Gianna LaForgia and Breanne Martindell, I Do Your Hair and Makeup {Our NJ Mompreneurs of the Week}


Our NJ Mompreneurs of the Week, hair designer Gianna LaForgia and makeup artist Breanne Martindell became fast friends while working at an NJ salon, so when Breanne came up with the idea of I Do Your Hair and Makeup— a concierge traveling beauty service that goes on location for bridal hair and makeup before a wedding —Gianna was first on her list of who she wanted to partner with. It took a bit of convincing since mobile beauty wasn’t yet a “thing,” but in 2012, their business officially launched, and these talented hair and makeup pros have been booked ever since. We chatted with these North Jersey moms to find out how they balance work and motherhood, the most important thing to keep in mind when working in the service industry, and the best spot in Morris County to enjoy a great meal while watching airplanes take flight. 

Gianna LaForgia and Breanne Martindell Mompeneur NJ MomGianna LaForgia, with her husband, Jonpaul, and sons, Gianluca, 5, and Santino, 2 ½, is so thankful she took the risk of business ownership because it gives her the freedom to be with her family.  

Tell us a little bit about your family and background. 
Gianna: My husband, Jonpaul, and I have been married for eight years. We have two boys, Gianluca, 5, and Santino, 2 ½. We live in East Hanover, the same town that Jonpaul and I grew up in, though we met after high school—he’s five years older than me. Our neighborhood is very close-knit and filled with people we grew up with—once you grow up here, you don’t want to leave. We also have a lot of family here, and it’s a young neighborhood, so there are so many kids around, which is great for our children.

Breanne: I’ve been married for six years. My husband, Tim, and I have a daughter, Elaina, who’s 2 years old. Like Gianna and Jonpaul, we also live in the town we both grew up in, which is Ringwood. We get the best of both worlds by living here because it’s a lake community with hiking and biking and nature right by us, but we’re also close enough to more action if we want to step outside our immediate area. We also have our families in Ringwood, so we get lots of support and camaraderie. 

Gianna LaForgia and Breanne Martindell Mompreneur NJ MomBreanne Martindell, with her husband, Tim, and daughter, Elaina, 2, knew the business would be successful but wasn’t sure she could maintain it after getting married and having her daughter. The fact that she can set her own hours and accept or decline weddings makes it possible for her professional life to be as rewarding as her personal life. 

When you were young, what were you most passionate about? What did you think you’d be doing when you grew up? 
Gianna: From the time I was young, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I come from a family of stylists—my grandfather owned a salon, and I’d go there and sweep up, look at the magazines, and go to the corner store candy shop with the dollar bills clients would give me. When I got a little older, I always styled my friends’ hair for special events like parties, sweet sixteens, and school dances. My high school offered a vocational program, so along with my schooling, I was also going to Morris County School of Technology for Cosmetology. When I graduated high school, I got a chair right away at the salon I’d been working at while in high school. I also worked in other salons for about seven years before we launched our business in 2012.

Breanne: Art and drawing have always been my thing. I like to think I got my talent from my grandmother, who was an artist working in oil paints. In high school, I fell in love with makeup, and being a makeup artist blended my passions. I got licensed as an aesthetician and worked in a salon, which is how I met Gianna. On my journey, I also taught advanced makeup classes at a beauty school and started doing makeup for TV, first for ABC, followed by Fox News, and I’m still working in TV for the MLB / NHL Sports Network.

Did one of you develop this business idea and bring the other in? How do you split up the responsibilities?
Breanne: I’d been doing makeup for weddings on my own when I realized that going to wedding venues with a hair and makeup team would be smart, and I knew Gianna was the person I wanted to partner with. I knew her work ethic and how talented she was from working together in a salon, but I also knew we’d be great partners. Initially, she turned me down when I approached her with the idea. She was working full time at the salon, and leaving that would be taking a risk, but when she finally agreed, and we began, the business blew up right away. Since then, we’ve grown it to a team of 8, which is the sweet spot amount for us. Gianna and I divvy up all the business-related things and talk and text daily to stay on top of things. 

What are the best things and the most challenging things about having this particular business?
Gianna: This business has changed my life because I went from working in a salon full-time to still having a career that I love but getting to be there for every aspect of my children’s needs, too. The most challenging thing is working weekends, but I was used to that in the salon anyway, and we’re usually done by 2:00 pm when doing a weekend wedding.

Breanne: I agree with Gianna. The best thing is that we can have our lives because we don’t work 9-5. We can accept or decline weddings, and we set our own schedules. The most challenging has to be organizing everyone’s calendars, including those that work for us and the brides. It’s challenging and time-consuming, but we always get it done. 

Gianna LaForgia and Breanne Martindell Mompreneur NJ MomGianna working her magic on a bride’s beautiful do. 

Has your business changed since you first launched it, and do you have any plans to grow it further?
Gianna: Ten years ago, it was nearly impossible to find a company that would travel for weddings and other special events, making our business such a novel idea. We were one of the first to do that in the area before the industry got saturated, but the demand for this service has also grown exponentially, so there’s more than enough work to go around. 

What have you learned about yourself since launching your business? 
Gianna: I never thought I would own my own business, so with that being said, I’ve learned that I can do whatever I put my mind to. Our success over such a short period of time is such a good feeling. I was a bit skeptical at first, and I am very, very proud of what we’ve created together.

Breanne:  I saw a need in the market and knew Gianna and I would be great at this, but it was a very pleasant surprise to see how successful it’s been. 

Gianna LaForgia and Breanne Martindell Mompreneur NJ MomBreanne applies the finishing touches on a bride.

What are some of your favorite NJ spots to visit with your family?
Gianna:  Essex County Environmental Center is all about nature. We hike on the trails, and they have so many great programs there, like a little explorers program that we did. We love it so much that I held my older son’s 4th birthday party there. We also like to head to Sunset Pub & Grill, a cute restaurant with good food and drinks, a pretty outdoor patio, and live music, plus it’s next to a flight training space. We were just there, and the kids loved it–they got to eat French fries and watch airplanes take off. 

Breanne: Turtle Back Zoo is a favorite–we can’t get enough of their magnificent flamingoes! We also spend all our summertime on Erskine Lakes, which has everything from boating to swimming lessons to volleyball and diving—you name it. 

What’s your best piece of advice for a mompreneur just starting?  
Gianna: Customer service is everything. In the service industry, you must leave your personal life at the door and be pleasant even when you are having a bad day. Our reputation is built on referrals from all the brides we’ve made happy. On, we have over 200 5-star reviews—brides-to-be like to see that we have the talent to back up our business and treat our customers well, leaving a great impression. 

Breanne: You have to give your absolute best effort when it comes to your business—block out periods where you can focus solely on your work uninterrupted. Also, always respond to clients immediately, and if you have a business partner, connect daily so nothing gets overlooked.  

For more information on Gianna LaForgia and Breanne Martindell and I Do Your Hair and Makeup, see their website, Facebook, and Instagram pages. 

About Author

Nancy Weinberg Simon lives in Summit, NJ with her husband and two children, a 20-year-old son and a 21-year-old daughter. She's a former beauty editor whose work has appeared in print and online in Family Circle, Ladies' Home Journal, Better Homes & Gardens,,, and, among others. After living in NYC for almost 20 years, Nancy returned to the Garden State when it was time to raise her family. She loves reading everything and anything she can get her hands on, entertaining friends and family, traveling the world, scouring estate sales, and crafting jewelry.