We caught up with the brilliant and insightful Becca Russell a few weeks ago and have shared our conversation below.
Becca, appreciate you joining us today. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Here is my story: My dad had passed away, and my mom has been suffering from a disease known as multiple sclerosis. This has put her permanently in a wheelchair for the past 18 years. My mom is unable to physically take care of herself ,and also is not able to raise her remaining children living at home. My grandma was the one taking care of my family. She has been caring for both my parents and my two youngest siblings for many many years now. It was such a burden on my grandma, it took so much out of her to care for my mother and my younger siblings, who at the time were preteens. I was asked if I would take custody of my siblings. The same day I was asked to take custody of my siblings, I had found out the medical spa I was working for, was going out of business. This means I would be without a job. At the time this happened, I was not married, and solely provided for myself only. Not knowing what the future had in store for me, I agreed to take full custody of my siblings, and move them to Salt Lake City, Utah. As I begin my search for another job, I realized how much my sisters needed me. I remember many times, being at work about to step into an appointment when my sister would call crying because she was having anxiety adjusting to all of these new changes. My boss told me I no longer was able to talk on the phone, and I needed to stay professional at work. If only my boss understood why I kept answering the phone. Both of my sisters required transportation back-and-forth to school, sports, friends’ houses, and anything else they wanted to do. Working for a boss, started to get harder and harder because of all of the other demands my siblings were putting on me. I realized I needed to start working for myself. I set a goal for myself, I would be ready to work on my own, renting out a booth and bringing in my own income by the end of the year.
February 1st, 2013, I officially started working for myself renting out a booth doing eyelash extensions. I built a full clientele in under 12 months. My load became so heavy , I started hiring Estheticians that were certified doing eyelash extension to work for me. In three years, we outgrew our little space, and I knew in order to continue to grow, I needed to find a bigger space. In 2017, we built a brand-new space that tripled the size of what the last space capacity was. During the pandemic, I turned it into a full-service salon. I love coming to work every single day! I love the staff I work with! We currently have 24 stylists and growing! We have created a great environment that offers a full day of pampering for all clients to come and relax!
Becca, love having you share your insights with us. Before we ask you more questions, maybe you can take a moment to introduce yourself to our readers who might have missed our earlier conversations?
Going to a traditional school was never fit for me. Not only am I dyslexic, I am definitely not book-smart! I struggled with math, science, and all of the other pre-reqs required to take in a traditional college. I have always had a passion for pampering others, and learning about the epidermis (top layers of your skin).
During aesthetic school, I knew this is what I wanted to do with my life! I had dreams of one day opening up a place of my own, easier said than done!
The day I started working for myself, was due to just surviving and providing for myself and my two siblings I was responsible for. I needed to be my own boss!
I love being my own boss! Being a business owner has its pros and cons. One of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner is all of the responsibility that falls on you! With every challenge you face; it could be financial, or dealing with a flooded floor, a pipe in the wall that burst, and some other freak thing that happened and is out of your control. It can be very discouraging to keep going and not give up. You have to go into owning a business knowing that your role has changed a little. You are now the person that is the problem solver. If you don’t know how to solve whatever the issue may be, you just figure it out!
Lash My World first gained its reputation by being known for doing quality work, when performing eyelash extension services.Tthis busy salon before the pandemic had 12 trained and certified lash techs with a full clientele.
During the pandemic, I turned Lash My World into a full service salon! I added 8 hair stylists , 1 esthetician specializing in skin care, and a nail technician. My team first started with 1 other lash tech and myself. Each year we continued to grow. We currently have 24 team members and still adding more!
Between 2018-2022 Lash My World has become an award winning business, winning multiple awards!
How did you put together the initial capital you needed to start your business?
After deciding to take a leap of faith and build a brand new studio, I needed to find a way to come up with the funds. This was something I solely did on my own. I ended up selling my house, to use the funds from the sale of my house to make this process happen, and move into a rental.
As you may know, there are always unexpected costs, and problems you never anticipate. The funds from selling my house were not enough. My next option was to apply for a line of credit. This didn’t go so well. I was denied multiple times. I had already started this process of building a brand new salon, it was too late to turn back. I had to figure out a way to get more funding. I ended up opening up two more credit cards,, using all of the credit amount allowed , just to finish the build out.
I also found a bank that took a chance on me and give me a small line of credit to use.
I don’t recommend doing this, unless you are disciplined to work your butt off to pay off credit cards, and the line of credit as fast as you can!
We’d love to hear a story of resilience from your journey.
Building a brand new studio took longer than anticipated. At this time, my original team of eyelash techs moved to a temporary spot with me until the build out was finished. When it came time to move to our new location, my team must have gotten cold feet, and decided to leave Lash My World and go somewhere else. I was devastated. I felt like I had let them down. I would now be in this new salon all by myself. I had no choice but to make it work! The first month, I hired a lash tech to take on as many clients as they could. It was just the two of us. The next month, I hired another lash tech to take on as many clients as they could. Month three, I was able to hire another lash tech to take on as many clients as they could. We were finally growing! Within 12 months, I had a staff of twelve lash techs, and aestheticians. I had no choice but to succeed! During the pandemic, we turned Lashmyworld into a full service salon. There are currently 24 team members, and we are still growing!
- Website: www.Lashmyworld.com
- Instagram: lashmyworldstudio
Kim Henderson Leovy Valdez Amanda Marzo Rosemary Munoz Summer Taylor