We had the good fortune of connecting with Tanny Diep and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tanny, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Work life balance is something I think we all strive for. This was the reason why I decided to change careers and start my own business, but it’s not something that comes straight away. When I used to work a 9-5 job, I would spend weekdays working and weekends enjoying life with family and friends. However, working 10-12 hours days, 5 days a week was actually quite draining for me. When I started my own business, I worked around the clock 6-7 days a week for the first year, but it didn’t feel like work because I was doing something that I loved. Now that my business is almost 2 years old and more steady, I have more flexibility with my scheduling. I don’t mind working a lot because growth motivates me, but I am the type of person that can work for weeks or months on end, and then take a long break. These days, I can make my own schedule and I like to break up my days into clusters of work with longer breaks in between. This gives me time to be active, enjoy my lunch break, and sometimes stop home to hang out with my family. I prefer to work smarter and not harder so I plan a more leisurely schedule but productivity is higher. I am also more relaxed, less stressed and feeling like I always need to be on the go. As a new mom, I am working to balance my schedule to manage all facets of my business as well as family life and I’m happy to say that my schedule permits.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Can eyebrows be considered art? Absolutely. Especially when you’re drawing every hair by hand to make them look as natural and realistic as possible. Permanent makeup has come a long way and has evolved from dark harsh tattoos to feather-like three dimensional strokes and shading. Is it easy to tattoo someone’s face? Absolutely not. What makes our brand stand out is the natural sway of our strokes (hence the name Sway Brows) and our distinct natural glam style. Eyebrows can transform someone’s face and as we’ve dug deeper into this industry, we’ve discovered that it goes beyond just the surface layer of appearance, but eyebrows can overcome insecurities and boost self confidence. Some of our most rewarding transformations have been for clients who have no hair, or those that are cancer survivors. Seeing tears in their eyes and their emotional reactions to their new look gives us the greatest feeling of fulfillment. When I decided to seek out this new career venture, I never imagined the level of success we’ve reached today. The road here was not easy and even though our brand has grown so rapidly in such a short amount of time, I owe it to the culmination of experience I’ve accumulated over the years. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is to take every challenge as an opportunity to learn, even if it’s something you don’t want to do in the moment. I’ve had so many random jobs in my lifetime, and in my most recent job, I wore a lot of hats working for a small company. I was given many different roles and did the best I could at each duty, trusting that the experience will benefit me one day. There was no task too big or small that I wouldn’t be happy to do. I was given the opportunity to help build the retail and wholesale website, style and shoot seasonal lookbooks and catalogs, manage our social media sites, and work cross functionally with design, accounting, production, and shipping departments. Even though some of these roles were beyond my “job description”, they prepared me for the opportunity that I didn’t know was coming my way. When I started Sway Brows, I was able to jump start my business with the same momentum and work ethic that I had applied to my previous role. The hardest part about being an entrepreneur is holding myself accountable and managing every aspect of the business on my own. I was able to overcome this challenge by setting realistic short term and long term goals that were reinforced with actionable steps. Every little task was written down daily and checked off which motivated me and gave me a feeling of accomplishment. In addition to setting goals, I also reflected on my progress weekly and monthly to make sure I stayed on track. I am so proud of the impact our brand is making on the beauty and permanent makeup industry. In the last two years, I’ve grown as a Microblading artist and have added more staff artists to our team. I’ve also established Sway Brows Academy which trains new artists under the Beauty Angels Academy brand and curriculum. We’ve trained over 200 students and it’s been amazing to see their growth and success. We are also an official Beauty Angels Academy distributor, retailing Beauty Angels Brand Microblading & PMU tools and supplies, under our e-store Blades of Glory at bladesofgloryshop.com. We have 90K followers in Instagram and strive to inspire new artists and students worldwide.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I’m vegan and I love the outdoors and also museums so I would plan a week of yummy vegan eats and outdoor and artsy hangouts. My friends usually love trying vegan foods even though they aren’t vegan because good food is good food and they like trying meat alternatives. Some of my fave spots to eat are in OC: – Hoa Sen Vietnamese Cuisine – Seabirds Kitchen – Kensho Sushi – Inner Peace Cafe – Vegan Nirvana – HiroNori Craft Ramen Some of my fave spots to eat in LA: – Pura Vita Italian – Monty’s Burgers – Au Lac Vietnamese – Umami Burger – Crossroads Kitchen Places to go: – Santa Monica Pier – Griffith Observatory/Hike – The Pike at Long Beach – The Broad Museum – The Getty Museum – Huntington Library
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 journey to success owes much gratitude to many people! I’d like to give a shout out to one of my dearest friends and mentors, Garsi Lee. If you can survive the fashion industry, you can pretty much do anything in life and she is one of the strongest women I know, mentally, physically, and emotionally. Working with her for almost 10 years helped shape me into the person and entrepreneur I am today. Thank you to my dearest Yogi, Dharma Shakti, who led me through 200 hours of yoga teacher training, and the most transformative experience of my life. Thank you to Lewis Howes for your podcast “The School of Greatness” which kept me motivated through some very dark times, and countless hours of LA traffic. Shout out to my dear friends and mentors, Kler and Glen Rosenberg and Beauty Angels Academy. Thank you both for guiding me as a novice in this industry, and trusting me to be a Master Trainer with the Academy. Kler, You have heart of Rose Gold and I am eternally grateful for you. Last but not least, the biggest shout out goes to my husband, Houston, who has been my biggest fan, best friend, and support system. You’ve taught me so much about patience by how you lead your team, discipline by seeing you run your first mile to your fifth marathon, and perseverance by never letting me give up when I wanted to. Thank you for your unconditional love, light and positivity. You are my greatest blessing and I don’t know where I’d be without you.