EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – As a young girl, Salathia Graham Tankuh loved doing makeup. She would practice on her friends and family to better her skills as a makeup artist. It wasn’t until she was out of the military where her dream of owning her own makeup studio would become a reality.

Graham Tankuh first arrived in El Paso in 2001, stationed at Fort Bliss as a supply sergeant. She left in 2006 but when she returned to the Borderland, that’s when she started doing freelance makeup work.

She befriended another cosmetologist who encouraged her to take her dream a step further. It was that encouragement that pushed Graham Tunkuh to finally open The Face Architect makeup studio.

“I guess the biggest obstacle was believing that I couldn’t do it and once I got over that, it was off to the races and everything fell into place,” she said.

Graham Tunkuh says she wants to use her business as a way to build inner strength in her clients. Her goal is to make sure her clients walk out of her studio more confident than when they entered.

“I don’t use makeup to try and disguise people. I don’t use makeup to try to make people think that makeup can do everything. No, what my goal is to build on what people bring me and beauty is always there. There’s no such thing as unpretty and I always work to build towards that.”

As a small business owner herself, she hopes she can be a guide for others who are unsure if their dream can also be a reality.

“I would absolutely say go for it. Like you’re going to fail, that happens but there’s much to learn from failing. Now sometimes when we get frustrated we wanna quit, but in my opinion quitting means death. Failure, you can always get back up from failure but I would 100 percent say go for it.”

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