We were lucky to catch up with Lauren Munson recently and have shared our conversation below.
Lauren, thanks for joining us, excited to have you contributing your stories and insights. Folks often look at a successful business and imagine it was an overnight success, but from what we’ve seen this is often far from the truth. We’d love to hear your scaling up story – walk us through how you grew over time – what were some of the big things you had to do to grow and what was that scaling up journey like?
When I first started my business, I didn’t take it as seriously as I do now. Obviously, when I first opened, my books weren’t always full and I struggled paying my salon suite’s weekly rent some weeks. I began my business on the wrong foot that absolutely exhausted me. I let clients tell me how I should run my business because I didn’t have boundaries in place, specifically with my clients and maintaining a healthy work/life balance. These practices manifested as me letting clients cancel last minute with no cancellation fee, consistently working outside of my regular business hours, and not following my gut when it came to business decisions because I prioritized being liked by others over doing what I felt was right. This disposition took a huge toll on my self esteem, my confidence, and my quality of work.
I knew I loved what I do, but I was so burnt out. I was yearning to have a more joyous attitude surrounding coming to work, serving my clients, and producing amazing work. If I wanted to keep pursuing my passions, I knew I had a snap out of my patterns and I had an epiphany in which I realized the truth of a matter. Thankfully, I gained intuitive insight into the reality of my situation I created myself by prioritizing my business over myself and my mental health. Through self-exploration, I came to admit where I was failing as an entrepreneur and a beauty professional and was able to come up with a healthier game plan. This meant setting AND enforcing boundaries. The more seriously I took my small business, the more momentum and respect I gained.
A huge part of my business’ growth was attaining a business mentor, a rebranding overhaul, creating a space that breathed life into myself and my clients, being consistently active on social media, beginning my journey in working with local influencers and bloggers, and delegating my time. My mentor helped hold me accountable and acted as my new business “therapist” by giving me unbiased feedback and encouragement. Having someone give me set tasks to go after made it much easier to transition to my new way of working the business side of things. With my own personal cheerleader, I felt unstoppable. So much so that I finally began cultivating an environment that allowed me to actually look forward to each new day and provided me the gratification I had been searching for!
One of the most beneficial practices I learned from my mentor was setting a weekly schedule. I set a business specific task for each day of the week. For example, every Tuesday I would plan my week of social media posts, every Saturday I would take inventory of my supplies and order what I needed to and every Sunday was my day to re-fuel and give myself the essential break from work. This gave me the structure needed to maximize my time and feel accomplished as each day ended… Plus, it’s so simple and easy to work into my schedule!
Teaming up with influencers and bloggers is HUGE and rewarding. People follow these ladies because they trust their opinions and recommendations. This plays out in an influx of new clients for me, perfecting my craft, and making a name for myself. It opened doors for me that I thought would always be too good to be true for myself and my business. Having the women that entrusted me with taking care of their brows and giving me their stamp of approval instilled a confidence in myself and my work. It also has kept my books full and my heart overflowing! With this came being consistently active on social media. New clients want to see my variety of work so they can envision how I can enhance their brows and give them the brows of their dreams, which further instills their trust in me as a service provider.
Today, I can proudly say that through literal blood, sweat, and tears, I got out of my own way and accepted the help and guidance I needed. With the acknowledgment that I must get back to my core values in order to have a successful and fruitful business, I have the confidence needed to operate sufficiently and prevent myself from burning out. Not only have I personally grown and grown my business, but now my dreams and drive are bigger than ever!
Great, appreciate you sharing that with us. Before we ask you to share more of your insights, can you take a moment to introduce yourself and how you got to where you are today to our readers
At byLOMUNS, I specialize in all things BROWS! From brow shaping to microblading and everything in between, I create brows for each client by taking their face shape, eye shape, and bone structure into consideration, via eyebrow mapping, in order to achieve the most flattering shape and style for each individual! I believe it is so important to not produce the same “cookie cutter” brows on every person, but to shape a unique brow to highlight the client’s features and enhance their entire look. Eyebrows can make or break a look and it is critical for them to be specifically crafted in respect to the many varieties of faces I see in studio. My passion for producing the most flattering look for each client applies to my makeup services as well! On top of doing brows, I professionally do makeup for special events, from weddings to nights out on the town. Makeup was the spark that ignited my infatuation with the beauty industry.
With all that being said, my journey into the beauty industry actually started with makeup. Since I was a little girl, I’ve been obsessed. Although back then, it was lipsmackers, roll-on body glitter, Stardust, crystal tattoos, and colorful eyeshadows. As I grew older, my love for all things beauty grew as well. In 2015, I decided to finally make the jump to turn my hobby into my passion. I went to Salon Boutique Academy to become a licensed esthetician and fell even more in love with all things beauty— makeup, skin, brows, and the like. I have continued my education by constantly adapting to the ever-changing beauty trends, continuing education, and training in many different techniques to add to my arsenal of services. In 2016, I officially went on my own, working for myself full time, and living out my life-long dream of being my own boss while providing the Dallas area of all things brows and makeup.
My passion for brows stems from my own personal brow journey. A special thanks to the 90s and early 2000s skinny brow trend, I once over plucked my brows and had no idea! I eventually learned my particular appropriate brow mapping for my face shape and was mortified with how out of shape they were. This led me down the road of brow recovery, growing them out, and learning to style them correctly. In turn, I wanted to help others to achieve their dream brows and the rest is history! Brows just organically became my bread and butter, specifically Eyebrow Lamination!
Even though I provide many different services, I am most well known for being the “Lamination Queen.” I was proudly the first person to provide the new sensation that is Eyebrow Lamination! Eyebrow Lamination is a noninvasive procedure and a semi-permanent solution for eyebrows that lack shape, do not have symmetry, that have hair following an undesired pattern or sparse areas. With lamination, we manipulate the hair follicle so that we can help shape them to allow the hair to flow in an upward direction and visually lifting the arch, all while softening and taming the eyebrow hair. Brow lamination is like a brazilian blowout for the brows. This realigns the direction of the natural brow pattern in such a way to give the desired shape and coaxing your brow hairs to begin to grow in the desired direction. You can add brow mapping and brow tint to this service to enhance your brows even more, too!
Eyebrow Mapping is a technique that is used to help find the ideal brow shape on each face. It is a process of marking specific points on the brows allowing me to highlight where the eyebrows should start, where the arch should be and where the brow’s tails should finish.
Almost everyone has heard of Microblading, but not everyone knows what exactly it is. Microblading is a manual “hand” method of permanent cosmetics for your eyebrows which creates extremely fine natural looking hair strokes. The pigment is applied with a handheld tool that has a row of several fine needles to create thin hair like marks in the skin. The pigment is implanted just below the epidermis and the most shallow part of the dermis, making extremely fine natural looking hair strokes. Don’t worry! I use an anesthetic to reduce discomfort. A very natural result is achieved, as the hairs are bladed into the skin according to the natural hair growth direction. I utilize Brow Mapping in order to perfectly complement the unique face shape and size. I have the client approve the shape and size before the procedure begins, as well as the color the color they would prefer! After the first touch up, which is 8-12 weeks after the initial session, the range of time between the next touch-up can be huge (12-24months). Skin type, age, lifestyle, pigment brand and depth of pigment all impact on the longevity of the visibility. As this is a permanent makeup procedure, it is extremely vital to do the research on the technician, their training, their knowledge of color theory (no one wants red or blue/grey brows!) and their HEALED work so that you are 100% comfortable with your decision in pursuing the gift of ready-to-go brows!
What I am most proud of when it comes to my small business is my persistence in maintaining my core values and keeping the mantra of quality over quantity in place. As cliche as it sounds, what is most important to me is the relationship I build with each of my clients. When my client comes to sit in my chair, I want them to feel known and heard. So many people these days don’t feel heard and fall into the crowd. I hate that! So I pride myself on listening with the intent to get to know and build something that is lasting with my clients. One thing my esthetic teacher taught me way back when that has stuck with me since beauty school is, “You don’t know what your client’s life is like outside of your studio. You could be the first physical touch they’ve had in a long time or at least a pleasant interaction. You have the ability to make someone’s day and the opportunity to make her (or him) feel welcome in your space.” I live by that now. I think it’s so important! I am passionate and I care about others, so I have the blessing to use my business to pour myself out into so many people. I believe what sets me apart from others is how I utilize every opportunity to be apart of someone’s life by instilling, building, and growing confidence in each of my clients. My purpose is to help anyone I come into contact with feel beautiful from the inside out.
What do you think helped you build your reputation within your market?
My reputation is built on consistency… This means every brow or face I do, I produce consistent results and each clients knows and trusts they are are in good hands. Another important reputation attribute is remaining personable. I pride myself in being loads of fun, bubbly, and funny! This helps calm each client and make them feel at home when they are receiving one of my services… It also creates a rapport that keeps them coming back because getting your brows done should be fun, not a chore!
We’d love to hear the story of how you built up your social media audience?
I touched on this a little before, but the two most important components to building a following on social media are being active and working with bloggers and influencers. Being active on all platforms is another job in and of itself! It’s essential in this day and age. This means posting on your story, posting on your feed, allowing people into certain parts of your life to make you more relatable, and commenting on clients’ posts and being supportive of the community around you. Its a free tool for clients to see my work so they can visualize how their own brows being perfected and stylistic. When you work with bloggers/influencers and they post about you, there is untapped potential of growing your audience and building a clientele. This really helps putting your business on the map and sparking conversations and referrals!