PLANNING TO BECOME A MOBILE LASH TECH? Learn from this experience!
We sat down with Jennifer Carter, a traveling lash artist hailing from the Capital of Dixie, Montgomery, Alabama.
Jen, as her friends call her, has a lot of stories to tell about her journey as a lash artist. Her personality is full of enthusiasm and she has a bunch of things to share!
Read about her journey as a lash artist!
“Tell us about yourself and how you got into this profession.”
“I was born in the beauty industry! I grew up with it. I mean, it’s my world!
“When I was a kid, my mom used to be a beautician in Montgomery. My mom had the idea to convert our old garage into a beauty salon. I have witnessed how she effortlessly nailed her plan. I was there, I saw how her dreams unfold and managed to figure it out solely. We’re sidekicks! I am always by her side, watching her transform every client’s beauty.”
“I believe my mom is one of the best in town. She has the power to transform big ideas into action. With that, she gained a lot of clients who regularly flock to her salon. Surprisingly, she knew how to take care of everyone. Her warm accommodation is her trade secret!”
“My mom once told me, “don’t get into this profession because you won’t get rich!”. She was consistent in reminding me of those words but when I turned fifteen, I’m already holding a pair of scissors and working on some hairstyles for her clients. It turns out, that I inherited my mother’s skills. I learned by watching her techniques and her salon became my training ground. There was no eyelash extension back then so hairstyling has become a basic work for me.”
“I have also tried different jobs but I’m always drawn back to the beauty industry. I believe this is a calling. Contrary to what my mom has told me, I just realized that this profession is not about earning a lot of money but fulfilling a passion that my heart has always desired. My mom and I both agree on that.”
“What are the qualifications of being a lash artist?”
“It depends on every state in the US. For example, in my case, I consulted the Cosmetology and Barbering Board, the agency that regulates cosmetologists, estheticians, manicurists, eyebrow threaders, waxers and hairstylists in our state.
“If you are seeking formal training, the board has a lot of recommended and regulated private aesthetics schools in Central, Northwest, Northeast, Birmingham, and all over the state. I enrolled for training in one of the recommended schools, completed the course and apprenticeship, registered for an exam, and then after passing the test, I got my license.”
“How did you build your lash clients?”
“Getting proper training and being certified as a cosmetologist has improved a lot on the practice of my craft. At first, I had to try lashing my friends in order to build my portfolio on Facebook and Instagram. Then, boom!, it became a wildfire. I’m working solo so I have to manage clients by schedule. At first, I got a small number of lash clients since I was a newbie back then but I got free marketing through word of mouth from my clients. I have no lash studio or employed in a lash salon, but I got a lot of inquiries via Instagram in various areas of Alabama so I have decided to become a traveling lash artist. Being certified makes a lash artist trustworthy to her clients.”
“What’s the difference between lash artists in the salon, studio, and traveling lash artists?
“Basically, there was no difference between the nature of our work. All of us are amazing! (chuckles) It's just that traveling lash artists like me visit the client’s home and there I used to conduct the lash styling. The road is my office. I used to travel to clients’ homes or places of work wherever the clients need me, I'll be there, and at a reasonable cost.”
“Why do clients opt for traveling lash artists?
“Most of my clients are busy women and they have no time to visit the lash salons or sit in long busy traffic just to avail lash extensions so they opt to book an appointment from me. The majority of my clients are career women, some are brides that have a super hectic schedule prior to their wedding. Some are women who are about to attend an important event and wish to be lashed at the comfort of their home. I also had the chance to be hired by a group of friends for their girls’ beauty bonding.”
“A traveling lash artist is very much favorable to clients who can’t really leave their work or area due to their preoccupied schedule.”
“What are the demands of this profession?”
“This job has physical requirements: you must have steady hands, excellent mobility, and strong eyesight. And, while the work is detailed, it also needs keen eyes and thorough observation skills. The lash work is a fine task that requires tons of patience. If you're into skills development, mastery, and aesthetics, this one is definitely worth a try!
Aside from skills, you also need to become a people person as it requires you to deal with clients to build their trust. Lash artistry is a perfect field for you if you enjoy the sense of mastering something, producing exceptional jobs, and making people feel confident and attractive.”
“What are the perks of being a traveling lash artist?”
There’s a world outside the salon and studio that is why I have decided to become a mobile lash artist. I got to travel in areas I have never been to before. I also became much familiar with the destinations that were unknown to me. Traveling is like combining work and leisure at the same time. I have also discovered some best tourist spots along the way to my clients area. I’m planning to explore more of those areas soon!”
“My clients were also generous, aside from tips, they have also prepared some meals for me in their home. After the lash session, I got invited for lunch or dinner in which some of the family members used to curiously ask about lash extensions. I happily take that moment to educate them what are lash extensions are all about and my profession. Sometimes, I have only one booked client but the family members were so curious about the lash extensions that they also want to avail the service. I’m thankful for that opportunity because my clients are expanding and more are becoming aware of our role in the industry.”
“What are your terms and conditions before accepting a client?”
“As a mobile lash tech, I have to travel from my point of origin to the client’s area so aside from the actual price of the lash extension service I have to add an additional charge for the travel expenses to the customer. At the time of the client's service booking, I require pre-payment of our on-location cost. Once the pre-payment is paid, the booking is confirmed. A $50.00 on-location and convenience fee for all services within 5 miles of Montgomery is charged. A $2.00 per mile travel & convenience fee will be added to the cost of the clients’ lash extensions service for all bookings outside of a 5-mile radius of Montgomery.”
“Do you accept same-day appointments? How about cancellations? What are your policies?”
“Though I have been working in the industry for quite some time, still, the same day rush appointments really come into surprise. If I have a busy schedule, I have to politely ask the client if it is possible to reschedule her appointment but if I have a relaxed schedule, I am always ready to go at least five hours ahead of time to prepare the necessary things.”
“There are unexpected things that really come with clients’ last-minute lash schedules that is why some unavoidable cancellations really happen. During the client’s booking, I use to tell the client that she will forfeit the booking/travel cost if she needs to cancel or reschedule her appointment with less than 24 hours notice. Any service prepayment amount, minus 50%, will be applied to future service. The client's paid booking and/or pre-paid service charge will be applied towards her next appointment if she needs to reschedule her slot with at least 24 hours notice.”
“What is your best-selling lash extension service?”
“Most of my clients wants to achieve the volume, length and a wispy textured lash look so they would choose the hybrid lash set. Some want to achieve a pop and lift in the outer eye corner without the use of mascara so they love the cat eye while the adventurous younger generations are hooked on the combination of black and colored lashes.”
“Aside from lash extensions, what other services do you offer?”
I used to maximize every visit to my clients so I would also offer them some of my other premium beauty services like hair styling, makeup, waxing, hydro jelly mask, brow shaping, nail pampering, brow lamination, and lip blush. I’m a one-man mobile salon! So if you need a total makeover, you know who to call!”
“How do you prepare beforehand for your work?”
“When I go to a battle, I always come prepared! First of all, I have to be physically prepared for this job. I have to maintain health because it has physical demands like energy for driving from my location to the clients’ area and sound bodily functions that are needed for lash work. Our body is our tool, that is why we have to take care of it.”
“Aside from that, I always ensure that I have complete and extra lash supplies in my carry-on cosmetic case. This bag is really comfortable and handy to carry because it has a retractable storage organizer plus the products are safe to store inside the bag.”
After a busy day, rest is a must but before that happen, I have to prepare for the next day. I used to check my carry-on cosmetic bag for supplies that I need to refill. The good thing about the brand that I use is, they got excellent client review, available in Amazon and ships the product orders immediately plus they have an impressive client service support whenever I have some queries.”
“Tell us about the products that you use for lash extensions.”
“Over the years, it’s been trial and error for me to find the best lash essentials that will really work. I must admit that some products are a waste of money until I find the right brand that really works for me.”
“Here’s my tip: In order not to compromise the quality of lash work, one must not mix and match different products. In my experience, the products must be under one brand so that they will complement each other, maximize their potential and come up with high-quality lashes. If you are working with only one beauty brand, you’ll discover that these products have been carefully designed to work hand in hand. I believe that from lash shampoo to primer, adhesives, and bonder, each will work seamlessly if it is under one product line. With the proper choice of brand, It’s just like comfortably working with your best friend who understands you what you really need.”
“What was your most memorable experience as a traveling lash artist?”
“Because of the premium lash products and the quality lash work that came out of it, receiving compliments from clients is so priceless! This builds a lot of confidence and inspires me to continue this profession. I’m finding it rewarding because of the positive reviews from my work.”
“Aside from my welcoming clients, I’m also drawn to house pets who are so much fun to be with! I have encountered a client whose dog is very much clingy and doesn’t want to be separated from his human so the pooch was peacefully lying beside my client even during the lash session. I think that is one of the reasons why my client availed a home service because her dog doesn’t permit her to leave home. That was a hilarious experience!”
“What are your future plans for your career?”
I have an adventurous spirit and I always long for travel! Sometime in the year 2020, I met a fellow lash artist who converted a van into a salon and travels in many states. That’s also one on my bucket list too! I would love to travel to far-flung areas. Second, I love to share my knowledge of the beauty profession. My goal is to pass on my knowledge to the younger generations especially the emerging lash artists through various workshops. We need a lot of beauty professionals that will empower all women!
‘What is your message to beginning lash artists?”
“There is a quote that says, “a master was once a beginner” and as a newbie in this career, it is important to have proper training in order to achieve that masterful skill. Every day, start it with a specific goal in mind. Write down your goals or the tasks you need to perform throughout the day; writing them down can help you become prepared in achieving your objectives. Achieve a goal and learn a new skill every day. Always try to compete with yourself, set new marks every day, and reach your life's biggest aim.”
Success does not happen overnight, that is why we need to remain consistent with our goals. Consistency is the one factor that can help us reach the peak of success. You must remain constant in order to become truly outstanding at whatever you are doing. Enjoy every chance you get to do what you love and do it well. Once you put all of these efforts, you’ll be surprised by the result!”
As of this writing, Jennifer Carter continues her passion as a traveling lash artists around Alabama and various states in the US. As a support to the industry, she has organized a community of beauty professionals, emerging lash artists, and beauty enthusiasts in which she regularly conducts information sharing sessions. She has also bought her dream truck, converted it to a mobile beauty studio, and planning to offer more services to her clients.
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