Amanda Ritchey is an artist who followed her passion in life. She confesses that since her aunts were speech pathologists and her mother was a social worker, Amanda had always thought she would follow in their professional footsteps. But when she graduated from Towson University, she didn't know exactly what she wanted to do in graduate school, so she decided to take a job behind the makeup counter at Nordstrom in Towson.It was a life-altering decision. "It was during that time at Nordstrom that I found I had a gift for makeup and sales. People would request me, and I just got busier and busier," says Ritchie.
During her years with Nordstrom she was trained in many different makeup lines including Bobbi Brown, MAC, Stila and Chanel. Each company had their own schools and professional trainers who taught Ritchie the tricks of the trade. "What I learned during those early years is that makeup artistry comes from within. You have to see what is beautiful in people to be a good makeup artist," reveals Ritchie.
In 2004, Ritchie left Nordstrom and opened up her own business at the time called Makeup Artistry by Amanda and created her own cosmetic line, Amanda Ritchie Beauty, which is what she uses on clients today. "Having the experience of working with so many makeup lines, colors, and pigments, I was inspired to find my own line of cosmetics." Ritchie's makeup line has no oils, dyes or fragrance and is hypoallergenic.
As her career began to soar, she began to diversify her experience by doing corrective cosmetics for Johns Hopkins Hospital as well as weddings and social events. By 2009, Ritchie opened up Amanda Ritchey Bridal & Beauty in Bel Air. "I wanted to get more involved in the bridal business. I wanted to have a bridal suite where women could come to on the day of their wedding and prepare for their special day." The salon is a one-stop-shop for brides from trying on gowns and jewelry to giving makeup and hair trials for the big day.
And just recently, Ritchie opened up another store that is strictly dedicated to her makeup studio. This 5,400-square-foot space is where brides and potential clients come for makeup trials. "We not only do weddings and special events, but we help people who need to learn how to apply makeup correctly. Knowing the right way to enhance your best qualities makes people feel better and boosts their confidence."
But Ritchie doesn't do it all alone anymore, she has a team of eight artists and hairdressers who can do up to 10 events in a one week and, in effect, brings the salon experience to their client's front door. "We come to you on your wedding day. We do on-location hair and makeup services…we are a traveling beauty team. Every Saturday and Sunday…sometimes Thursdays and Fridays." The regular fee for brides is $125 and the bridesmaids are $75; flower girls are free.
Ritchie is supported by a talented staff and the support of her family. Husband, Chad, and her three children, Sabrina, 13, Troy, 11 and Charlotte, 4 help Ritchie find the balance to keep this busy operation going. "Harford County is a great place to raise a family. Everyone in this community has been welcoming and supportive. I continue to get well wishes and repeat business," she says. "I have only been open three years, and people continue to bring back friends and family. It's wonderful."