A Woman to KNOW : Kelsey Vickers

Meet Gracie Kruger Natural Essence Studio

Embarking on a journey colored by diverse experiences, Gracie Kruger has seamlessly navigated through various life roles – from an army veteran to a compassionate paramedical tattoo artist. Her path has been anything but ordinary, beginning with the disciplined foundations of military life and evolving through her impactful years in the medical sector. This journey, particularly reshaped during the trials of the COVID-19 pandemic, led Gracie to reinvent her approach to service, merging her medical expertise with the transformative art of cosmetics. Her story is not merely a career transition; it’s a profound realization of her calling, emerging amidst challenges and blossoming into a unique convergence of care, art, and healing.

Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

My journey began in the US Army, a chapter that instilled in me the essence of service. Transitioning to a hospital setting for over eight years exposed me to the profound experiences of surgery, cancer, and trauma patients. Witnessing their resilience during challenging times inspired me deeply. When COVID struck, a burning desire to provide security and positivity fueled my decision to channel my medical background differently, combating burnout. Serving others remains my core, a commitment I initially embraced by joining the army and further pursued in the medical field. The shift from cosmetics to the medical side of tattooing marked a significant turning point, unveiling my true passion and purpose. This journey is more than a career; it’s about filling my bucket by making a meaningful difference in the lives of those I serve.

What was the “Aha Moment” that led to the creation of your current company?

I started my company because I wanted to keep helping people without being constantly immersed in the tough moments brought on by COVID. Dealing with burnout prompted me to seek a new beginning, and that’s when my business came to life. It’s more than just a career change – it’s a journey where I get to positively impact people’s lives in a different, uplifting way.

What do you think makes your company stand out?

What sets my company apart is the fusion of my medical background, understanding bedside manner, and seamlessly transitioning it into cosmetics. It’s the intersection of cosmetics and medicine where insecurity transforms into confidence. My integrity, rooted in Christian values and guided by army principles and genuine care for others, defines my unique approach. Serving others isn’t just a task; it’s about truly seeing and uplifting them. This commitment distinguishes my venture, creating a space where confidence and genuine care flourish.

What has been your favorite moment in your career so far?

One of the most cherished moments in my career is witnessing those transformative experiences that often go unnoticed. Restoring someone’s confidence, reigniting their love for their reflection – it’s truly priceless. Being able to give back confidence to someone who has gone through healing, overcoming traumatic wounds or scars caused by disease, is immensely fulfilling. It’s about returning something that was taken away, and that, to me, encapsulates the profound impact of what I do.

What measure do you use to determine success?

The gauge for success, in my view, lies in leaving a positive impact on the lives I touch. Whether it’s making a difference in someone’s confidence appearance or contributing to their overall well-being, success is about creating a meaningful impact and, in some way, improving the lives of those I encounter. The tangible positive changes and the sense of healing define success for me.

What piece of advice has impacted you the most?

The most impactful advice I’ve received is to prioritize the well-being of others over money. Doing what you love and pouring genuine passion into your work brings joy and tends to attract success. The focus on genuine care and love for what you do has a way of shining through in your work, ultimately leading to financial rewards. It’s a reminder that fulfillment and dedication to the well-being of others are the true drivers of success.

What message would you like to give to anybody who has a plan of creating something of their own and making a living through it?

The journey of an ambitious woman or entrepreneur is undoubtedly challenging, and expecting it to be easy is unrealistic. However, the effort is worthwhile. When you pursue what you love with the passion it deserves, rewards follow. Consistency is the key to navigating this path. Embrace the challenges stay dedicated to your passion, and the journey, though demanding, becomes immensely rewarding.

As Gracie Kruger reflects on her journey, the milestones she’s achieved, and the lives she’s touched, it becomes clear that her definition of success is deeply rooted in the positive changes she brings to others. Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and creatives is a beacon of hope and a reminder of the rewarding nature of dedication and love for one’s work. For Gracie, the journey of an entrepreneur is more than just a path to financial success; it’s a journey of passion, resilience, and a constant commitment to improving the lives of others. Her story encourages us to chase our dreams, embrace our passions, and remember that in the world of entrepreneurship, the most significant rewards often lie in the joy and satisfaction we bring to the lives we touch. Gracie Kruger’s narrative is a powerful reminder that in the pursuit of our dreams, we can indeed make a meaningful difference in the world.

Lynne Kimmich

More About Gracie

Gracie Kruger is an army veteran, a homeschooling mom of two, and a dedicated paramedical tattoo artist. Raised by a single immigrant mother, she has learned to believe that limits should never define one’s potential. Gracie’s journey is further enriched by English being her second language. Professionally, she excels in the art of 3D areola tattoos, a field where she skillfully merges medicine and cosmetics. With more than eight years of experience in hospitals, Gracie brings a holistic approach to her craft. Her commitment lies in empowering women, aiding them in embracing their unique beauty, and facing the world with renewed confidence. On a personal note, Gracie values family time, thrives on creativity, and staunchly believes in the power of resilience. Her diverse background drives her determination to break boundaries and inspire others to chase their dreams.