My name is OJ and I would love to tell you how The Lash and Wax Boutique came about. I give all the credit to my beautiful wife Carolina. She has been a licensed esthetician since 1996 and has always striven to do the best in every service she provides. In 2003, Carolina took a training course in eyelash extensions.
Back then there were only a few people that even applied lash extensions. I remember the days when clients would come to our house to get their lashes done. Carol was doing something that made every woman feel more confident about themselves. Sometimes the clients would go somewhere else for a full set or fill and Carol would always have to start all over. She would explain to them how their lashes were applied improperly. Eventually when you’re good at what you do, you get very busy. By 2006, it seemed like I didn’t have a wife. Carol was working 12-16 hours a day doing lashes and waxing services. That was when I realized that she was exceptional at her craft.
After a few days of researching eyelash extensions, I found there weren’t any places in Washington State that specialized in eyelash extensions. I thought, “Why not be the first?”. With my highly talented wife and my skills as a union carpenter, we found a location in Seattle and opened our first boutique in 2007. Our very first location was on 85th in the Greenwood area, tucked away in a little house. We had a few pedicure chairs, a small area for doing lashes and a wax room in the back. People would come in and be somewhat surprised on the inside of our salon. The outside wasn’t much, but inside was a place of tranquility, cleanliness, and comfort. Fast forward to 2010, we had just one hairstylist and Carolina was super busy, it was time to make a decision. Should we hire employees or just stay as we are?
One day, in 2010, I told Carol “I can do what you do.” She looked at me and said “No you can’t you’re a carpenter.” Sometimes I think Carol says things like that just so it can spark a challenge in me. I’m not the kind of person that sets limits on myself or my abilities. Over the years I’ve witnessed the effect of eyelash extensions on women. Clients always leave feeling super confident, and ready for their daily agenda. So I told my wife “ If I get into this, I will make sure my quality in applying eyelash extensions, is up there with yours.”
I enrolled into Evergreen Beauty College in 2010 and began my new journey as a licensed esthetician. Taking a two day course with NovaLash showed me the basics of applying eyelash extensions but I knew it would take a lot of practice to be as good as my wife. So I watched the master, Carolina, at work apply eyelash extensions for hours at a time. When I first started applying eyelash extensions it took me well over 4 hours to complete a full set. That’s over 80 individually placed lashes per eye. By 2012, after about a year of practice, I had finally mastered the craft, and we decided to open our second location in Downtown Redmond. To my surprise I was fully booked within 6 months and we had to start hiring more estheticians. The lash extensions industry was so new back then that nobody had any experience applying extensions. I knew from my own experience that lash extensions are difficult to apply properly, so Carol and I decided to make sure our estheticians were thoroughly trained before they worked on paying clients. Keep reading to learn more about the lash application method we use to train our technicians to this day.
Everyone and their mother say they apply to the individual lash but unfortunately, this is not always true. I’ve seen lashes from all over the world; clients will come in with multiple lashes glued together, big chunks of glue, one lash size, and say “ My girl, she was really good.” Incorrect application of lashes is the main reason why most people think they need to take a break from lash extensions. If lashes are applied to the clients individual lash with the proper amount of glue, you shouldn’t have to take a break from lash extensions. The integrity and health of your lashes is very important to us; that’s why we developed our own three month training program for training our licensed estheticians in lash extensions. Unless you have some kind of super power, there is no way you can apply quality lash extensions to the individual lash from a 2 day course. That’s again a big problem in the lash industry today.
Our estheticians work on live models, watch Carol and I apply lashes, we watch them apply lashes, and so on. At the end of training, they are required to apply 80 individually placed lashes per eye within 3 hours. If they can’t, they don’t get to work on paying clients. On average it takes anywhere from 80-200 hours of practice before you really pick it up. This to me, is the bread and butter of our business. I can say with great confidence that anyone that was trained by my wife and I are among the best in the industry. When you enter our salons you will be greeted with a warm welcome, we always wash our hands before we work on you, and finally you should be looking forward to getting a little sleep in our comfortable beds. Since the lash industry is so new why not set the standard on how the experience should be? We know that lash extensions are an investment, so if you ever have any issues with your lashes within the first few days, we will fix them for free. It is mine and Carol’s passion to ensure that with every visit, you would leave our salon feeling renewed, satisfied with your service and excited to come back!
Thank you for taking the time to learn a little about our business.
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