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Thomas Face Painting has been at every major street fair in North Dakota as well as numerous festivals throughout North Dakota and Minnesota, and it all started right here in Valley City. Former Valley City resident Thomas Huus is the founder and owner of Thomas Face Painting, which is now based in West Fargo.
Huus started painting faces about eight years ago as an artistâ€™s way to make ends meet.
â€śI went to Disney World and saw the face painting stands they had there, and I knew something like that would work in North Dakota because no one else was doing it,â€ť Huus explained.
While heâ€™s been attending fairs, festivals and parties for quite some time, Huus didnâ€™t officially register his business name until last year. He said he went by Thomas Face Painting because Huus Face Painting would sound more like a question.
â€śLast year business kind of exploded,â€ť Huus said, and since then, heâ€™s created another company called Unreal Entertainment. The company, also based in West Fargo, is a conglomerate of entertainers and game rentals that services the North Dakota and Minnesota areas.
After attending so many street fairs and other events, Huus said he always heard people talk about how hard it was to find other sorts of entertainment, which is partially what sparked the idea for expanding his business.
Huus credits his moving to Fargo for the reason his business grew. Being close to the festivals in higher population areas such as Lakes Country, Minn. and Fargo, Huus found more of a demand for entertainers.
Not only does Huus provide entertainment for parties, he also uses his face painting as a way to demonstrate the products that he uses and sells. He compared his face painting to the Gingso knives product demonstration infomercials.
â€śWhen Iâ€™m face painting itâ€™s kind of a different technique that people arenâ€™t used to seeing. I use sponges and other supplies,â€ť Huus said.
One thing that makes Huusâ€™ face painting company so unique is that he is approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which means all the cosmetics that he uses are free from lead and other toxins. Huus explained that not all face painters get FDA approval.
â€śItâ€™s voluntary,â€ť Huus said, â€śBut we want to caution parents to use FDA approved cosmetics.â€ť
Huus is currently in the process of creating an online store featuring products that the company uses.
â€śCome Halloween, there will be a lot more products online,â€ť Huus said.
The URL for the store is http://faceandbodyartsupplies.com/
In addition to painting faces and selling cosmetics, Huusâ€™ company provides services in all realms of the entertainment industry.
Unreal Entertainment rents out inflatable games, rock climbing walls and giant trampolines as well as other popular games. The company also has fire jugglers, caricature artists, clowns, magicians and many more types of performers.
â€śIf itâ€™s not something I can find locally, I will outsource to somebody I know in Minneapolis,â€ť Huus said.
Both Thomas Face Painting and Unreal Entertainment are owned by Huus, but he does not plan to retire the Thomas Face Painting name yet, â€śbecause thatâ€™s what everyone knows,â€ť Huus said.
Huus hopes to inspire young artists and entertainers to strive to make a career out of doing what they love.
â€śI want to show people what an entertainer can do at a professional level,â€ť Huus said. â€śIt can be an actual occupation if you really dedicate yourself to it.â€ť