Meet Trainer – Emily Thelin
Emily, studied to be an esthetician at PCI Academy, a cosmetology school in Iowa. Emily wanted to become an esthetician for the sole purpose of being a lash stylist. Emily graduated in 2012 and has been providing lash extensions at the same studio ever since. She is the mom of a four and a six-year-old.
Q: How did you get started in lashes?
A: I have these short, itty-bitty blonde lashes, and when I discovered lash extensions it was like the best thing since sliced bread. I was getting lash extensions for several years and then one day I woke up and said, “That’s it! I know what I want to do.” I decided around Christmas, did all the research, and I was in school by February. It was a very quick process. I was called “Emily Lashes” in cosmetology school because everyone knew I wanted to do lash extensions.
Q: Why did you choose Lavish Lashes® to get your training?
A: I looked around quite a bit and found several things that swayed me toward Lavish. I initially didn’t know that Lavish had been around for as long as it had been. What I was really looking for was a company that was well put together and without the weight-loss pill kind of advertising like one of our competitors. When I came across competitor technicians, they weren’t that good, or if they were, they weren’t even using their company’s products. Lavish classes were local and they offered them pretty often. A lot of the other companies had months in between their classes, and some of them didn’t even hold classes in Minnesota.
Q: Did you take both the basic and advanced classes at the same time?
A: No. I was penny-pinching and could only afford to take the first class.
Q: How long did you wait to take the advanced class?
A: It was exactly one year. I hadn’t intended it to be that long.
Q: What made you decide to go back for the advanced training class?
A: I had always planned on taking the second class. It doesn’t really matter how long you’re in the industry, there’s always something you don’t know, something you can learn. I always had questions: What’s a better way to do this? What’s
a better way to do that? And I knew I wanted to take the second class because there’s always a way to speed things up. I also knew that in the long run I wanted to be a trainer. Even though I had been doing really well in my business, there’s always room for improvement.
Q: Why did you become a trainer and how did it come about?
A: At the end of my first class, I had done pretty well. I gave myself a little pat on the back. Then Amber, the trainer, announced that they were always looking for trainers, and my jaw just dropped. I never even thought of that. It was a whole new horizon. I thought, oh wow, I could be a trainer someday! It was probably six or seven months before I called to get information on it.
Q: Was it worthwhile to take the advanced training?
A: It was. I walked away with these little tips and tricks. Some things, if you’re lucky enough, you can figure out for yourself, but there are other things that I wouldn’t have thought of doing; little taping tricks and simple things like that. So, yes, it was definitely worthwhile.
Q: If money hadn’t been an issue for you, would you have taken the advanced class sooner?
A: Oh, definitely. I think money is an obstacle for many technicians.
Q: As a Trainer, do you find that most people take both the basic and advanced training class, or just the basic?
A: Just the basic, actually. And for those girls who don’t have the skill or can’t follow through, it might be better if they just take the basic. The one-day basic course is an eye-opener. You don’t see many people who are fantastic right out of the gate. It takes some special skill. It’s not for everybody.
Q: Do you feel it’s important for students to take the two-day course?
A: Yes, and I encourage my students to take the second day; it definitely gives you more one-on-one time. There’s not as much drilling, you get to sit back and develop and hone in on your skills, as well as learn other techniques that can help you in the long run. Like I said, I would have taken the second day if my financial situation had been different at the time.
Q: What kind of feedback do you get from people that take the second class?
A: Everyone thinks it is definitely worth the time, the money, and the effort to take the second day. No one ever regrets taking the second day. They are always very appreciative and wish that everyone from the first day had the opportunity to take the advanced class.
Q: Have you had to fail anyone?
A: Yes. It’s always very disheartening and it’s a difficult thing to do. We always give them the opportunity to come back. As a Trainer, you have a responsibility to take these technicians under your wing. If you send them out into the field and you know in your heart they can’t do the service correctly, or they might be unhygienic or unsafe, you can’t do that. It’s never fun, but it’s necessary.
Q: What’s the largest class you’ve taught to date?
A: My largest class was my “observe and assist class.” It was a tandem class with Mary Jane Dana, co-founder of Lavish Lashes®, with eight students. After teaching that class, I can understand how emotionally and physically draining it is to have that many girls in one class. It was definitely an eye-opener, but it was fun. But I’m very glad I wasn’t flying solo that day.
Q: As a new trainer, what is your opinion of Lavish Lashes® training programs, both for lash stylists and trainers such as yourself?
A: I tell people with a vehemence that I don’t believe that there is another training curriculum out there that is comparable to Lavish Lashes®. We turn everything upside-down and inside-out. It is very thorough. It’s a lot to take in, but it leaves every student walking out of there at the end of the day knowing that they made the right decision to come to that class. How could anybody ever conceive that they could learn how to do lash extensions via DVD? It astounds me everyday that people think they can do that without getting the face-to-face coaching and correcting of the techniques. We don’t leave any stone unturned. It’s definitely worth every penny and every minute that you put into it.
Q: What is the lash industry like in your area right now?
A: The lash industry is absolutely booming. I still have clients who come in having just heard about the service. I get clients from all over the Twin Cities. I’m surprised there aren’t more salons offering the service, but I’m sure that will change here very soon.
Q: Where are other stylists getting their training?
A: Well, like anything else in this industry, there are always going to be knock-off companies/products. There will always be some businesses that don’t care about what you do or what happens once they’ve got your money. Of course, there are a few other reputable companies out there. I still laugh at the thought of someone attempting to train via DVD or YouTube.
Q: What do you do to promote yourself and get new customers?
A: Naturally, one has to do some marketing basics by making a website and business cards, but the best promoting BY FAR is word of mouth. Taking pride in your work and clients loving their lashes is what makes your business grow. Personally, I think
an unhappy client is more powerful than three happy clients (obviously in a negative way). You need to strive to give each client your best effort and you will easily start seeing referrals of referrals. You can’t make everyone happy, but it’s worth trying!
Q: What is the most important thing you can teach your students?
A: The single most important thing? Well, that’s a hard one. I guess that perfecting anything takes time and effort. Some students come in assuming that this service is going to be a cake walk, then get very discouraged when they find that it’s not.
Give yourself some time and plenty of practice. When you think you’re good, practice some more.
Q: After you’ve trained stylists, what’s the best piece of advice you can give them as they get started in lash extensions?
A: Don’t start charging until you are sure that you have the skill to do so. Your clients will be your walking billboards! How they feel about your work and how others see your work will drastically affect you business. You will make a living off of repeat clients, not just full sets. Word of mouth brings in more repeat clientele than any Groupon will.
Q: What’s the best thing about being a Lavish Lashes® Trainer?
A: I think the best part of being a trainer is being able to see that “ah-ha” moment that happens with students. I love having the opportunity to mold future lash stylists because I am so thoroughly confident that Lavish Lashes® gives each student the tools needed to be successful in this industry.
Q: Do you keep in touch with your students?
A: Occasionally. Sometimes I just bump right into them! That’s the beauty of working and training in the same city. I know that more and more of the up-and- coming lash stylists around me will be Lavish Lashes® certified. As a lash stylist, I depend on other stylists to be performing the service correctly. That helps all stylists in the area.
Q: Overall, what makes Lavish Lashes® so great?
A: There isn’t anything about Lavish Lashes® that isn’t great. That might sound like a cliché, but it’s true. You couldn’t ask for anything more from a company.