Business Showcase

WCW | Christy Johnson | Albuquerque, NM


boudoir makeup artist Albuquerque, NM | Lavish BoudoirMeet Christy Johnson - owner and principal artist of C. Johnson Makeup

Christy is an amazingly talented makeup artist for boudoir photos with Lavish Boudoir in our Albuquerque studio. It's been a pleasure to work with her and I cannot rave enough about her talent and professionalism. Trust me, it's a rare find. Oh, and shes' freaking gorgeous. What a dream to photograph!

Tell me about your business! What makes yours unique, what inspires you, what keeps that passion in you alive?

We provide hair and makeup services for special events, primarily weddings, as well as for photography. Occasionally, we are asked to work commercially as well, meaning for magazine, television, or other publications. This means that we are usually working on  weddings during the weekends, and providing hair and makeup services for headshots, maternity photos, family photos, etc… during the week. The variety keeps us engaged and passionate; we absolutely love meeting new people in new places. My job is never dull!


Would you do it all again? What have you learned along the way?


I would absolutely do it again! I love what I do, and I love meeting new people. It’s so fun to talk about people about why they’re getting ready and what they’re getting ready for, especially weddings! It’s so fun to hear about the engagement and the fiance and the whole process of planning the wedding. We’re so honored to be a part of it and it’s just so fun for us to hear all about it. Along the way, I have learned so much about the ins and outs of running a business and providing the best possible service to all of my clients. Of course we always learn about new techniques and new product and we strive to keep learning  and getting more skilled all the time!

boudoir makeup artist Albuquerque, NM | Lavish BoudoirYou’re a young woman, what advantages or disadvantages does that give you in business?


The biggest advantage is that I can relate to my clients! I understand what it’s like to want to look your best and I know that sometimes that can be a struggle. Because of  Because of my perspective I believe it gives me the opportunity to relate to my clients and really meet them where they’re at and make sure that they get the best possible service and the best possible outcome that they can.


How do you try to maintain a balance between building or maintaining your business and having a love life?


Honestly, it's really difficult. My business can be all-consuming sometimes, especially when we're talking about working with brides and weddings that are rapidly approaching. Between spring and fall we’re pretty much non-stop working on weddings every single weekend and when we're not actually at the wedding or physically with clients we're working on schedules and contract or taking phone calls. I can't tell you the number of times that I've had to cancel important plans or reschedule my love life in order to accommodate my clients. I'm just thankful that I have a very understanding boyfriend.

boudoir makeup artist Albuquerque, NM | Lavish Boudoir

Are you able to carve time for yourself to keep from burning out?


At a certain point you just have to schedule yourself with days off and really stick to that schedule. It can be very difficult especially when someone tries to make an appointment last minute. I really want to be able to accommodate everybody all the time however, to keep my relationship going strong and to keep myself from burning out I really have to set a serious goal to take time off and stick to it.


If you had twenty-four hours and a teleportation machine to yourself (no family, boyfriend or work), what would you do? Where would you go?


I would absolutely go sit on the beach in Bali. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit and it just looks completely peaceful and relaxing!

boudoir makeup artist Albuquerque, NM | Lavish Boudoir

You are a business woman who happens to be in a creative field. What do you do to balance the desire to express yourself artistically, while maintaining a thriving business?

I like to participate in styled shoots with other creatives. This allows me to express my creativity while creating some amazing, gorgeous images! But when it comes to the client I really listen to them and do what I’m asked. My goal is to provide them with all that they are hoping for.


If you had $100,000 to spend on your business (no vacations, no new houses, etc), what would you do with it?

I would train an army of hair and makeup stylist to take over the world! Hahaha

What part of your business is most rewarding?

I really love working with women who struggle with their confidence and helping them to see just exactly how beautiful they truly are. There’s nothing more rewarding to me than to see somebody’s eyes light up the first time they look at themselves in the mirror after I’ve done their hair and makeup.

You work with a lot of engaged couples and brides, what have you learned about relationships this way?

I always say there’s a shoe for every foot. And I truly believe that after meeting all of our amazing couples! Sometimes, I get to see two people who I couldn't imagine just being more perfect for each other.boudoir makeup artist Albuquerque, NM | Lavish Boudoir

I know you’ve got a special someone in your life these days. How does being in a relatively new relationship affect your business?

I would definitely say that the business affect the relationship more than being in a relationship affects the business. Keith has really great about understanding my chaotic schedule and waiting patiently at dinner when I have to take a call from a client. I try really hard not to inconvenience him or make him feel unappreciated, but a lot of times my clients do come first especially when we're on a close deadline for their wedding.

We are all dying to know your best advice for busy moms and entrepreneurs. What are some tips to making yourself look amazing in a short amount of time?

I always recommend that on a day-to-day basis women do what feels most comfortable and makes them feel most confident. For me that means wearing my hair down. If I don’t have time to fully do my makeup I will put in the extra 5 to 10 minutes to make my hair look great. Or vice versa, whatever it is that makes you feel really wonderful, focus on that and don’t sweat the rest of it.

What are your top 3 makeup products right now?

That’s an impossible question. It’s like asking me to choose between my babies! Haha


Christy and her team are beyond amazing. I cannot recommend her enough for your wedding, family portraits, or even just a night out... but plan ahead because her business is booming and I couldn't be more excited for her. CLICK HERE to see her makeup page






Cedar McCrary | CedarFit | Albuquerque, NM

I'm back this month with our next "Woman Crush Wednesday" feature and this one is awesome.  Meet Cedar of CedarFit gym in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She's an entrepreneur, adventurer, romantic and all-around awesome woman. Our paths crossed a few times, but the first that really stands out to me was the Hautepreneurs Ball last February. She and her husband were seated at the same table as my husband and I. They came rushing in at the last minute. Like every other working mom, she says off-hand that she was worn out that day. Turns out it wasn't from working, or cleaning or caring for her household... it was because she had been out in the snow all day. Cedar is a horse-lover, skier of blizzarding mountains, wife, mom to two adolescents and kick-ass entrepreneur with a top-of-the-line gym in NorthEast Albuquerque.  Read her interview and I'm certain you'll be as enamored as I am, especially when you get to the very end. I need to get a wall decal with her wise quote.

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Tell me about your business! What makes CedarFit gym unique, what inspires you, what keeps that passion in you alive?

Life is always changing and struggles are every where. My favorite saying is "it never is what it never was.." constantly adapt and learn to be flexible! My passion is health and wellness. That's a daily struggle for all of us and I've learned to be realistic about my experiences and apply that to my daily coaching!

Would you do it all again? What have you learned along the way?

If I knew then what I knew now I probably would not do it again. The struggle for the 1st 4-5 years was significant and came at an extreme cost for our family.  If my husband had not been a business owner for 20+ years I am not sure our marriage would have survived.

You’re a mom. Tell me about your family.

We've been married 21.5 years with a 15 year old son and 12 year old daughter. We camp with our  horses in the summer & ski together almost every weekend that there is not a track meet. Our focus on children is to teach them how to think outside the norm and to not need to be entertained by phones & electronic input. Time will tell if we have accomplished this task. :)

How do you try to maintain a balance between building or maintaining your business and raising your children?

My business is essentially my 3rd child... scheduling time away with just my husband is critical. At some point the kids will be grown and fostering/ growing my marriage is of utmost priority!

Are you able to carve time for your husband and yourself to just be a couple and keep the spark going?

Yes. We have a weekend away quarterly if not every month. That relationship is the core of everything and must be preserved:)

If you had twenty-four hours and a teleportation machine to yourself (no kids, husband or work), what would you do? Where would you go?

To sleep;) Ok. To the future to see what investments we should make for our families long term security.

March is a month of falling off the wagon. We start the new year with enthusiasm, lofty goals and usually a brand new fitness goal. What can we do this month to keep the momentum going?

Mindset coaching. It's all a head game... we all know what to eat and what not to eat. The real question becomes why we choose to "cheat" on ourselves with the crummy food choices we keep making! CedarFIT has incorporated regular (2-3x per month) Month Mindset Coaching for this exact purpose. Change your mind to change your body!!

Cedarfit really seems to emphasize the lifestyle change, and you’re living proof of it. What did you learn from your experience, about making changes that stick?

You are the only thing you can really control in this life. We spend some much time & effort on other tings and it's time to make yourself a priority!

Lifestyle change is just like saving money for your future. Every penny you put in the savings account counts toward your goal:)

You have an upcoming program that helps women (and men) create the changes they need to see in their health, their bodies and ultimately their lives. Tell me about this.

We don't just offer a workout program. Mindset, nutrition & goal setting is almost as important as the daily exercise! We offer all of those things as part of our regular programming!

If you could share one bit of advice to working moms, what would it be?

"Clean enough to be sanitary and dirty enough to be sane;)". (Advice from my husbands grandmother when I was a new mom).


Thank you Cedar for your honesty, your wisdom and humor. It's always a pleasure working with you.

Book your own beautiful headshot photos here.

WCW - Meghan Cross


Bookkeeper for Small Businesses in Albuquerque - Beekeeper - Mom - Woman

Today is my first feature profile on an amazing woman entrepreneur. You may be wondering what this has to do with boudoir. Well, it doesn't. But it is about empowering women, teaching women and giving you a glimpse into the perspectives of these fabulous business owners.  Each month on Woman Crush Wednesday, I'll continue to feature a woman who is killing it at life.

So without further adieu, I introduce you to the lively, passionate and brilliant, Meghan Cross of Freeform Finances & MJ Honey Enterprises.

Pulling your hair out over tax season? Contact her directly:

bookkeeper for small businesses in albuquerque | Lavish Boudoir™

Tell me about your business! What makes yours unique, what inspires you, what keeps that passion in your alive?


We have a few family businesses, however mine is Freeform Finances, offering bookkeeping and accounting for small businesses.  My niche is to work with each client’s communication and timing styles, going with their flows, while providing guidelines to help keep everyone on track.


I thoroughly enjoy helping to make my clients’ lives a little easier.  Organizing and tracking the finances comes easy to some, however most would rather spend their time and energy doing what they do best. I love numbers; they center me.  The rest of my life is not so organized, so my job is what keeps me grounded.


My husband and I also own and operate, MJ Honey Enterprises.  We are local beekeepers who sell raw, unfiltered and delicious honey by zip code!  And he owns Abraxas Electric, which I also help support by doing the accounting and some administrative work.



Would you do it all again? What have you learned along the way?


I would. I believe everything in life provides us with moment-by-moment experiences to unfold our ongoing perfection. If my life were different, I wouldn’t have this awesome soup of my personal existence, that keeps getting better with each spice and variation along the way.


You’re a mom. Tell me about your family.


I am a mom to two amazing boys, ages 3 and 5.  They are part of the reason that I have come to be so passionate about life, partly out of survival and partly out of inspiration!


How do you try to maintain a balance between building or maintaining your business and raising your children?


I stay home with the boys part of the week, and feel really blessed to be able to tailor my work to their schedules and needs.  Most days when I’m home with them, I try to do very little if any work at all.  Other than that, I oftentimes work at 4am, occasionally at 1am, and most of all, don’t have a TV.  Probably like most readers here, rarely stop.


Are you able to carve time for your husband and yourself to just be a couple and keep the spark going?


I am so grateful that my mom lives here, and my mother-in-law visits every 6 weeks or so.  We have every-other week breaks for a night or two.  In the past couple of years, we have made an intention to go out, get a beer and just play.  Oftentimes we also work, but definitely take some downtime with each other.


If you had twenty-four hours and a teleportation machine to yourself (no kids, husband or work), what would you do? Where would you go?


A couple of years ago, I would have had some fabulous ideas.  But now, I really get a perfect blend of me-time.  I go to the gym a few times a week after dropping the boys at preschool, and we spend so much time outside with our garden and chickens; I feel at peace with things as they are. Now, if you hear me scream outside when I’m going nuts on certain days, then perhaps, you can ask me this question again!



You are an accountant, and I’ll get to that in a moment. But you believe in self-love and have incredible optimism and kindness. What inspires that?


For over thirty years, I spent life in a sort of low-grade anxiety and pretty much felt like my life was not worth anything beyond trying to please other people.  Through spiritual and personal explorations, and tuning into the suffering in others, I have experienced huge transformations in past few years.  Although always challenging, my life feels easy, in the flow and seated in gratitude.  Everyday, we can focus on the difficulty of our lives.  Or, we can be always perched at the beginning of opportunity.  And if I can be a light of peace and ease for others throughout my day, I have lived another 24 hours to the fullest.


Do you think that women who work or run businesses treat themselves the way they need to be?


As our generations continue to be leaders and business owners in industry outside (or frankly, inside) the home, we mature in amazing ways.  And I think many women are couched in extremes, of either being rough, or being passive-aggressive.  We are nurturers, and we like to please others, however we do not want to be taken as sensitive or weak.  Just like in a marriage, I think that if we state our needs, very clearly, briefly and with kindness, and we follow-through on our intentions without letting emotions derail us, we can be super-effective at what we do.  We are beautiful, amazing women, and do not need to be men.  There are enough, wonderful men in this world.  We offer a different kind of emotional insight and organizational approach, which, if harnessed with firm-yet-kind power, can keep companies grounded and our own lives and minds balanced.



We’ve chatted a bit about living a life of abundance and how that’s not something to bring on guilt. How do you define an abundant life and make strides towards your goals?


It took me until later in life, about the same time as self-love started to kick in, when I could peacefully accept a gift from someone, or charge a client what I or anyone else is worth.  We don’t serve anyone when we play small, believing that the world’s resources are limited and we should be martyrs in this life.  I believe the more that we truly enjoy the friends, family, home, money, whatever that we receive in this life, more will show up for us.  And through that receiving, giving becomes so fluid.  It’s like your life becomes one opportunity after another for giving, but not necessarily what you seek out.  Opportunities will present themselves and if our eyes are open, we can give of ourselves and this world’s resources, without a second thought.


Abundance, I believe, it being a joyful conduit of the ebb and flow of everything that we as a community need.


We’re approaching the deadline for taxes. Many women have already filed and if they weren’t outsourcing, they are probably wishing they had better systems in place. What do you recommend doing on a regular basis to make things easier at tax time?


For someone who has a computerized system in place (e.g., QuickBooks or Excel), sitting down maybe once a month or once a quarter.  Clear your space, put some flowers or something pleasing in your space, make a day or half-day out of it and know it will feel better come year-end.  Or at a minimum, constantly put everything that you know could be either receipt-or tax-related into a tub or filing cabinet, or file from your email’s inbox.


They say that they cobbler’s kids have no shoes. This is so true for me because I spent my time focused on my clients’ books.  For Freeform Finances, I put all of my paperwork in a plastic filing bin and then organize it all within a few hours at year end.  I don’t recommend this approach at all, but it’s certainly better than needing to pull everything in haste come April 10th!


 Speaking of outsourcing, what do you suggest an entrepreneur look for when hiring a bookkeeper or accountant? What’s the difference?


Bookkeepers organize and maintain your books.  Accountants ensure that special entries to the books, tax filing and in some scopes of work, tax planning is maintained.  Freeform Finances is a one-stop shop for small businesses. I charge a flat monthly fee for most clients, in which they can come to me at any time of the year with ideas and questions, and know that they won’t receive an extra bill for that five-minute phone call.  And come tax time, we’ve already addressed the issues needed in remaining compliant and making bigger decisions about business and strategies, etc.


My recommendation is that you feel comfortable with your financial person or people.  Not comfy in the sense that it’s a party every time you get together, but that you trust they have your best interest in mind, and that you can ask them any question. Like a good parent, they won’t always tell you “Yes”, but they will certainly take the time to listen to your question or ideas and give it their best shot to explore alternatives if their answer is a “No” or a “Maybe”.


Any final words of advice to all those hardworking moms and business women?


I am preaching to myself as I say these words: Our kids will grow up faster than we could ever expect, so enjoying them while we are with them is priceless.  And, keep on doing your best as a working mom without guilt!  It seems like we are not giving out kids what they need with our time, but if we continue to model ethics and the harnessing of opportunities, while devoting quality of time when we are home with them, they will benefit from our efforts.

The end...

Wow, that was just amazing. If you want more information on this incredible woman's work (or some of her delicious honey), please e-mail her at