Real Talk: How I Started My Business Part 2

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Last week I shared Part 1 of this month's Real Talk: How I Started My Business. In Part 2, I'm going to reveal what that "big thing" was that was coming.

I can honestly say, I discovered the truth of the Law of Attraction right before opening the business. In a matter of 1 month, I think 3 different people told me about the book, "The Secret."  I ordered it, and put it into practice in my daily thinking. I was living paycheck to paycheck at Nordstrom; I told myself every day that money was coming to me in all different forms. I manifested a successful business.

Every day I told myself I was going to do huge things. I still do... bigger and bigger. I'm telling you believe this.  Be positive. Don't let any type of doubts consume your daily thinking. It's easy to slip up... I know I do when I get stressed. But you must always come back to this type of thinking. I promise, it works!

When January that year (2014) came around, I knew I had to set a plan in place to leave my full-time job. I was getting a LOT of wedding inquiries, and instead of worrying about whether or not I’d be able to get off work for all them, I just started accepting every single one, knowing damn well it would force me to have to leave the job. Sounds funny, but it worked. 

Towards the end of my schooling, I decided to learn lashes as something extra to offer to my brides. I knew this was the “cushion” I needed to leave Nordstrom, and hustle to make it work. I surely didn’t expect what happened next.  

Once I started posting photos of my lash work, my social media following went nuts. It seemed as if 90% of the local population didn’t know what lash extensions were, at the time! I keep getting messages: “What are these? How long do they last? And how can I make an appointment!?” Within 3 months, I had so many clients coming to my apartment, that I knew I had to do things the right way. I put it out into the universe (huge Law of Attraction fan here) that I needed to find a place of my own to operate out of. 

What happened next, I am forever grateful for. A client of mine was in one day for an appointment. She told me about a girl named Michelle, who was opening up a hair salon and was looking for someone to use her empty room in the new place. I met with Michelle a couple days later, and we hit it off right from the beginning. 15 days later, I was opening my first location, inside of Studio Michelle in Wilmington.  

That sounded easy, right? It was the scariest decision I ever made. I remember I was so scared that I wouldn’t make enough money to pay rent, but I knew I had to try. That first month open, I made more income in one month, than I did in 5 months at Nordstrom. I knew I had something good, and it only grew from there. 

Within 6 months, I was working 10-12 hour days with no breaks. My schedule was so full with clients, that I knew I had to find a larger space, and find someone else to train and hire. I looked at a couple spaces, and once I found 18B Trolley Square, my vision started to come to life.  

In my next blog post, I want to take you deeper into the process of opening my first business. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Trust me, it wasn’t all pretty flowers and cute IG posts. ; ) However, I can honestly say, I’m loving the person it’s helped shape me to become. 

Got a question or business-related topic you want me to write about? Leave it in the comments below! 

Real Talk: How I Started My Business Part 1

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Last month I launched “Real Talk,” sharing The Background Story and inspiration for this new monthly blog series. This month, I'm going to share how my business, La Belle, got started. 

To recap, a little over 4 years ago, I left my full-time job and became self-employed. I went from doing services out of my tiny apartment living room (by myself), to owning a majorly successful business, with two locations, and 14 employees (and counting).

Now, let’s go back. When I was 25, I was working as a Manager for NARS Cosmetics at Nordstrom - Pentagon City. I also had a side makeup business for 5 years at that point, but it was more like extra, unpredictable income.

I started having that typical “quarter life crisis.” “What do I want in life?” “Where is this career taking me?” I thought I wanted to be a National Makeup Artist with the company. Hell, I had won Artist of the Year for the company that year... and I was HUNGRY. I wanted more. I wanted them to let me continue to crush my goals by giving me more to handle.

But the waiting game was a lot for me. I felt held back. And I hated the feeling that somebody else could dictate how far I went in my own career.  And even still, when and if I got that position, how much freedom would I really have? 

This was the first time I decided that I knew I had to figure out how to create and shape my own future because nobody else was going to do it for me. I was ready to make moves. It was then that I decided to move back to Delaware and get my Aesthetics license. 

I knew I had to get this license in order to charge for makeup services, legally.  I knew I wanted to market myself as a wedding makeup artist, because from a business standpoint - you may not always have people who want to pay for makeup to go out in. But best believe the wedding industry will always be there. This was my new goal. 

I started school at the Academy of Massage and Bodyworks, in Bear, DE. I was still working for NARS full time, going to school Monday-Thursday after work, and still doing wedding makeup whenever I got the chance. It was a rough 7 months. But I kept telling myself that something big was coming, that it was all going to be worth it. I didn’t know what that “big thing” was, but I did believe it to the core of my being. 

Check back next week for a special Part 2 of this month's Real Talk where I'll share what that "big thing" was.