• Kyle Harder

The Meaning of Team

Updated: Feb 22, 2019

Envisioning my dream team.

My concept for The Harder Group was to create a team of professional makeup artists, hair stylists, manicurists and wardrobe specialists. But what does it really mean to be a team? How is my team different from all the many businesses that profess to be a team? What does it mean to be a part of my team, and as a teammate, what can I and each of us contribute towards the well-being of the team as a whole?

My Experience with an Agency

When I worked for one of the large, well-known agencies I realized that there was nothing team-like about the agencies who are the stalwarts in the industry. Bookings were perfunctory and without thought to the artist or the client’s goals, strengths and needs. Those who were there the longest or had achieved a favored status got most of the bookings and the rest of us got what was left. And yet the agency felt it should take a percentage of what I brought in solely through my own efforts and the network I had carefully built through years of hard work. This was not what I had envisioned as belonging to a team.

Envisioning My Career as an Artist

When I left the agency I spent some time thinking about what I wanted to get out of this industry, my career, and what I wanted my life to look like going forward. I thought a lot about what exactly it was that had got me to where I was at the time, and how I could continue on a path that would help me achieve my goals. I realized that although I worked my ass off for years, I did not get there on my own. I was fortunate enough to have had many people in my life whose advice and encouragement kept me going in the right direction. But most of all, I had a team. A group of friends, family members, fellow artists and business people in and out of the industry whose unwavering support of my career and me as a person made all the difference. A tip from a mentor, a chance taken by an employer, a helpful critique from another artist, and great friends who had my back through thick and thin, all contributed to my well-being and growth personally and within the industry.

Learning From My Experience

When I was young I had the good fortune to be a part of a competitive gymnastics team. Every member of the team played an equally important role in the team’s success, and every one of us was a teammate to all the rest. We trained together, we competed together, we lived each other’s frustrations and successes, we supported each other through thick and thin, we shared our equipment and we shared our dreams. We were best friends and family. The success of one was the success of all.

It was with my own experience and good fortune in mind that I sought to build a team. I wanted that sense of belonging and common purpose to be an integral part of The Harder Group team. I wanted each of my team members to embrace our hard work together, so that we could share in our achievements together. I wanted each of us to grow and thrive, and through our individual successes, make a stronger more successful team as a whole. I wanted each of us to know that we as a team were there for each other and had each other's back.

Succeeding in Good Company

We live in a bit of a crazy world, where work and success are at the top of our priorities, and people will do anything to get ahead. I realized early on that was not the world I wanted to spend time in. I wanted to succeed in the company of my friends and family. So I went to my friends and put together the best team in the industry. We are talented, enthusiastic, creative, cooperative and hardworking. We are there for each other, whether to cover an appointment or to lend an ear or with a word of encouragement. We share our dreams, goals and aspirations. We have a collective experience and as a team and that experience can only grow and get better.

The Harder Group

We are one of just a handful of agencies that provides integrated, full beauty services and artists individually matched to each client’s specific vision. In our first few months together, some of our clients included CBS, TBS, MTV, HSN, Showtime, Amazon, Netflix, Broadway's Kinky Boots, Lion King, The First Noel, Stouffers Lean Cuisine, Febreze, Pantene, Breyers, Victoria's Secret, and numerous personal clients, celebrities and weddings.

Each member of The Harder Group brings a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge to the team. Rachel Estabrook, has made her mark on Broadway, bringing a lyrical sensitivity to the characters she creates. Cynthia Altoriso, a scholar, historian, and incredibly talented period Wardrobe Stylist who was my mentor when I was 17 and continues to work side by side with me. Faina Rud, my head SFX artist, who followed her heart to Hollywood for continued education in monster making and now works as a bicoastal artist. Kyle Sheehan, who is one of the best people to be on set with, and is always one step ahead. Corinne Tweddel, who has mastered the art of beauty but prefers to take it to the next level with creative projects. Madison Personette, who can paint anything and is a true “artist” makeup artist.

Georgie Calvert, a gifted hair stylist who trained in London and is the daughter of a multi-award winning London hair stylist. Angela Lynn Ware and Isata Allen, hard-working multi- talented hair stylists, makeup artists and manicurists who adeptly manage professional careers and motherhood. Union Wardrobe Stylist Renee Arochas, whose personal style and attention to detail can be seen in every piece and ensemble. Jackie Risotto, whose dedication and commitment has resulted in many prominent positions including Union Makeup.

Department Head for the Showtime series “Homeland”. J. Correa, whose product and retail knowledge is invaluable to our clients and the services we provide. And our newest member, Rachel Rushevsky a prominent artist in the NJ Bridal Scene and Educator, shaping the career beginnings of many of our next generations artists.

A warm, heart felt thank you to all of my 2017 artists. You are my dear friends and the best the beauty industry has to offer.

Kyle Harder

Owner - The Harder Group




#TeamBuilding #Makeup #Elite #Hair #Artist #Sylist