valley is like this great balance of downtown vibe, great food, and entertainment in Gilbert and Chandler mixed with wide open spaces farther east and really lovely neighborhoods to raise a family.
Throughout the Phoenix Metro area we have some of the cleanest most beautiful public space and roadways I’ve ever seen and there are really great restaurants no matter what you’re looking for or even if you want to try something new all around the valley. We have Camelback Mountain, Superstition Mountains, Papago Park, and the Ahwatukee Foothills areas just to name a few beautiful places to spend time outdoors when it’s cooler. Flagstaff and Sedona are only hours away for a weekend getaway. We get some intense heat for a few weeks in the summer, but it’s a small price to pay for the incredible quality of life we enjoy here in the desert year round and a great excuse to spend some time in the pool!
CitS: What’s on your summer reading list?
JF: I actually recently saw one of Gary Vaynerchuk’s video’s called “Reframing Entrepreneurial Success” and it was something that any start up, small business owner or someone thinking of building their own business should see and watch again and again and really take to heart. It’s raw and it’s real and it’s what we all need to hear to encourage us to be deeply introspective about why we do what we do and how we do it and to be honest with ourselves about what works and what doesn’t. I just started one of his books #ASKGARYVEE “One Entrepreneur’s Take On Leadership, Social Media, & Self Awareness” and it’s honest and a wealth of advice and self auditing encouragement.
Also, I find myself reading a lot of children’s books lately with Thomas. We picked up “The Book with No Pictures” by B.J. Novak. It’s silly and fun and a breath of fresh air for kids and grownups and I highly recommend giving it a whirl.
CitS: You just went on the trip of a lifetime. What was your favorite part of the trip? What surprised you the most?
JF: We’ve been planning a trip to Europe for a long time and this summer we had the opportunity to take time to explore and visit some really breathtaking places. We split the time 3 days in each place starting in Vienna, then Prague, Rome, Paris, and then Dublin, Ireland.
The architecture is what really astonished me right away. We saw the horses at the Spanish Riding School and had an incredible evening at dinner in the Imperial Palace in Vienna. It’s hard to find words to describe the opulence of the era of those structures. We took a tour of Schonnbraum Palace also in Vienna and I would recommend that to anyone that gets an opportunity to spend some time there.
We had this incredible gift of riding in the Majestic Imperator Train with a group to Prague. It’s a 10 or so car palace on the railroad tracks that used to belong only to the Emperor. If you ever have the chance, that is a truly magical experience. Prague was full of more incredible architecture. We ate all kinds of delicious food stuffed with any and all kinds of heavenly cheese and drank great beer in the farmer’s market on one side of the St. Charles Bridge in Prague. We took private walking tours with small groups which is something we hadn’t done before and it’s really the best way to see a city and enjoy it and really feel like you learned a piece of it that you can take with you.
Rome was The Coliseum and Vatican City and the Trevi fountain and beautiful pasta. We took a day tour on recommendation along the Amalfi coast that was really fun. We drove along the hillsides and the ocean stopping for fresh fruits and limonchello and yummy seafood.
Paris was the Eiffel Tower and the Palais Garnier Opera House and The Louvre. We saw a Sphinx and tablets of Ramses and the Mona Lisa. They give you headsets and a little handheld gps that makes it so fun to walk through and look at things at your own pace. It’s impossible to see everything at the Louvre in a day, but a very good reason to visit again.
Dublin gets in your heart. We visited the Guinness factory and the Jameson Distillery and had the hands down best old fashioned I’ve ever tasted. We took a day trip to Bray along one of the coasts and walked this hill side path along the ocean. Downtown around Trinity College at the Temple Bar area we had the best time packed into this Irish pub like sardines singing and drinking with this great band on a Saturday nite. The Trinity College Library was incredible.
A few surprises were that most people speak only the language of their country and a little English, so don’t beat yourself up that you don’t know 6 languages like all of the Europeans..total myth. The French were actually very kind and make a killer cheese burger. The Eiffel tower twinkles with lights on the hour at 9, 10,11, and 12pm every nite..but my favorite is at 9pm when the lights twinkle but it’s still light outside and so it’s looks like glitter in the sky. There’s too much to really share everything and it was quite an adventure, but if you’re going to live then go live is what I’d like to say. Have great adventures and love deeply and get a good night’s rest and then do it all over again!
CitS: What’s next for you? What projects are up and coming?
JF: I love learning and teaching, and I see more of that in the future. My creative work and business here in the valley has been growing and expanding in new and different ways that I’m excited about. MUZ Makeup Beauty Services and Products is a platform that I’ve been excited about building and watching grow for about 3 years. You can follow along with our work on instagram via @muzmakeup and visit our website at www.muzmakeup.com.
For something brand new, I’ve organically sort of had these creative growing pains that formed into a production collaborative called Satellite. You can follow all of our new projects with Satellite via @satellite_muzgroup.
Also, we love the East Valley and are planning to continue growing our family here. It’s such a beautiful place to live and work and it’s growing by the minute.
CitS: What’s one piece of advice you have for other creative professionals?
JF: I think many of us struggle with balance. This is an area that I’ve focused in on in the last few years. Taking the time to evaluate what things add value to both my personal and professional life has had a great impact on my level of balance. I know that I need a certain amount of spontaneity to stay inspired and energized, but structure and a framework of some routine is my oxygen. Eric and Tom are that oxygen for me and the time that I get to spend with our little family is like charging my battery. My work as a creative professional is different every day which is exciting and part of why I love it, but adding that contrast of some fixed structure makes me better at anything else I choose to devote time to.
If you want to add more balance into your daily routine, regardless of your schedule, try to find some small thing that brings you joy before you do anything else. Eric, Tom and I kind of have this breakfast ritual spending time as a family. Starting our morning this way is my favorite part of the day. There are a few spots we enjoy, but Liberty Market in downtown Gilbert is our favorite. They make the best lattes. It’s one of those simple pleasures in life to stop and sip an excellent cup of mojo while the sun’s coming up in the desert. Maybe I’ll see you there. Cheers!
Thank you to all of my clients that invite me to be a part of the special moments in your life and thank you Lindsay and the Couture in the Suburbs Team for inviting me to share!
To see more from Jessica Fierro, follow her on Instagram @JessFierro.
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