Click to View Latest IssueClick to View Latest Issue

Mikayla Crane: Graciousness, Kindness and Beautiful Brides

By  0 Comments

For nearly two decades, Mikayla Crane has been in the beauty business, focused on preparing brides for their wedding day through her company, White Carpet Bride. But the Parkville, Missouri, wife and mother of two claims she’s been preparing for this career practically her whole life.

“It seems that I’ve been in the beauty business for my entire life. I was always the girl that people would come to for prom hairstyles and makeup. A friend of mine in college said she had a wedding to do and asked if I wanted to freelance my services. That’s how it all started,” recalled Mikayla. “This is my passion and what I’m very good at. In 2016, my passion became White Carpet Bride. But I’ve been in the wedding beauty industry for the last 15 or 16 years.”

Mikayla goes on to add that White Carpet Bride prides itself on featuring the most exclusive hair and makeup talent in Kansas City. Being at the forefront of wedding day beauty trends, coupled with impressive skillsets, has always been the focus of this company as team members flawlessly craft an individual’s style. Mikayla says that a bride deserves luxurious care in preparation to walk down the aisle.

“At White Carpet Bride, we believe a bride is ‘luxury,’ and you should be treated as such. A bride needs to entrust that luxury to someone who knows how to do that and this is White Carpet Bride,” promised Mikayla. “We take care of the whole bride, from preview meeting to the wedding and even beyond. All eyes are on you during the wedding, and you need White Carpet Bride to give you that special look.”

Making It Big
In the last few years, Mikayla reports that White Carpet Bride has experienced many exciting opportunities including New York Bridal Fashion Week Fall 2019, in which the team covered the Romona Keveza show. White Carpet Bride also did the London Bridal Fashion Week in March 2019 and has engaged in master classes with Emmy®-award winners in the beauty business.

“I’m always learning and trying something new. I try to focus our training outside of KC because there are so many companies here that look like each other,” shared Mikayla. “Going outside the area and into the photoshoots in L.A., New York and London is educational and molds us into the bridal house that we are. We are consistently on top of new trends by continually educating ourselves so we are always bringing you the best of the best.”

With this coast-to-coast training and schooling, White Carpet Bride boasts the most talented house of artists in Kansas City, which can better serve a bride on her wedding day. Whether it is a preview appointment or the wedding day, the team works with the bride to craft an individual style that suits her personality. Mikayla is quick to point out that she wouldn’t be in the position she is now if not for her team. She ensures they know “her why” and that each artist has bought into that position.

“My team has been with me for eons. I have four full-time employees, but most are independent artists, about a dozen, but specific to us. As a business owner when you’re good to your staff, they’ll be good to you. That’s why we’re so successful; we’re like a little family. Most have been with me five years or longer. We train together and work together; we have such a cohesive vibe. Many in the beauty industry go from company to company, but I think the grass is always greener where you are,” noted Mikayla. “If we commit to you, we will be there because we’re interchangeable and can cover services no matter what’s going on. Overall, we really focus on the personality fit and building a relationship with the bride. It must be there; there must be trust. When I give an opinion, the bride will trust the information that I share. It’s paramount in every single way.”

Making It Smooth
White Carpet Bride values a seamless process to produce hair and makeup that is high end, clean, timeless and refined, styles that are print-worthy and flawless in person. While the company can provide services for any event, they specialize in bridal beauty, allowing them to remain current with trends. To ensure the best look, White Carpet Bride employs professional and industry-standard products, specifically designed to be photographed and filmed. In addition, preview appointments are required, which ensures a successful look for the wedding.

“There are some companies that don’t have preview appointments. But for White Carpet Bride, we have done this too many times and know the importance of getting together and creating your special look before the wedding. That relationship and personality fit are paramount,” Mikayla remarked. “We’re booking out six to 18 months in advance so we have time to sit down and start a relationship. What are the plans for the wedding? Color palette? Vendors they’re using? Brides need time to try out their styles, dramatic or natural, and we can create that look together.”

While the year 2020 and the pandemic severely hampered the events industry and pushed some weddings into 2021 and 2022, Mikayla points to the improvements she has been able to implement in her business. Most importantly, she shares that the situation demanded ingenuity, to quickly pivot into new ways of doing business, but in the meantime, it demanded being flexible with kindness and graciousness. However, White Carpet Bride was always focused on ensuring the safety of the wedding party. Standards included using disposable mascara wands and lip applicators, spraying tools and implements with 70 percent alcohol, only using fresh, sanitized brushes, frequently washing and sanitizing the artists’ hands, never blowing on products or brushes and so much more.

“Now, sanitizing and health and safety have become something that’s important to the consumer. COVID hasn’t forced many changes in our standards because we’ve always been safety focused, but we’ve become more vocal about sharing our personal standards for health and safety,” commented Mikayla. “The one thing that’s different now is that we wear masks and we think we won’t go back after COVID. We’re grateful that this is now important to the bride. Communicable diseases are real and they need to be treated as such.”

Recommendations for the Big Day
As her business grew, Mikayla saw the need for services to prepare the bride for her big day. In 2019, she founded White Carpet Ready, weekly boxes delivered to the home, filled with hair, skin, nail, makeup and wellness products specifically tailored to the bride by the team’s professional wedding hair and makeup artists. Not only that, White Carpet Ready will guide a bride through the daunting task of understanding the preparation process by educating her on the products selected for her beauty timeline. In 2021, Mikayla notes that White Carpet Bride will launch online education services to help brides get ready for their big day.

Of course, her first recommendation for a gorgeous wedding-day look is hiring White Carpet Bride, but Mikayla offers a few other pieces of advice. “If you’re hiring a photog for anything–wedding, family, headshot–your photog should spend time with you making sure the shot will be beautiful. Sure, Photoshop can do wonders but you can’t color match faces and outfits,” she advised. “Hair and makeup are super important so spend the money to have a quality pro do it for you. And don’t forget to check out your pros. Do they post about their education, experience and sanitization process? Check out referrals and ask your other vendors about them. Do your homework before you spend your hard-earned money, and you’ll get experience and quality.”

Defining Success
As she enjoys the results of her hard work, Mikayla is generous to share her thoughts on making it in the business world. “Success is a team sport. When you start to think you have to wear all of the hats to accomplish your dream, you’ll burn out, not achieve your goal and make everyone miserable. Hire pros to help you with the things you’re not good at,” she noted. “But don’t sell out your vision for someone else’s vision. You were given that passion for a reason. I had people along the way try to discourage me. It’s frustrating, but people will give you advice and say something isn’t marketable. But how do they know? Their opinions are not a part of my life. I won’t operate out of fear, and I won’t play games that I can’t win. I give 100 percent of me, the best of me that’s available because mediocrity is not a part of my life.”

When it comes to enjoying a gorgeous look for your wedding day or special occasion, the team at White Carpet Bride should be a part of your plan. Mikayla suggests that you take the time to build partnerships with your artist and other wedding pros, and treat every relationship as the most important one.