Now Reading
From basement salon to bridal makeup business, founder connects through beauty 

From basement salon to bridal makeup business, founder connects through beauty 

  • As a child, Maggie King was enthralled by the transformative power of beauty and the sense of confidence it evoked in women. That sensation would become the cornerstone of her bridal beauty ventures MKUP The Beauty Studio and BLEND Beauty & Spa.
  • ¿Quieres leer esto en español? Haga clic aquí.

Slipping into the basement of her grandmother’s house, Maggie King would watch the family matriarch cut and style clients’ hair. When Nana’s knobbed hands no longer could hold the scissors steady, Maggie’s mother took over, clipping, crimping, and curling.  

Maggie loved how making women look beautiful seemed to instill confidence, a sense of oomph in them.  

“I love that instant gratification when you can tell you aren’t just making someone pretty on the outside, you’ve sparked something on the inside,” she says.  

Hometown bridal meets high fashion  

While in high school, Maggie began working at Renaissance Bridals & Prom in York, an experience that proved pivotal in shaping her career. She began by selling prom dresses, which allowed her to work with clients from start to finish, making them feel beautiful and completing their look. 

That hometown small-business experience traveled with her to college, where she studied fashion. She then took her creative prowess to Las Vegas to work for renowned fashion brand Gucci. Her start in York coupled with corporate experience equipped her with invaluable skills that would prove instrumental in launching her own beauty brand.  

The birth of a beauty brand and studio 

Upon returning to York, Maggie wanted to use her experiences and passion for making people feel beautiful. Once again at Renaissance Bridal, she began offering makeup services to brides.  

Maggie soon decided to establish a bridal makeup brand that would redefine the beauty experience. MKUP The Beauty Studio, an in-home makeup service, was born.  

The launch wasn’t easy. Building a trusted brand and solid clientele takes time. Her first year, Maggie created makeup for 15 weddings, then 20 in her second year, and 30 in her third. Slowly but steadily she expanded MKUP, until her team of 20 artists now creates bridal makeup for around 200 weddings per year.  

“I remember thinking I would never be able to make a living doing this, but I did,” she says. 

Maggie did not want to be limited to applying makeup in client’s homes. She wanted to create a luxury experience. Seven years ago, she opened her first studio.  

‘Generational connections’ 

As she dealt with the obstacles of running a studio, especially during a pandemic, Maggie connected with fellow beauty business owner Priscilla Fleet. They decided to become business partners and launch BLEND Beauty & Spa, a studio that fused their beauty brands. 

In August 2022, BLEND opened its doors on Eastern Boulevard in York. The full-service salon also is home to all of Maggie’s MKUP bridal trials, allowing her to offer clients that luxury spa experience she long had envisioned.  

Maggie’s mom glides into the studio to help with bookkeeping and scheduling. Making people look and feel beautiful remains a multigenerational experience for Maggie and her bridal clients. 

“A big goal of mine is to make a connection with my clients, not just to the brides but to the mothers, the grandmas. It’s just feeling the love and those generational connections,” she says. “It’s just a beautiful thing to be a part of love.”