Beyond Lashes - An Interview with Amy Princen
Amy Princen is the proud owner of Beyond Lashes in Mandurah, WA.
She has built her successful home salon around her family, and has managed to find balance between home and business life - despite them both occurring under the same roof.
In a female-driven industry such as ours, Amy's lash story is one many of us can resonate with. Juggling family, a home and a business, Amy shares with us her one magic trick for fighting the overwhelm.
Hi Amy! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your lash journey?
I am mum with 2 kids, (8 & 16yo) with a FIFO husband. I have a little lash salon set up from home.
I fell into lashing around 4 years ago. My youngest was heading into full time primary-school. I had already completed my tanning course and was tanning from home, so I decided to add an additional service that complimented that, which I could do around the kids and school hours. I came across lash extensions and thought, "why not?". Then I fell in love.
What is it about lashing/the lash industry that you love the most?
For me personally, I just love lashing! It's my quiet time. I get so relaxed, its almost therapeutic. Plus the fact that it's a business I have grown on my own - around my kids and FIFO husband - its just something for me. The other aspect I love is the connection with other lash artists. It's great to see women helping and understanding each other, from dealing with clients to balancing lash-life and mum-life.
What has been the most rewarding experience in your lash career?
The most rewarding for me is having my amazing clients. Especially my regular girls, some of whom have been coming to me for nearly the entire time I have been lashing. They are so understanding that I have two kids, that I am not a 9-5 salon and that I have flexible hours. Working around the kids is a tricky balance, but having amazing clients who understand that is rewarding enough to me.
Have you had to overcome any challenges?
My biggest challenge for me is finding the balance between business and family life. Some days, I feel like I am winning at being an lash artist! I've had a full day of back to back clients and come out to collect the kids, but then I am rushed to do dinner, do lunches, do washing. It can be stressful, especially if my husband is away at work. There's other days that I have to shuffle clients around or just take one or two a day because the kids need me or something suddenly pops up. It's a constant balancing acting, but the secret is to set specific hours for clients, and sticking to them.
What do you think makes a good lash stylist?
I think a a great lash stylist is an educated one. More than not these days, girls are doing one-day workshops. There is just not enough time in a day to learn everything, so someone who continues to update their skills and source the best quality products is what makes them great. Also, the rapport you have with your clients will help immensely. A lash appointment is not just getting lashes for them, its an experience. Clients come to be comfortable and to completely relax. If they get that feeling/experience with you - as well as set of great lashes - then you're winning as a lash stylist!
Is there a lash industry innovation that really excites you?
Yes! I know some people crinkle their face on this, but pre-made fans have been a turning point for my little business. I am both classic and volume trained, but time-wise pre-mades are amazing, and they are really taking off. I see some big-name lash companies are now offering pre-made fans. Although I do think some more education is needed on how to safely select the correct fans - it's a must to learn.
Is there anything about the lash industry that you’d like to see change?
I would like to see the "workshop" and one-day courses scrapped, especially for first-time lashers. Eyelash Extensions in Australia are taking off, especially here in Western Australia. There needs to be better education and more regulations put in place.
If you could go back to the start of your lash career, is there anything you would choose to do differently?
I would have done better research on where and who I trained with. I spent good money on a course, only to walk away feeling like I hadn't learnt much at all. As much as I love to update my skills each year, I wish from the start I had some more intense training. It would have also been great to also be taught everything that's required to set up at home, which is what you get going with a bigger, accredited company.
Do you have any lash-related stories that are funny, interesting, embarrassing or inspiring?
The funniest thing that springs to mind - and I still laugh about this - is when one of my regulars rang me to tell me she'd had a big night out. She told me she had lit a cigarette and singed her lashes! When she came in for me to check and fix the damage, it wasn't just little bit...she was lucky that she didn't burn them all the way down to her natural lashes! It sounds terrible and very dangerous, but she found the humor in it and we still have a laugh about it.
Any words of advice for someone struggling to find a balance between business and family?
My advice is to Mums trying to do this from home whilst juggling kids and family: Set your hours to what suits you and get a good routine. First and foremost, you're a mum. As much as your business is also like a baby to you, the pressure of having to be everywhere at once can become overwhelming. I always start my day 9:30, this gives me time to do the school run, get home, sort my house, myself and my lash room ready to go. I then do a few clients, stop in time for school pick-up and have the afternoon just for the kids. I save after hours appointments for my regulars who understand my needs as an at-home salon.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
My children will be much older and need me a lot less. I would love to open a lash bar, and hire mums who have a passion for lashing but need a flexible workplace. I'd also like to look into becoming a lash trainer and mentor - someone who can help women back into the workforce or be their own boss.
If you'd like to follow Amy's lashing adventures, head over and follow Beyond Lashes on Facebook and Instagram.