I had a very solid, safe career in the corporate sector when I started feeling I wanted something different for myself. I didn’t know what that looked like for me and started investigating business options, models and industries to see what engaged and peaked my interest.Eyelash Extension Salons were having great success overseas, but the concept was relatively new to the Australia market and hadn’t had a chance to gain any traction at that early stage, but I couldn’t shake the feeling this was the opportunity I was looking for. And then it happened… I found a new eyelash extension franchise looking for investors … this is the chance to own my own salon! Of course, I was scared, but I was also invigorated and knew I had to take a leap of faith. Here I was… a new young business woman. I knew I had done the right thing by investing in a franchise, they supplied me with the support and direction I needed to get started, but it was still up to me to make it a success. I submerged myself into learning everything I could about marketing, finance, sales and being the very best in my industry. As they say – ‘like breeds like’ - it became second nature to seek out and engage new opportunities. I started to see how my one salon could become two or three and then it hit me… do I want to be a business woman who owns two or three salons or do I want to lead and inspire other people to own their own business?
As timing would have it, the owner of the franchise I had invested in was interested in selling the franchise and I was ready to take another leap and buy! It’s not been all smooth sailing for Just Lashes to reach its current success… but it has been worth it and it doesn’t stop here!
What ignited the spark in you to start a new business venture or to make significant changes in an existing business? How did the idea for your business come about?
I had a desire to take control of my own life and direction. I wanted to call the shots and I knew to satisfy that urge I would need to do something for myself. I didn’t know what that looked like initially, but I was willing to investigate and take a chance.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
‘Perfect is not done’. If I waited for everything to be perfect, I would never get anything done. To do this I have needed to get comfortable with getting it wrong... a lot! I’ve had to develop a mindset of seeing these as a learning and another step in the direction of success.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits? How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
I am very grateful, I have an incredibly supportive family and network. I wouldn’t be who I am or where I am without their faith and encouragement. When you are stretching and pushing yourself out of your comfort zone (and you’re scared) it is important to surround yourself with people who not only support you, but also challenge you.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
Choosing the right people/partners to work in the business. People who share the same vision and passion and have as much faith in the potential of the company as I do. It’s important to nurturing them and invest in their growth and development. Care about them and their lives and to offer opportunities for personal fulfilment as much as possible. It’s a two way street, I get out what I put in.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
‘I can’t do everything myself’… understand the value of time for myself and my team. If and when your capital allows it, invest in delegating. If you engage the right people who share your vision and direction I guarantee your investment will return three-fold.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Invest in yourself. Taking care of your mental and physical self. Invest in your education, expand your knowledge base… never stop learning!