Nine Brow and Lash Pros Share Their Secrets to Success

The pros share their advice to brow and lash biz success // Photography: Getty Images

While lash and brow services have been on the rise for some time now, it seems that the obsession with them is showing no signs of slowing. Whether the growth is due to the influence of celebrities or the impact of social media, lashes and brows are shaping up to be one of the most popular beauty categories of the decade. As demand for these services continues to grow, so does the innovation and technology in the formulas. Therefore, it’s more important now than ever for lash and brow professionals to learn what it takes to be successful. We spoke to some of the most influential players in the industry to get their advice on making it in this competitive business.

Anastasia Soare, founder and CEO, Anastasia Beverly Hills Salon (Beverly Hills, CA):

  • Secrets to Success: “I follow my passion, and I strive to be the best at what I do. Putting my customers first is important to me, and understanding what they want and delivering is what drives my success. I love what I do, offering products that address the needs of my customers and encouraging them to look their best is an ultimate joy for me.”

Kelley Baker, celebrity brow expert and founder, Kelley Baker Brows (Venice, CA):

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  • Secrets to Success: “One of my best industry secrets is something that I love to share. Remember to always be kind, because we’re in this industry to make others feel good, and talk to everyone. You never know who you’ll meet.”
  • Professional Advice: “One way to create a successful business is to start small. One important tip I like to tell stylists is to make sure you build a clientele before opening a spa. Being a business owner is not as easy as it appears, so just remember there will be bumps in the road, and make sure you’re ready to take on all that goes with the title. Also, adding products to sell to your clients is a great way to increase your income, but make sure you pick a quality line that you know works well, because you’ll build trust with your clients that will keep them coming back. Your clients are your future, so relationship-building is key.”

Joey Healy,  celebrity eyebrow stylist and owner,  Joey Healy Eyebrow Studio  (New York City):

  • Secrets to Success: “We have a high-end and clean space with a warm and inviting staff, and we do a lot of active listening. Appointments are 45 minutes long, so we can take our time and talk to clients about their goals, fears, and hopes.” 
  • Professional Advice: “Figure out what you do best, and focus on that. Have a consistent brand, make sure your website echoes the space, and realize your staff is a reflection of you. Also, stay close to your numbers and be responsible for finances.” 

Courtney Akai, owner,  Courtney Akai Lash Boutique (New York City and Dallas):

  • Secrets to Success: “Customer service is everything. I treat every client as I would want to be treated. I listen to exactly what my clients want and execute just that, and I explain my process to the client and make them aware of what is realistic and what is not. Of course, using the latest techniques and trends is a must, as well. My personal favorite trend is the volume technique, which includes staggered lengths, resulting in a wispy look.”
  • Professional Advice: “Treat every client like a celebrity. Hire the best of the best artists and treat them well.”

Jenny Finken, expert, Anastasia Beverly Hills Brow Studio (New York City):

  • Secrets to Success: “The best practices and secrets to success would be to have proper training and knowledge as well as a passion for what you do. I’d also recommend utilizing social media.”
  • Professional Advice: “A successful business starts with client relationships, which leads to client retention. In the brow and lash business, it is important to really know your clients, because each individual has a different eye shape and size and a different brow bone. The recent trend, which is full, beautiful brows, is the most flattering and enhances the features. If your client has all the hair in the world, all you need to do is shape the brows and fill in any gaps with pencil, powder, or pomade, depending on the desired look. If not, use a serum to maintain the hair they have and encourage the follicles to produce new hair.”

Mehae Kim, senior artist, Damone Roberts Beverly Hills (CA):

  • Secrets to Success: “Some of my best practices include being consistent, continuing education, meeting and setting realistic goals with my clients, and aligning myself with companies and brands that I believe in and promote my work.”
  • Professional Advice: “Focus on your niche product and service, and be great at it. Don’t try to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. Listen to your clients’ needs, and you can develop or carry retail items that suit them. You’ve gained their trust by having them in your chair, and they will trust your recommendations for products.”

Shobha Tummala, founder and CEO, Shobha (multiple locations):

  • Secrets to Success: “You have to be able to provide a great consultation with your client, and you have to make sure your idea for their brows is what they also have in mind. This always requires a bit of a conversation ahead of time, because you can provide them the perfect brows for their face shape and their feature size, but the client might have wanted something completely different and is still disappointed. The art of the consultation is very important.”
  • Professional Advice: “Brow shaping can be an art, so some folks naturally have an eye for creating that perfect brow shape for someone’s face. For the rest of us, I would suggest that understanding and learning what brow shapes go well with which face shapes is important. It is also important to understand how feature size plays a part in the perfect brow shape. You have to practice to achieve this. The consultation is as important as being able to provide the right shape.”

Dionne Phillips, founder and owner, D’Lashes by Dionne Phillips Spa (Beverly Hills, CA):

  • Secrets to Success: “Be consistent, always keep learning, and give value to your customers as well as your own ethical culture. Consistency brings loyalty from your clients and business, and value is why your clients come to you. Everyone asks for natural-looking eyelash extensions, but some want fuller lashes and not the similar-looking lashes that some lash artists are trained to do these days, so be sure to hire certified lash artists who are experienced in different styles of lash extensions.”
  • Professional Advice: “My advice to spa professionals is always make it about the client. Listen to your clients, and acknowledge them and their time. Also, spa professionals should practice some form of meditation daily and find time to work out. This will help in the long run. If you’re stronger, your business will be stronger.”

Sania Vucetaj, owner, Sania’s Brow Bar (New York City):

  • Secrets to Success: “What has kept my brand unique is that I’ve maintained my reputation. Unlike many brow bars that have since branched out past the brow industry, I have stayed true to my passion for all things brows. Plus, I have always been a firm believer in full, natural brows. I do not believe in following brow trends, because brow hairs can take months or years to grow back and repair, so you never want to play around with them.”
  • Professional Advice: “It’s all about the technicians working, not the spa. Make sure you hire people who know what they’re doing and have an eye for it.”

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