Once you become a certified lash extensionist, you have an important decision to make: should you work in a salon as an employee or become self-employed by opening your own business? To help you weigh your options, we interviewed Zoe Kinnear McIntyre, a NovaLash Brand Ambassador. With experience working in a salon and starting her own business, Zoe gave us the inside scoop on what you should consider when planning your career path.
Working In A Salon
Zoe started her beauty career at age 20 doing makeup, nails, and other generalized services in a salon. For her age and expertise at the time, working in a salon was a great experience – she was able to get trained on new skills, learn from her peers, and understand the basics of the beauty business, like ordering, inventory, and customer service.
Benefits Of Working In A Salon
Working in a salon gave Zoe the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of the beauty world that you can’t learn in a class. From learning how to build relationships with clients to mastering time limits for different services, working in a salon helped Zoe grow as a beauty professional. It also allowed her to make mistakes and learn from them under the guidance of the salon owner and her team. Since she was only responsible for her work and her clients, not the business as a whole, Zoe could focus on growing her professional and soft skills and continue learning new services as the ever-changing beauty world continued to evolve.
Considerations Of Working In A Salon
Working at a salon means you don’t have as much responsibility for the business, but it also means you’re subject to more limitations. Depending on your salon’s policies, it may be difficult to get time off or create a balanced work-life schedule. You may also have less control over the services and products you offer as well as the environment and team members you’ll be working with on a daily basis.
Owning Your Own Lash Extension Business
Despite some of the drawbacks of working in a salon, Zoe built a strong foundation that allowed her to successfully start and build her own business in 2015. In 2016, Zoe discovered NovaLash, which changed everything for her. After completing her training, Zoe immersed herself in the world of eyelash extensions and eventually became a four-time NovaLash Brand Ambassador. Through NovaLash, she had incredible opportunities, like magazine features, attending both international and local beauty shows, and attending NovaLash’s annual LASHoff event.
The Benefits Of Starting Your Own Business
As she closes in on her 6-year anniversary of owning her own business, Zoe is thrilled that she dared to dream. 6 years ago, she never would have thought that she would be successful enough to run the business herself, be afforded the opportunities she’s had, and create a reputation she’s proud of. The benefits of owning her own business are many, including:
- Choosing your products: The brands you choose say a lot about you. Zoe enjoys being able to set her standards and keep them high. She sets herself apart by using only 100% vegan and cruelty-free products.
- Creating your schedule: As a Brand Ambassador, Zoe often travels around the globe. Since she’s her own boss, she can manage her client schedule around her professional and personal responsibilities, allowing her to create a better work-life balance and take advantage of opportunities that come her way
- No limit to your success: Zoe loves being able to follow her passions. Since she opened her own business, Zoe has had the freedom to pursue training she’s interested in and shape her career to fit her unique goals and dreams.
Considerations Of Owning Your Own Lash Business
As you may expect, opening your own business comes with a lot of responsibility, like doing self-employment taxes, inventory and ordering, and getting comfortable with client management. You’ll also have to closely vet new treatments and services to understand if they’re worth the training cost.
Whether you decide to work in a salon or start your own business, Zoe believes the key to success is perseverance. It can be easy to get caught up in the everyday stressors of working in a salon or be overwhelmed by the responsibilities of being a business owner. By doing the right training, connecting with a network that will support you, and persevering through tough times, you can create a career you love – no matter what it looks like!
Special thanks to Zoe Kinnear McIntyre, owner of The Powder Room by Zoe, for providing NovaLash with this exclusive interview. You can find Zoe at her Inverness studio or online at: