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Meet Gardenia and Julian Isorena of Gardenia’s Faces in San Marcos

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gardenia and Julian Isorena.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
It all started out when my kids, when they were little, wanted their birthday parties to be different and more interesting and fun. My insatiable love for arts and crafts steered me towards face painting. Around nine years ago, after a few brush strokes on paper, I decided to project my designs onto my kids’ faces at their birthday party. It was a hit! All the kids wanted to have their faces done. I could not believe how rewarding it was to see the excitement and happiness in their faces. I was hooked.I also discovered that twisting balloons to create characters and other things evoked the same excitement from the kids; if not, more.. What was real surprising was, I equally enjoyed making balloon art as much as face painting. It is a great combination for any party to have!

Over the years, I’ve done a lot of volunteering for classroom and school events, charity events, as well as parties for my friends. I take pride in what I do; and I enjoy what I do. Seeing the kids happy faces is what makes me want to do it more.

As my art progressed, I discovered that not only the kids wanted face paint, but even the adults as well. So then, I began to expand my skills and developed my expertise in other forms of “body” art like henna, belly paint, body paint, air brush tattoo, etc. In fact, one of my favorite events has become the “Day of the Dead” where I get to paint adults’ faces (and some kids, too) with artistic skulls laced with beautiful floral and gems designs. I love it!

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Overall, it has been “smooth sailing”, but there were some struggles nonetheless. At first, I had to start with a lot of volunteer work for school events and friends’ parties, I knew I needed to get my name “out there”, show my craft, and build a clientele base in order to turn this passion into a real business. That took a lot of time, money, and work. One of my initial challenges was approaching people, and getting rejected at first… In time, I realized that it was not personal, so I just kept pushing forward without hesitation. When I became more confident with the quality of my work, I discovered that people are more than happy to pay.

Gardenia’s Faces – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I started Gardenias Faces back around five years ago, specializing in Face Painting and Balloon Art. Over the years, I’ve accumulated a number of repeat clients who absolutely adore my work. Just check out my Yelp page and the “proof is in the pudding”! One Hundred Percent satisfied customers and joyful faces of the kids I paint are what make me so proud of what I do! It’s a reward in itself when you know you provide happiness and joy in someone’s important life event… I think what separates me from other Face Painters is that they see how I genuinely LOVE what I do. They see the passion in how I interact with the kids, no matter how much of a handful some of them can be. But, they’re kids! I know, I have three of them myself. But you know, once I show them their faces in the mirror they literally light up, with the brightest smiles you could ever see! It feels great!

Also, I’ve since then expanded my services to include a DJ for parties/events, which I am proud to say is headed by my son, Julian Isorena, a.k.a. ISOxo. He is a self-taught DJ/music producer who has been slowly climbing the underground music scene. With several years of DJ and music production experience, he has definitely been building a name for himself. He has performed at several well-known venues such as The Yost Theater and the San Diego County Fair, opening up for big names such as EDX and Waka Flocka Flame. Be sure to be on the lookout for the name ISOxo in the future.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is when I see that ALL the people, kids and parents alike, are happy and satisfied with the service I’ve provided for their event.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Richard Dinse

    July 9, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    9-11 Event at Faith Lutheran Church on Sunday, September 9, 2018.
    Great job last year. Would you be available this year? I would hire for 4 hours. 11:30 – 3:30. Please advise if you can commit and send invoice.

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