#WorkAbroadBecause It's An Invaluable Life Experience

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
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Feb 02, 2015 / 0 comments

Penny Sadler is a professional makeup artist, writer, and photographer, with a long list of credits in television and event production. Born with a map of the world in her hand, Penny's adventurous spirit and passion for travel take her far and wide as often as possible. Raised between California and Texas, her talent for creating beauty and confidence in everyone she works with comes naturally.

Perhaps because of her career, she has a special fondness for Italy, where beauty is a natural part of daily life. She writes for both travel and beauty publications, and is a frequent guest and beauty expert on a local lifestyle program.  She loves to travel and pursue her passion for photography and prosecco. Her interest in Italy has refined her personal travel style, however, she has yet to try walking on cobblestones in a pair of high heels. Find her online at Adventures of a Carryon and http://www.pennysadler.com/


Penny Sadler in Rome


I worked abroad teaching "camera ready" makeup - basically how to get glam in 20 minutes or less. I had a local girl model for me. I wanted to work in Italy, so I expanded what I was already teaching in the US to Italy.


Makeup artist Penny Sadler teaching camera-ready makeup in Naples, Italy

Makeup artist Penny Sadler teaching camera-ready makeup in Naples, Italy (above and below)


Makeup artist Penny Sadler teaching camera-ready makeup in Naples, Italy



What motivated your decision to work abroad? How/why did you choose where to go?

I was in love with Italy, and had been traveling there every year. I basically was looking for a reason to go back and started looking for work. Then I realized I could create my own job, and that's what I set out to do.


Bay of Naples. Penny Sadler

Bay of Naples


How did you find your job? What resources did you use?

I started networking with people on expat sites. Many people expressed an interest in makeup and taking lessons. I also used Facebook a little bit. I met a lot of people living in Italy on Facebook.


Ponte San Angelo, Rome. Penny Sadler

Ponte San Angelo, Rome


What was your experience like? Can you share some favorite memories - and challenges?

It was a big challenge to market this class, because I wanted to hold it in September, but the Italians are all away on vacation in August, so nothing happened during that entire month. Also I was collaborating with an Italian woman who owned a hotel, but it was not easy to get to, located about thirty minutes outside of Naples. In the end, I had to change venues and work through a beauty salon in Naples city center. The woman who owned the hotel was furious and acted as though I was trying to cheat her somehow. No money had exchanged hands and we were still at least six or eight weeks from the event, so I didn't really understand her reaction. That was my first lesson in dealing with Italian emotions. Mamma mia!


When Travel is Not What You Expected

When Travel is Not What You Expected


What skills did you develop from your experience? Do you feel changed from your experience abroad?

I learned how to market abroad. I got in touch with a woman who did marketing for Naples and also was a writer for the local paper. Unfortunately, I underestimated how long it would take to generate interest. If I had it to do over, I'd start at least six months in advance perhaps and adapt along the way.


Cesena, Italy. Penny Sadler

Cesena, Italy (above and below)


Cesena, Italy. Penny Sadler


Has your experience helped you get to where you are today? If so, how?

I'm not sure if it helped me long term in my career, but it doesn't hurt to be able to say I taught makeup in Italy.


Any advice for students thinking about working overseas? What are some highlights or things that you gained or changed your perspective?

I think it's very important to understand who you're working with. Working with other cultures, even one as western as Italy, is not the same as working with Americans. You have to try to imagine how they think. And understand what interests them. It's the only way to be successful. I'd also say it would have helped a lot if I could speak Italian. Then I could have reached a broader market.


Is there anything else you'd like to share with us?

Any experience overseas is worth its weight in gold. No matter what you want to do, try it! I ended up in the hole financially on this adventure, but not too much so and it was worth the experience. At least by the time it was over, I knew what was possible and what was not in Italy. And that's what I was after.



 #WorkAbroadBecause It's An Invaluable Life Experience



All photos courtesy and copyright Penny Sadler