We had the good fortune of connecting with Brittani Strong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brittani, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
My thought process behind starting my own business was not one I would recommend now having been in business over 5 years! I started my business on impulse, I started my business because I fell in love with doing eyelashes but I had no experience in owning a business! I was freshly out of high school. Do I regret it? Absolutely not! But my thought process was not “thought out” very well. I made an excellent income by doing lashes from home, then I went to work somewhere and, in my town, eyelashes were such a new service, people weren’t as excited to let an 18-year-old do a new service near eyes in their salons/spas. So, I acted on impulse, my thought process was that I would show people it wasn’t scary to get eyelash extensions and that this would be a service that was here to stay in this industry. Now fast-forward almost 6 years later and eyelash extensions are the fastest growing beauty service in the beauty industry.
What should our readers know about your business?
I would love to tell you that running a business is easy! But the truth is, it is not. When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, I was unbelievably overwhelmed to be honest. Life was great, business was good, my team was extremely happy. All of the sudden on March 17 my world felt like it came crashing down, this is the date we received the order to shut our doors for the unforeseeable future. That was extremely alarming for multiple reasons. I knew that the pandemic wasn’t singling out my industry, it hit everyone, worldwide. But it felt that figuring out the government funding for some of my team members that are independent contractors was extremely slow and didn’t show much promise. In addition, felt a major responsibility not only to our guests that come to our salon but also to other lash artists. I have trained thousands of students worldwide. I’ve shown them how to make money in this lash industry, I have taught them my systems, shared my success with them. To know all of their salons had to shut down made me feel sick inside. Truly. So, with quarantine came a never-ending cycle of anxiety for myself. I took the time to “Quarantine & Create”…how could we still service guests from afar? That’s when I developed the lash industries first Customizable Magnetic Strip Lash that we call “Designer Lashes.” Designer lashes preserve the Lash Artists professionalism and position while servicing guests from afar. We set up Virtual Lash Appointments to get to know our guests, identify eye/face shape and style preference. Then a custom set of extensions is handmade (with gloves of course!) and shipped out to guests for them to apply with our “Designer Eyeliner.” Designer Eyeliner comes in both black and clear (yes CLEAR!) so that you can truly have a lash extension look on the go in less than 5 minutes at home. This is an affordable luxury item that is here to stay! What is even greater is that I made this product initially for my salon, but we had an overwhelming demand from other lash artists that wanted to create their own sets for their own guests. That’s when we opened up a new division in our business called “SoCal Pro” where beauty professionals can shop SoCal Beauty products at a professional price! While I thought I was creating a product for in-between us being closed for the pandemic, this product became something much larger, we have introduced a brand-new beauty service to the lash industry. We have now sold out over 4 times with hundreds of lash artists becoming SoCal Pros and designing their own designer lashes for their own guests. We are working to improve this product and grow continuously. One main message I would like to put out there for people is that sometimes you can feel at your lowest, sometimes the anxiety and the pressure can feel so high it’s almost unbearable. But if you are truly passionate about what you do, if you truly care for others and you have a designer to bring solutions, you will. Nothing can stop you when you transfer the anxiety and pressures into your passion and use it as a driving force.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Orange County! There is nothing like it. You can truly have so many different types of experiences here. My personal favorite is Laguna Beach, it’s got some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, eclectic restaurants and artistic people. Some of my favorite eating spots would be Nicks Laguna Beach, South of Nicks, Maro Grill and Javiars in Newport Beach. A great place to grab a drink would be on the rooftop at Mozambique or at the Montage Hotel beach bar which both overlook the ocean. I also believe that “The Ranch” imm Laguna Beach is a hidden gem. There you can stay as they have a hotel, they’re known for their golfing center, great restaurant and have a great spa where I have taught/certified their lash artists how to provide luxury lashes for their guests!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My absolute number one mentor has always been my father. David Hamilton is a leader in Receivable Management Solutions, CEO of Mnet Financial. My father has been a huge example of passion, drive and motivation. One thing I have always admired about my father is his creative mind. What I mean by that is, while everyone goes one way for ideas/solutions…he always goes the opposite direction. He never looks at something and thinks it can only be done one way. He will challenge you to expand your mind to think differently. I know I am extremely lucky to have had such an inspirational person living in my home! While there have been extremely tough times in both of our businesses, my father has always supported me and challenged me to think bigger and while he might not know much about eyelashes (he probably does know more than the average man actually) he has taught me that business speaks the same language in every industry.
Other: Additional Instagram (Mine) https://www.instagram.com/brittanistrong/