Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Lillian Iacino. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Lillian, thanks for taking the time to share your stories with us today How do you feel about asking friends and family to support your business? What’s appropriate, what’s not? Where do you draw the line?
From my experience I have found if you have solid people around you and in your circle you will never have to ask for support, it just comes naturally because they care about you.
I couldn’t ask for better friends and family to be surrounded by. They have consistently supported me since I opened my business four years ago. Even if they do not come in for a service, they will share my posts on social media, buy products from our online retail shop and always send me referrals.
There is a saying that “when you see your friends win it feels like you’re winning too” and that is how I like to live my life. I want to see my family and friends succeed just as much as I want to succeed myself. You really are your environment and I am lucky to have some of the best people around me. My business would not be what it is today without them!
Lillian, 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?
My name is Lilli Iacino and I am from Denver, Colorado. I have been in the aesthetic industry for 5 years now and although I thought I was going to be the next Jimmy Iovine in the music industry, I discovered that being with people one on one on a daily basis making them feel better about themselves was a lot more fulfilling than putting on concerts for thousands of people. Don’t get me wrong, seeing live music is one of my favorite things to do outside of my job, but I knew for me I wanted to be in a line of work that was going to help women feel more confident and that is exactly what I do everyday by enhancing my client’s natural beauty that they already embody.
At Bellissima we specialize in event ready treatments. 95% of our services do not require downtime and let you leave the studio ready to go for whatever you have planned that day or evening.
Aside from being results driven, creating client relationships is our number one priority. I always tell others the best part of my job is seeing the evolution of my clients getting promotions, getting married, having children or whatever living out their dreams may look like to them. Everyday I get to be a listening ear and laugh with my clients and there is nothing in the world I would trade for those experiences and it is what I am most proud of in what I have built these past four years in business.
Although we are known for giving you your dream eyebrows, we also specialize in all things lashes and glowing skin. We have a different range of services from eyelash extensions to express dermaplaning. I myself have been personally trained by some of the best celebrity brow artists in America and I make it a priority to invest in continuing education every year. This industry is constantly growing and changing so it is important to stay on top of all the new techniques and technology!
Aside from services we sell several different eyebrow, eyelash, skincare and lifestyle products that are all made inside the U.S. Whether you need a product for yourself or your best girlfriend you will find what you’re looking for in our retail section and online shop!
At each appointment it is our goal for you to feel refreshed and be the best 30 minutes to an hour out of your day. Whether you want to chat about what’s currently happening in your life or have some moments of silence in the midst of your busy schedule, we got you! Our studios are clean and yet make you feel like you are at home all in one boutique space. We can’t wait for you to experience what Bellissima is all about.
What’s been the best source of new clients for you?
Hands down the power of Instagram. I actually have a love-hate relationship with social media because I think it tends to not have boundaries and can be extremely toxic especially for young women but in the case of running a business it is an amazing tool to take advantage of.
We spend about 80% of our marketing budget on Instagram. We have a graphic designer that we use to make a majority of our posts and content and then we will use some of the budget on paid ads as well.
I love Instagram because it gives creators a platform to show their work and their craft. It is almost like a portfolio at your fingertips. For the consumer and the client it is really helpful and nice to see results that way. It lets you in on a sneak peak of what you can expect when you come into the studio.
If you are not using Instagram and you own your own business, you absolutely are missing out on gaining new clients and keeping existing ones. Not to mention it’s free!
Have you ever had to pivot?
As everyone who owned a business in 2020 we had to pivot due to COVID-19. We were closed for two full months and that was one of the most challenging times as a business owner. We suddenly had to pivot from mainly selling services to all the sudden pushing product sales. Although I have an amazing support system and clientele that kept us afloat during that time, I had a lot of fear that being closed would last for months on end. There was so much unknown it was hard to make decisions as a business owner.
After we were able to be back in business full time, we actually saw a major increase in bookings. Our clients had really missed feeling their best by receiving our services and also had a much more flexible schedule working from home. My clients who religiously could not come in until after 5pm all the sudden could make a 2pm appointment work on a Tuesday. To be honest we were not ready for this influx which caused us to have to pivot again in hiring more help and extending our schedules. Although this was a surprise to us, I am forever grateful that we have maintained a busy and full schedule. I am also grateful for our existing clients who come back to us every few weeks without hesitation.
The past two years have been a time that has really opened my eyes as a business owner but has also shown me that what we do in the aesthetic industry is essentially pandemic proof. No matter what was going on in the world, people were still making it a priority to take care of themselves. Self care has never been more popular than it has been since 2020, and let’s be honest we could all do a better job of making our mental health a priority!