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Challenges to triumphs: Story of a Filipino microblading artist disrupting the industry

By Mye Mulingtapang

Edson Gonzales

Many people know from an early age what their professional dream is, and what they want to become, and immediately start pursuing their dream. Others, on the other hand, discover it over time, through experience. The first thing to do is to become aware of what your authentic skills and passions are, without external filters. All dreams involve risk, but success always begins with a dream.

Edson Gonzales is just one of the many Filipinos who initially was caught up in his daily routines and thought he would never take the time to visualize and build the future of his dreams. He used to think about the things he is willing to suffer for, what sacrifices he should make, and if he was ready to fight tooth and nail to change the course of his life. Then he realized that the purpose of his life is the intersection point between his greatest passions and the greatest needs in a sector made up of make-up, colours, and above all beauty.

He made the decision to leave the university as an architectural student. It felt as if he was eating not out of real appetite but out of social convention. Edson did not like what he was doing and thought the beauty industry would be a better fit for him. His difficulty was not understanding what his career path should be because after leaving college he eventually enrolled in a beauty school and graduated with a certificate in basic haircutting and delved into the field of makeup artistry.

“My perseverance allowed me to work for one of the most well-known companies at the time. I had experience working with celebrities, shows, and events. I knew I was on the right track, and I enjoyed my work,” said Edson.

Leaving the Philippines

But Edson wanted to broaden his knowledge, skills, and professional dimension with the aim of also having financial autonomy. Edson took a plane to Europe in the fall of 2009 to begin a new chapter in his life. He had a recurring dream that he dismissed due to some unavoidable circumstances but kept coming back. His line of work has changed since he was unable to practice his career in the Netherlands.

People can do different types of work. There will be some that they are good at but that they may not like, others that many would like to do but for which they do not have the skills and still others that satisfy some enough but that do not fully exploit their skills. Edson spent years in Amsterdam with invisible name plates but made sure that they had expiration dates printed on them.

“It was an unpleasant picture, but no matter how hard it was, I knew I could change my life. Being aware of it, on the other hand, helped me to understand what I really wanted to do with my life,” shared Edson.

During his first years, he worked full-time as a cleaner in a hotel and gave fellow Filipinos haircuts in his free time. These moments of hard work were the breadcrumbs that helped him find the right path.

“I was pleased with myself for cleaning toilets and sweeping floors. I succeeded in making enough money to support myself,” recalled Edson.

His diligence and hard effort were rewarded. Edson was then promoted to manager where he handled office work, made reservations, and managed other employees.

From passion to profession

Edson first developed an interest in "microblading" in 2016. He instantly ordered some cheap study supplies and tools from the internet. He first learned the techniques by putting in many hours studying instructional videos and trying them on plastic skin. Fortunately, he has supportive friends who are eager to act as his models and assist him to get better.

He was driven by the desire to deepen, finally invest in himself, and improve himself with dedication and passion to achieving his professional dream. He fought to become the professional he has always wanted. The immediate reason that pushed him to undertake this path is the desire to realize a secret dream and to carry out a profession that can give him satisfaction. He wanted to broaden his skills and have an edge in the aesthetic work he already does.

“In 2017, I realized that studying a microblading course is quite costly. I needed to invest thousands of euros to have formal training. Through referrals from friends, I was able to save enough funds to take a course at Elite Microblading Academy. This is the year that I earned my first ever certificate as a Brow artist,” Edson said.

The hype

Becoming a professional microblading artist means doing a profession that is exploding in the beauty industry. A profession capable of giving numerous satisfactions to both professionals and customers. In fact, during the last few years, the interest in this sector has grown considerably also thanks to the passion that women (and increasingly men too) have for beauty and for the wonderful branch of permanent make-up.

The main reasons for the growing popularity of the sector are many and range from the economic and professional satisfaction that it can bring to professionals to the satisfaction and beauty that is offered to customers.

Hearing from customers how tiring it is to have to get up early to put on makeup calmly and accurately, not to mention the financial resources they spend monthly to purchase all the necessary tricks is a reality that concerns all women and increasingly also men who are more attentive to their appearance, shared Edson.

“These are the cases where I intervene. I am happy with how much you could make my customers satisfied, thanks to the skills that I have acquired through the years,” said Edson.

One of his clients exclaimed, “Imagine being able to wake up in the morning with a make-up that is already perfect and does not require further tweaking. Incredible, right? I thank Edson for that.”

A mission

The microblading industry is a new professional stimulus for those who carry out the profession with heartfelt vocation and professionalism. Staying on the market, whatever the job, is a challenge that only enthusiasts can win. In the beauty industry, however, passion and motivation are two very important things. For those who want to thrive, change is necessary.

The only way to be able to stay on the crest of the wave in the field of aesthetics, win the competition, and set out for success is to find new stimuli in setting new goals and continuous learning.

Edson believes that there are many reasons for staying in this satisfying world. That is, it's about finding a job where he can use his talents in the service of something he is passionate about.

“I must say my career is doing well. My client base for microblading service is expanding. From a small room in my apartment to a bigger studio in the middle of Amsterdam. I consistently enrol in new courses and advanced techniques to continuously update and improve my skills,” Edson said.

Dare to dream

People have desires, dream of getting to places few have, and want an opportunity to be successful. An ephemeral line between everything and nothing can occasionally be the only thing standing in the way of a man's dreams: fear of himself. In his journey, Edson discovered how to dive further, face his fears, and take bigger chances.

It's impossible to do it easily from the surface according to Edson who dreamt big and worked hard to be where he is right now. He knew what he wanted and was committed to achieving his goals, putting in place not only his desire but also the strategy and motivation.

“If you have a dream, many people will try to stop you from following it. They will tell you that you are incapable of doing it, that it is risky, and they will say things like, don't do it; it's not safe; it may not be what you thought; what if it doesn't work? To dream, imagination is enough, but to live the dream, you need to put something more into it,” Edson shared.


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