How I Got Started in the Eyelash Extension Industry
How it all began in the eyelash extension industry..
So my background is Thai/Dutch and before I began in the Lash Industry I was running my own Fashion Clothing store in Fortitude Valley here in Brisbane. Things were going great right up until around 2008 when the GFC hit and then business got really slow so I decided to take a holiday and visit my family in Thailand and at the same time thought I’d do an Eyelash Extension course while I was there.
I had always enjoyed making jewelry and other intricate things so I thought I could take this course and at the very least do my mum’s lashes for her (she’d been getting her’s done at a local Korean hair salon and they were never that great) and business would pick up at my clothing store and everything would be okay.
But.. as you can guess it was not okay. Business at the store continued to slow down and in 2009 I closed the clothing store for good to focus full time on growing my business in the eyelash extension industry. Scary but very exciting!
This was the beginning of “Brisbane Lashes“. I set up a very basic website on Vistaprint (that I still used right up until the end of 2015) and a Facebook page and I was off and lashing!
In the beginning my business operated the same way many new Lash Stylists still start out today, with a home based salon as well as a mobile service where I would drive all over Brisbane (and sometimes further) to see clients.
I would literally do their lashes whilst they were lying on their couch or bed and because there was no proper lighting or seating it meant if I wasn’t lashing I was getting massages to fix my neck and back!
So the mobile service lasted about 6 months before I figured out by working from one place I could actually see more clients per day (as I wasn’t wasting time driving everywhere) and my body was happier too!
Around 2011 one of my clients had recommended I check out a shop space to lease in Fortitude Valley and after a quick inspection I found it to be ideal so I made the move back to Fortitude Valley in 2011 and have been there ever since.
At first it was just myself sharing a space with 3 other beauty related businesses but over time they all moved out for one reason or another and I was faced with the decision to take over the full lease and quadruple my rent or move out and find yet another space which I really didn’t want to do.
So after a few sleepless nights I took the plunge and signed the 5 year lease. Looking back now I can see that this step was a pivotal moment in me being where I am today, running a successful lash salon and training academy.
One of the reasons for this is it forced me to think bigger to expand and hire staff which enabled me to meet the ever growing demand for my eyelash extensions services and further build my businesses brand.
Fast forward to today and you could say I’ve been rather busy!
- I now have a team of 10 and growing helping me to build my Lash Empire!
- I’ve featured on A Current Affair as an Industry Authority to speak about the Australian Eyelash Extension Industry
- Won numerous InternationalAwards for my Lash Work
- Opened a national training academy in 2013 with more than 150 events being run all around Australia teaching both Volume and Classic Lash Application
- Established my own brand of eyelash extension supplies known as “LashJoy” which is fast becoming a trusted brand within the lash community worldwide
- In April of 2016 I opened a brand new Eyelash Extension Salon at Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast under the new brand name “Lash Dolls Boutique”
- In May of 2016 I had my first International Volume Lash training event in Japan where I was the keynote speaker at four events in Tokyo and Osaka!
- In July I presented a 90 minute presentation on Classic Lash Mastery at the Brisbane Hair & Beauty Expo as part of their Extended Education Program
- In September I attended International Lash Conferences in Moscow and Prague for further development
- October 2016 I was the invited to be the keynote speaker at the Lash Vision conference in Melbourne where I tackled the topic of “winning the lash retention battle”
- 2016 was capped off by an international lash training tour which will saw me visiting North America and Canada teaching the art of Volume Lashing!
So what’s next?
The focus is on further building my brands and continuing to set new benchmarks within the eyelash extension industry in the fields of training, application techniques and safe products.
I want to educate consumers about Eyelash Extensions so they can make better choices about where they get their lashes done and at the same time encourage Lash Stylists to lift the standard of lash services that they offer to.
Eyelash Extension training is something I’m extremely passionate about, sharing my knowledge with aspiring and experienced lash stylists alike is very rewarding. So along with my training events throughout Australia I will also be running a number of International events in America, Canada and across Asia in the next 12 months.
New Salon & Training Facility
As the business is growing so rapidly, we have now just relocated to a brand new 200m2 salon in Brisbane! Our new space includes a fully dedicated state of art training facility and is now also the headquarters for LashJoy supplies. There are a few more things in the mix, but they’re all secrets for now so you’ll just have to wait and see what unfolds 🙂
Anyway, that’s a snapshot of me and my journey in this wonderful eyelash extension industry so far. I look forward to getting to know you better if we get to meet at one of my upcoming lash training events.