Swainson Carving A Niche With Paintz

January 23, 2024 | 0 Comments

[Written by Stephen Wright]

Bermudian entrepreneur Zea Swainson only launched her face paint and body art business in April, but she is already carving a niche for herself and winning awards.

The 17-year-old set up Paintz after spotting a gap in the market and has been increasingly busy over the past six months, receiving a steady stream of bookings for children’s birthday parties and camps, sports days, and corporate events.

Ms Swainson estimates she has had one Sunday off since last summer and expects a hectic festive period and would not want it any other way.

The Bermuda Institute student said her entrepreneurial spirit comes naturally and would have started her business earlier had it not been for the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I’ve always been artistic and decided to offer face painting at the school sports day in March,” she said.

“I had a lot of parents approach me and say, ‘You should take this a step further and create a business for yourself’.”

“My first gig was at Elliot Primary School for a Good Friday event. I was so nervous, didn’t have the correct materials, and didn’t know what I was doing! I had a little blue tent and a small case with eight paint colours.”

Zea Swainson Paintz Bermuda December 2023_2

Since setting up her Instagram account and promoting her business on social media, Ms Swainson has experienced even greater interest in Paintz, especially from the corporate world.

“I love having a booking roll in!” said Ms Swainson, the student body president at Bermuda Institute. “I started getting bigger gigs when I improved my marketing; that’s when the business ignited, and I gained a greater audience.

“I wasn’t just getting kids’ events; I was getting corporate events and adults with body art and henna.

“One of my biggest events was for Bacardi – a launch for their spring collection.

“That was huge. I’d never done body art before. We had to do 3D flowers on the models. I was experimenting, and it came out really well.”

Among the most popular requests Ms Swainson receives at children’s parties include unicorns, butterflies and Spiderman.

“Every kid loves those three!” she said. “Boys and girls seem to love Spiderman. I like to switch up the colours for the girls, though.”

Ms Swainson said she was thrilled when Paintz won first place at the Youth Pitch at the Rocket Pitch Competition, launched by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation at the recent Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Zea Swainson Paintz Bermuda December 2023_1

Paintz also claimed the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by One Communications and 24/7 Ink, winning 31 per cent of the vote, with Ms Swainson taking home one year of 1 Gigabit of internet and a $200 certificate for services by 24/7 Ink.

“I was super nervous for my first pitch competition,” said Ms Swainson,” who intends to study architecture and interior design at Andrews University in Michigan after graduating from high school.

“I was in shock; it didn’t sink in until I got home. I was like, ‘Wow’. My friends and family attended and were super supportive. They know how much effort I’ve put in, and it was great to see it all payoff.

“The People’s Choice Award validated that people wanted me to do well and have faith in me.”

Email: Paintzbyz@gmail.com

Instagram: @facepaintzbyz

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