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Your Neighbor: Meet Courtney Crepeau

By Mandy Haggerson
For the Clemmons Courier

Courtney Crepeau grew up on the west coast in San Jose, California. As the younger of two children, Crepeau enjoyed doing anything that involved being outside. “From early on, I loved the outdoors, and that has never changed,” mentions Crepeau. At around nine years old, Crepeau discovered her love for the arts too. “I discovered dance and theater and loved it. I remember putting on my mom’s heels and dressing up to do my own performances,” laughs Crepeau.

Crepeau also enjoyed putting on makeup and started learning how to do it. “In drama club for high school I would help fellow classmates for shows and performances. I loved it,” explains Crepeau who had a natural artistic talent for it. Crepeau had always been interested in painting acrylic art just as her mother and grandmother had, and her eye for makeup and accentuating beauty was an extension of her passion.

Although Crepeau had a love and desire to create artistically, her practical business side from growing up in Silicon Valley took her to college to get a degree in speech communication and women’s studies at San Jose State University. “I always knew that I needed a college degree. I sidelined my passion for the arts because I thought I could parlay it into a hobby. I had reasoned in my head that I shouldn’t go into acting in Los Angeles or New York City for Broadway because I was too short,” notes Crepeau.

Staying true to her plan to have a successful business career, Crepeau started working in the corporate world and honed her skills in business development. “I stayed in the San Jose area for the first few years after college, and then headed to Portland, Oregon, when there were mass layoffs at my company from the recession,” says Crepeau. “I was drawn to Portland because of its culture, and luckily it would also lead to meeting my future husband, Ray.” Crepeau’s meeting of Ray would also take Crepeau back to her passion and creative side unexpectedly.

“I remember going to North Carolina with Ray to see his family one Christmas in 2011. I met his sister, Aimee, who I adored instantly. She was so kind and warm to me. As an added bonus, Aimee had this career that was the life I always wanted. Aimee was a professional makeup artist that had worked directly for Bobbi Brown and traveled all over the United States and Canada with her as a makeup artist. She gained experience at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York City, the Oscars, and has even done work for Oprah Winfrey just to name a few,” says Crepeau.

It was a natural move for Courtney and Ray after they were married in 2014 to head to North Carolina to be near his family. “Ray found a great job in Asheville, and Aimee had asked me to help with assisting her with makeup. I had shown her my work, and she saw what I could do,” explains Crepeau. “I would travel with Aimee to her jobs and gained valuable on-site experience. At this point, I was in my mid-30s and it was a true a-ha moment for me. I knew that I loved doing this. With Aimee’s 20-year professional work as a makeup artist under Bobbi Brown, I knew I was getting a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the business from someone who was just the best.”

In 2018, Aimee and Courtney made their partnership official by opening Aimee Crepeau Makeup. “We love creating a timeless, fresh and natural look for each person’s individual needs. Whether it’s for a special event or a makeup tutorial, we enjoy tailoring to each person’s specific look. We want our clients to look and feel beautiful by accentuating their natural beauty and highlighting their best features,” notes Crepeau. “Something we’ve realized goes hand in hand is skin care. A huge component to makeup is having a good canvas and caring for your skin makes that possible. I’ve recently gotten my esthetician license and we help our clients achieve the results they want with naturally effective and innovative ingredients that are grounded in science but also have high standards for safety and sustainability.” The lifelong animal lover, Crepeau mentions, “all of the makeup and skincare products we utilize are animal friendly as well. That’s very important to me because I have always loved animals. I have even become a vegan more so because of the treatment of animals, then for health purposes.”

Crepeau is looking forward to spending more time in the studio again as she, like many small business owners, were affected by COVID-19. “I was in the high-risk category so I had to scale back on what I could do, and that was so hard because of how much I love my job. We are seeing clients in studio now through appointments at the 4th Street Brow Studio + The Parlor in Winston-Salem. We have teamed up with Holly Stack who is the go-to in brows which has been fun because she has also taken me under her wing as a brow specialist. She’s very picky about who she brings in to represent her brand, and I’m excited to offer that myself one day soon after I complete my training with her. Holly was hired by Aimee many years ago when she was at Bobbi Brown so it’s fun how everything has come full circle,” says Crepeau.

Crepeau is excited because she’s finally doing exactly what she was meant to do, “I get to work with someone I respect so much, and we’re doing work that we’re both so passionate about. We’re planning to offer even more services in the future,” reveals the small business owner. Aimee Crepeau adds about her sister-in-law and business partner, “Courtney’s commitment to excellence is what I love and respect about her most. She has laser beam focus until she gets it right and who wouldn’t want that in a business partner and makeup artist?”

As Crepeau continues to highlight other’s beauty she finds that she is energized by it and simultaneously fulfilling her own dreams.