Latesha Lipscomb is a force to be reckoned with. In 2001, she founded I GOT FACE, a
cosmetic concierge service, as a way to subsidize her education. Eleven years later, she travels to Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta and Beijing, acting as an “agency for the artist” and providing all behind-the-scenes services necessary to make the event shine.
Latesha, the second oldest of six children, grew up in Grand Rapids attending Grand Rapids Central High School. Upon graduation she was ready “break out” and experience new things. She attended Boston College as an undergraduate majoring in Political Science. She decided to subsidize her education by doing makeup on the side. She was first hired by Filene’s Basement in Boston as a cosmetic contingent, meaning she worked all the makeup counters. “It was there that I developed a passionate tango with cosmetics,” says Latesha. At Filene’s, she had the opportunity to learn about every brand of makeup and came to develop opinions about what worked and what didn’t. She was able to practice makeup application and fine tune her cosmetic ability. She transitioned to MAC cosmetics until graduation from Boston College.
After a stint in Chicago working as a paralegal, Latesha decided to go back to school. She returned to Boston College, this time for law school. After graduation, she once again moved back to Chicago and became a practicing contract attorney. Throughout this process, Latesha always had a beat on the cosmetic industry. In conjunction with working and attending school, she founded I GOT FACE, a cosmetic concierge service in 2001. Eventually Latesha realized that for her, real satisfaction came from I GOT FACE, not from practicing law. “I realized that my calling was makeup, fashion and influencing women,” says Latesha. “People have always told me that I have pretty face. I heard that so often that I began developing insecurities about the rest of my body. Eventually, I decided that I’m capable of being more than a pretty face. I got face, but I’m more than that and wanted to help other women realize their potential as well.” As her business flourished, she began traveling across the country participating in photo shoots and style appointments for a variety of people such as Bunny DeBarge and nationwide events like Essence Fest.
In 2010, I GOT FACE received a major facelift. Latesha decided to leave Chicago for good and relocate back to Grand Rapids. Initially the move was financial -- the cost of living here is significantly less than Chicago -- but upon arrival, Latesha saw that Grand Rapids was moving in an exciting direction. “There is a fashion revolution taking place in Grand Rapids and I’m bringing a little bit of big city to a town with a lot of heart.”
For Latesha, moving to a new city provided her with the opportunity to reinvent I GOT FACE. “I GOT FACE isn’t just makeup anymore,” says Latesha. "We are bring the glam to you by managing your event from beginning to end.” I GOT FACE is connecting to the Grand Rapids community by contracting their own photographers, hair stylists, makeup artists and wardrobe specialists for events. It’s a mobile service and while Grand Rapids is the base, I GOT FACE has been known to travel to many outlying locations. With an ever expanding business model, Latesha’s role has grown as well. “Not only do I specialize in the cosmetic side of things," she says, "but I now serve as the overall manager. I make sure events go off with a hitch.”
Since 2010, I GOT FACE has participated in major local events such as Red Alert
and the Diesel Show at the BOB, but also enjoys working with individuals such as Larissa Tannis with the Grand Rapids Ballet. “One of my favorite events was a wedding we did at Rosa Parks Circle -- that was first one to take place there,” says Latesha. “I love to showcase everyday people doing extraordinary things.”
I GOT FACE also hosted a Beauty Breakfast Bar at the Mosaic Space, where they taught women in transition how to apply makeup. “It was like a dress for success for your face. A portion of the proceeds and beauty bags full of fabulous products went to Safe Haven Ministries. This is an event I loved and hope to coordinate again in the future,” explains Latesha.
Not only is Latesha the founder of I GOT FACE, but she is also the editor of “Now Trending” for Women’s Lifestyle Magazine
where she tells us what is “hip, hot and happening” in the city. In the short term, Latesha is looking to increase and expand the staff at I GOT FACE. She also plans to continue renovating her space to create a fully functioning studio in the Heartside District of Grand Rapids. I GOT FACE has come a long way from 2001 and so has the founder. Her dedication to the beauty industry has been welcomed with open arms by Grand Rapids as she steps into the current of change happening within the city. “Sometimes you gotta use a blush brush to bring out the best in people,” says Latesha, and I GOT FACE plans to do just that.
Chelsea Slocum is a resident of Grand Rapids. She works as an educator and enjoys learning about new and different things happening in the city. Follow her on twitter @cslocum.
Latesha Lipscomb is the owner and founder of I GOT FACE.
Photography by ADAM BIRD