My Make-A-Wish Story
If you don't know who I am, my name is Jill Sharkey. I am a Dual Licensed Esthetician, Makeup Artist and Content Creator https://www.tiktok.com/@jill_sharkey. I am the CEO of MAXXIE Brand, LLC, a company I built by myself. I have always been passionate about all things beauty and wellness. I have been researching everything related to the field since I discovered Google and Allure Magazine. I always wanted to be in the beauty industry since I was able to walk and talk. I knew that someday my dream would become a reality.
When I turned 14, I became very sick. Prior to that I was a healthy girl living my best life. Little did I know that my life would be a constant struggle from that year forward. I am going to keep the details of my health story private as I struggle with sharing it. It is very personal, complex and still very much an "open wound." I battle my physical as well as my mental health every day.
For many years, I was bedridden and at times wheelchair bound. The only thing that got me through difficult days, was my love for everything beauty. In the moment, it was a temporary escape from reality. I would tell myself when I'm feeling better, I am going to take everything I learned from my research and start my career. I would imagine that I was the celebrity artist, esthetician, business owner, or influencer that I watched and envied all day long. During a doctors appointment in 2015, my doctor told me he contacted Make-A-Wish Foundation on my behalf. I was accepted to the foundation at 17 years old and gifted two angels... my "Wish" granters Adria and Shelby, who I am still in contact with to this day! They helped me create my dream wish which was to meet Celebrity Makeup Artist, Gregory Arlt http://www.gregoryarlt.com/ out in California. I wished to have a one on one lesson with him and have him do my makeup. This was not a typical "Wish", so it took quite some time to plan and execute. I was as patient as I could be while the team was determined to make it happen. Finally, my special day was planned and it was a trip of a lifetime!
August 15, 2016 “WISH DAY”!!
I will never forget pulling up to the MAC Pro store on Melrose Place in Los Angeles. We arrived in a Mercedes van, seeing Gregory, looking fabulous as always. He said "Hi Jill!" and gave me the biggest gentle hug ever. He spent so much time with me in our makeup session. He even went way over the time that was set! He taught me so many tips and tricks that I still use to this day when working with clients. He is such a talented artist. I could not believe how fast he did my winged liner.. it was like magic! I was in awe of everything he did. I wanted to be him and still do. MAC Cosmetics was so kind to gift me every product Gregory used in our glam session. I felt like the celebrities and influencers I've been watching for years. It was incredible! After hours of playing with makeup, we went to lunch and Gregory came with! He critiqued my portfolio at the time and told me so much about his career working with celebrities. I was just a smiling sponge absorbing it all. I kept saying how cool it must be to receive hundreds of PR packages. He said, "don't you worry you're going to have PR packages sent to you too and you will have everything you want in life." I didn't believe him at the time, but he ended up being right! Receiving PR packages, having a beauty room, my own studio, my own company and being an influencer is my current reality. I have accomplished everything slowly while battling my health, but life's a marathon not a sprint. Gregory will always be the one who sent me my first PR package and I will never forget it. I didn't think I would hear or see from him again, but to my surprise I was wrong, again! He is now my mentor, has taken me under his wing, has taken me to his makeup classes for pro artists in Portland, introduced me to some of the best artists in the business and more. He has been the biggest blessing in my life and I'm so honored to call him a true friend. We are still connected today and share a special bond. We recently did an IG LIVE interview together talking more about our story linked here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/Cc8boBPJYaG/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
I’m writing about this story because I want everyone to know how incredible Make-A-Wish Foundation is and how thankful I am for everyone who is a part of it, especially the volunteers. It is a life changing experience for so many kids like me and it is so important to always give back. Make-A-Wish holds an extremely special place in my heart. When I created MAXXIE my first thought was, "We're donating a portion of our proceeds to Make-A-Wish Foundation, and that will never change as long as this company exists".
I hope one day to grant a real "WISH" through the foundation and make another child's dream come true like Gregory did for me. We are so proud of our ongoing donations to this charity! Thank you to all of our customers for purchasing, because you are helping us give back!
Thank you so much for reading and letting me share a piece of my story.
Donation Link Here: https://secure2.wish.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=donate_today&chid=100-000
(WISH Pictures Below)