Markitors recently had the opportunity to catch up with Vanessa Molica, owner of The Lash Professional, an eyelash extension training and supply company, and Ink Defined, an eyebrow microblading training company that also sells microblading supplies. Vanessa’s story is sure to inspire and teach you a few things about running your own business and how marketing can help. Check out what Vanessa shared with us about The Lash Professional and Ink Defined below!
We want to learn more about your background. Can walk us through the journey to where you are today?
Thirteen years ago, my girlfriend was competing in pageants and she added eyelash extensions to her beauty routine. They were beautiful, and I wanted them. All of our friends wanted them. The thing was, they were expensive, so none of us were able to actually get them. I was bummed, but It also got me thinking. You see as a committed strip lash girl I just knew eyelash extensions would be a big thing once they were affordable. I learned how to apply eyelash extensions that year and started my career in the lash industry. I was hooked. And I was hooked on my vision.
I was so hooked that the last 13 years were a complete blur of eyelash extensions. Throughout those 13 years, I opened 6 successful lash salons and created my very own lash and permanent makeup brand. I guess you can say I was right, lash extensions did become a big thing. And, hey, they still are!
Can you tell us about each of your businesses? What makes them unique?
My lash salons, The Lash and Sugar Company, focus on creating an environment where women can not only go get their lashes done but also a place that feels like their best friend’s house. You know, a place where you can kick off your shoes and be yourself. Energy is so important, and we want our clients to leave feeling like they can do anything after their lashes are done and they visited with their BFF artist.
The Lash Professional and Ink Defined focus more on being a support team for artists. Running a business is difficult and we want to be there for these artists. My team and I focus on giving: giving knowledge, advice, and products that will add to their abilities. Giving isn’t the norm for any business but we do it a little different and it works for us!
What’s the overall mission of the Lash Professional brand?
I created The Lash Professional so there would be high-quality lash products at an affordable price that is easily accessible to lash artists. But it wasn’t ever as simple as that for me. You know how they say, “that’s basic”. Well, yeah, that’s the basic answer.
I wanted to create a lash brand that actually cared. I spend a lot of time mentoring other artists on their own lash journey. I didn’t have anyone to look to when I had questions and I wanted to be able to provide that in the industry. I wanted the lash artist to know that they had someone who has been through what they are currently going through and can give them advice, a listening ear or a cheering friend. I wanted to not just sell these great products, I wanted to create a community.
Who has inspired you along the way?
Who hasn’t inspired me? There are so many women who are chasing their dreams. I love watching women, against all odds fighting for their goals. It could be the girl next to me at the 5 a.m.Soul Cycle class to the woman walking down the street holding her children’s hands while they walk to the park. We all have a different image of what we want our life to look like and the women creating their image are the women that inspire me, no matter what it looks like.
Advice to others who want to start their own business and make a name in their industry?
It will be hard. There will be days you feel like you’re not going anywhere. There will be days that you want to quit. Don’t. Keep pushing. Because anything rewarding will be challenging. Like the saying, there is light at the end of the tunnel. So, get through the tunnel. You can do it. The only thing that will stop you, is yourself.
What role does digital marketing play in your businesses? (social media, email, etc., whichever one makes sense to talk about)
Digital marketing is extremely important for every industry, but especially in the beauty industry. Do you know people spend an average of 2 hours a day just on social media? If people are spending that much time on social media, it’s important your part of what they’re interacting with right? If you’re not, there is an extra-large possibility they won’t know about you or your company. Social media has helped create awareness and actual sales for The Lash Professional and Ink Defined. Social media is a huge part of our marketing plan because it’s a huge part of people’s lives.