THE STORIES OF A LASH ARTIST - Featuring Beauty By TammyAug 21, 2019
Inspiring others with our stories, tips, tricks, and advice from our darling lashpreneurs.
I have been wanting to do this for some time now and I am so glad to have amazing lash artists who have agreed to be a part of this project with me. As lash artists, I believe we have so much to share when it comes to not only application and education, but work-life balance and business building skills.
Here's Tammy's story below:
1. Tell us what you were like as a little girl and what did you want to be when you grew up?
"As a little girl, I was always into girly, feminine things. I designed fashion outfits for my paper dolls. I was very creative, I loved arts and crafts, and writing my own storybooks. My favourite hobby was reading. I loved books so much I would re-read favourite stories or novels over and over again. As for what I wanted to be when I grew up, it was always changing. I wanted to be an artist, a teacher, a designer, and a published author. I think it’s because I had so many different interests, I couldn’t decide on just one career."
2. What made you decide to get into the lash industry?
"My previous career as a General Manager and Corporate Trainer, for a big Canadian Fashion Retailer, required me to work a lot of hours. Evenings, weekends, holidays, I was the person that they could depend on to show up and do the work till it was done. When I became a Mom, I fell in love with my baby girl and realized I needed to make some changes in my life. I wanted to be there for her, and tuck her into bed every night. This became the reason why I quit my job (after spending a decade climbing the corporate ladder), and started my own business. I’m an Internationally Certified Makeup Artist, so I decided to focus on building my makeup artistry business.
A friend introduced me to lash extensions. We went and got a Classic full set together. There were no Volume extensions yet, but I instantly fell in love with the way Classic lashes transformed how I looked. I became addicted to lashes and was a client for a year before the owner of the lash studio suggested to me to get trained. She said that I already had a client base, so I could add lash extensions to my service menu. I agreed and the rest is history."
3. How long have you been a lash artist?
"I have been a Lash Artist for over 4 years."
4. Who are the people you look up to?
"The people I look up to in my life are:
My Mom – she is one of the kindest, most beautiful woman I know. Everything good about me is because of her. She is my best friend. She taught me to always be a good person and to be kind to others. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
My hubby – he is so wonderful, supportive, caring, and just the best hubby in the world. He’s so calm and level-headed. We can be polar opposites sometimes, but it’s a good thing. He keeps me very grounded and reminds me of what’s truly important in life.
My godparents – They’re both passed away now. My godfather passed away this year in April. He was such a great man, with strong family values. The love my godparents shared was so special. It made me believe that kind of love was possible because they had it. They were my role-models and I cherish the decades of memories we made together."
5. What does a typical day in your life look like?
"I work 5 days a week, I train 2 out of the 5 days and I lash clients the other 3 days.
On a typical day (lashing day), I would get my daughter ready for school. After that, I get ready for my first client at 10am. I take and enjoy my 1-hour lunch. I lash in the afternoon. After picking up my daughter from daycare, I make dinner, feed my family, clean up the kitchen, play with my daughter and spend time with my husband before they go to sleep. After my daughter goes to sleep at 9:30pm, I go back to work. This could be working on my website, taking care of Pro Shop orders for the day, social media, answering emails, planning my next day, etc. I’m a bit of a workaholic. =)
On training days, I do the same things, except that my day time activities are training students and not lashing clients. I love to train. It is my passion to help other women succeed through entrepreneurship."
6. Are you a home-based lash artist or a storefront lash business?
"I’m a home-based Lash Artist. I feel like I did the opposite of how others start out. Lash Artists usually work from home first, then grow into a storefront lash business. I started out working in a lash studio first but decided to move and set up my home-based studio when the hours didn’t work for me. My daughter needed me so I decided to set up my studio at home so I could have control over my own schedule."
7. What is most challenging and most rewarding about being a lash artist?
"The most challenging thing about being a lash artist is that you are your own boss. Everything falls on your shoulders. It is not uncommon to be the receptionist, cleaner, customer service rep, accountant, lawyer, and manager all-in-one! You are wearing many hats and juggling many responsibilities. So if you’re not great at time-management or prioritizing, you can easily get overwhelmed.
The most rewarding thing about being a Lash Artist is that you are your own boss!!! I love that I do not have someone else telling me what to do. I have complete freedom over my schedule. I decide who I want to take on as a client as there are some clients who will not respect your time and artistry, so those are not the clients I keep. At this point in my career, I have the best clients. I love them and they love me. They bring me food just because, and surprise me with flowers on my birthday! I know they can choose anyone to be their Lash Artist and they choose me. I feel very blessed to have a creative outlet like lashing to help me feel grounded, appreciated and loved."
8. Being an entrepreneur is not always easy, we face many challenges in all aspects of running and growing a business, what challenges have you ran into with your business, and what have you learned from it?
"Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy but I promise that if you work hard and don’t give up, it will be worth it. When my daughter was 3 years old, she was diagnosed with High-Functioning Autism. She was not speaking, didn’t make consistent eye contact and didn’t initiate or interact with other children. At this time, I was working on my makeup artistry business, which meant that I was all over the Greater Toronto Area, booking and working makeup gigs. My husband and I had a long discussion and we decided what was best for our family was to have me be the on-call parent. Our daughter was preparing to enter kindergarten and we needed one parent to be in charge and on top of everything. I decided to focus on building my lash business, and set up my home-based studio. This way I could take my daughter to all her therapy appointments, and get her the help she needed.
It was extremely tough during this time. I explained to my clients and they understood. I would book all of my daughter’s therapy appointments first and then schedule my client’s fill appointments around my daughter’s schedule. I did a lot of half-priced lashes in the beginning, until I built my client base. Because of my personal situation, it took me a lot longer to build that solid client base, but eventually I got there, so my advice for other Lash Artists is to not compare your story to someone else’s. Don’t look at someone’s success and feel bad because you’re not there yet. Success is measured by how happy you are with what you’ve accomplished. I would say also that there are no excuses. If I can do it, having a child with special needs, you can do it too. Success is yours if you want it badly enough. I wanted the freedom and flexibility to take care of my daughter. She is my why. My family is my everything.
After 3 years of therapy, my daughter is talking, singing, dancing and playing with other children. It was absolutely worth it, going through what I went through to get her the help she needed. It was because I was a Lash Artist and I worked for myself, which gave me the freedom and flexibility to be there for my daughter. This is why I am so passionate about what I do. It is so much more than 'just doing lashes'."
9. What is your favourite thing about your workspace?
"My favourite thing about my workspace is the gray loveseat in my sitting area. It is where I sit and meditate every morning, before my first client appointment. I visualize all the success and declare my positive affirmations. It’s where I feel the most connected with infinite energy and the power of the law of attraction."
10. What is one piece of advice you could share when it comes to lashing your client's set? (e.g., a tip or trick you do that makes all the difference in the outcome of your work.)
"The use of gel eye pads and sensitive tape. I feel this is the hardest part for Lash Artists to learn as a beginner, but once you get the placement right, it makes the world of difference. I’m a bit OCD (as I’m sure most Lash Artists are), so it took me forever to find the “perfect” gel eye pads. They needed to be thin and not move or melt, causing discomfort to the client’s eyes. Sensitive medical tape is so important too! It can help you reach any lashes that you otherwise may have trouble accessing. A combination of the gel eye pad and sensitive tape is necessary for the client’s comfort and this is what will set you apart in your customer service."
11. What is one piece of advice you would say to someone wanting to become a lash artist?
"Do a self-audit. Entrepreneurship is not for everybody. Ask yourself do you have the personality, temperament, drive, passion, perseverance; to keep going even when things are tough, for a chance at freedom and a lifestyle that you designed? If your honest answer is yes, then go for it! Research your trainer to ensure that you’re getting quality training. Do not go for the cheapest training. Like building a house, you want your foundation to be strong. Finally, take more than one course. It doesn’t have to be an eyelash extension course. It could be a marketing, photography, business, or personal development course. There is always more to learn, and your business will only grow if you grow."
Thank you Tammy, for being YOU. Be sure to visit Tammy's Instagram page @beautybytammy 😍
Let us always be reminded to share with love and aim for creating community over competition. I promise you, we will all grow bigger and brighter together.
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