By Gretchen Pahia
March is Women’s History Month, a time each year where we honor and celebrate amazing women. Support and encouragement are key in helping women succeed and feel good about themselves as part of their daily lives; and here in the Valley, there are multitudes of women who have made it their life’s work to help other women. Two of these uplifting and admirable women own and operate businesses that focus on helping others feel their best through the simple practice of helping them to look their best.
Alex Bradberry, owner and founder of The Sparkle Bar, an all-inclusive makeup artistry studio in Old Town Scottsdale, began her entrepreneurial journey in 2015.
She says, “This Sparkle Bar was created out of a necessity for an inclusive welcoming environment where people can come and experience the feeling seen – being reminded that what makes them special and unique is their own personal secret sauce.”
For Bradberry, The Sparkle Bar isn’t simply about makeup and beauty products.
“Beauty standards don’t exist here. We don’t believe in a cookie cutter mold because we fully embrace individuality and uniqueness. Creating a space where people define that for themselves without comparison leaves them feeling confident, uplifted, empowered, and ready to take on their mission.”
Bradberry says owning a business that helps to change how a woman – or man – feels about her or himself is one of the biggest reasons she does what she does.
“It is all self-expression, so being able to create an environment that invites people to play and love themselves is a gift.” She adds, “So often we’re told or fed images of perfection that are not real and don’t exist. Everyday people fight in a world that wants them to believe they’re “less than.” Our goal is for people to walk out in love with their faces, knowing all we did was simply enhance their already amazing features.”
Bradberry credits much of her success to the wonderful team that works with her to create a beautiful space where each individual contributes their own special talents and vibe to the overall customer experience.
“There’s an African proverb that says, ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’” She continues, “As a woman of color, I fully recognize how it feels to have experiences where I’ve felt “less than,” so being able to create an environment where we very intentionally curate all of it – from the products to representation through our team, and an experience that overserves people – is really special.”
For Bradberry, owning a business means that she not only has the ability to help others; she can also play a small part in creating opportunities. She shares the story of one client who came in for a makeup application ahead of an important interview and the part her team played in giving the woman the boost of confidence she needed to land her dream job.
“Sometimes one swipe of lip color, mascara on your eyes, and blush are enough to bring you back to life. We infuse everything we do with love and intention, knowing that our job is to make you feel like the best version of you – because when that happens, you walk out into the world leaving your own little sparkle wherever you go. Those ripples of impact and shift in energy can change the game and really everything you do from that point forward.”
Scottsdale’s Terri Mazaheri knows a thing or two about helping women feel their best, as well. Owner of Inside Out Aesthetics in Scottsdale, her passion for helping others was first fulfilled through her career as an RN. In 2016, she opened her business to bridge the gap between plastic surgery, skin care, and aesthetics.
“With more than 20 years working in the aesthetics field, I knew that beauty was more than Botox and filler. I was on a mission to create an inviting, warm environment, where we are able to help our clients to feel confident in their own skin. That’s the magic, because when you feel confident, you’re able to achieve your best in all settings.”
Mazaheri has also expanded her practice to incorporate additional wellness tools for her clients.
“A majority of the time, what’s happening on the outside of our body can be a reflection of what’s happening on the inside,” she says. “Our hair, skin, and nails can all be affected from an imbalance of hormones, gut health, or inflammation in our body. Because we want to help our clients truly thrive from the inside out, we recently began offering services to address gut health, hormone imbalances, and even food sensitivity testing through our partners at Vibrant Wellness.”
She shares that over the last 7 years, helping her clients feel their best has been one of her life’s truest joys, leading to meaningful connections that she values at the deepest level. Her clients are loyal, many having been with her prior to opening Inside Out Aesthetics, and her practice continues to grow almost exclusively through word of mouth. The industry veteran has outgrown her office space twice since opening in 2016 and has plans to expand again in 2023.
When asked how she feels about the importance of women supporting women, she says, “One of my favorite quotes is from Venus Williams. She said, ‘Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer each other on.’ That resonates so profoundly. It starts with truly listening. By taking the time to understand each other, we can better learn from one another and deepen our relationship.” She continues, “The most enjoyable part of owning a business for me has been the team and community I helped cultivate. For me, that is what success looks like.”
Terri and her team also work to carry a variety of product lines that apply to all stages of life and preferences, including all-natural, vegan, and pregnancy-safe skin care products.