While growing up in Eastern Russia, Svetlana Holt developed and fostered a love of art. However, it was only recently that the Pasadena mom has been able to turn that passion for art into a small enterprise.
Her business pursuits did not take shape until after meeting her American Army husband, Apollo, as a young adult and later moving around the world with him and raising a family.
In May 2019, Holt launched Doodles & Arts, an art-based family entertainment business. Holt offers face painting, temporary tattoos and balloon twisting, though face painting is the most requested service. She works at children's birthday parties in addition to school, company and community events.
Holt said friends who own their own businesses were inspirations for her to start Doodles & Arts.
“I saw others doing it and thought, ‘Why can't I?’” she said. Choosing to return to her artistic roots was a natural choice, and Holt was excited she could combine her love of art with another love, working with children.
Before Holt embarked on her business venture, she volunteered her time by face painting at family events at Fort Meade, where her husband was posted until his retirement last year. “That's when I realized how much I enjoyed the work and it could be a job,” she said.
Holt enjoys the flexibility the business affords. As most of the events are on weekends, she can be home with her children during the week.
Holt loves that the job allows her to express herself creatively. Moreover, she said the most rewarding part of her job is seeing the faces of children light up when they see their faces in the mirror after she finishes painting.
Each of Holt’s face paintings take anywhere from three to seven minutes. She provides templates of images for children to choose from, or she is able to paint images from pictures she is shown. She said everyone likes glitter on their face painting. “Kids like glitter like adults like Old Bay,” she said with a smile.
Doodles & Arts has expanded quickly, through referrals, word-of-mouth and online job postings. Most of Holt’s clients have been local, though she has also traveled to Washington, D.C. and Virginia.
“The business has given me all I have wanted,” Holt said. “It's the best job I have ever had.”
Holt lives in the Green Haven area of Pasadena with Apollo and their four children.
More information on Doodles & Arts can be found at www.facepaintingmd.com.