Meet Trainer Nichole Bonollo
Nichole works as a lash stylist in Cranston, RI. She started lashing in Rhode Island when there were only two other lash artists in the state. Nichole has been lashing at her family salon for almost 5 years and became Lavish Lashes Trainer in 2012. She is the regional trainer for New England and teaching is her favorite part of lashing!
Q: How did you get started in lashes?
A: One of my friends won a set of lashes in a Facebook contest and they looked amazing. So, I made an appointment to get lashes and had been getting them done for about eighteen months when I decided to get trained myself. Naturally, I picked Lavish Lashes® for my training.
Q: Why did you choose Lavish Lashes® to get your training?
A: I was familiar with Lavish already. I did check out some other companies, but liked the natural look of Lavish Lashes®. The natural look is what I like as a consumer, so that’s what I want to give my clients rather than something more dramatic and extreme.
Q: Why did you become a trainer and how did it come about?
A: I received a call from the Lavish Lashes® corporate office asking if I was interested in becoming a trainer. Initially I declined, but after I thought about it, it sounded like it could be a really good opportunity. In October, Mary Jane Dana, co-founder of Lavish Lashes®, asked me again and I said, “yes.” The more I thought about it and the more classes I attended, the more excited I got. Now, I absolutely love it!
Q: What did you think of the classes you took to become a trainer?
A: Mary Jane taught two of the “Train-the-Trainer” classes and it was really amazing to see her work. She has this natural ability to do lashes and you learn so much. It was a great opportunity.
Q: What is the lash industry like in your area right now?
A: It is insane. There is a salon on every corner. Some are doing the real thing, like what we do, others are doing the clusters. When I started there were three stylists who had been trained by Lavish. Now there are many more and it makes me proud. It is definitely an emerging trend.
Q: With so many lash bars, are you seeing inferior work?
A: Oh yes, I see a lot of that. Clients who receive an inferior application will come to me and then say, “Oh my gosh, they look so much better.”
Q: What percentage of your business is doing lashes?
A: 100%. I have 50 full-time clients right now, so I am pretty busy.
Q: As a Trainer, do you find that most people take both the basic and advanced training class, or just the basic?
A: For me, I’d say about a third of the students stay for both days. I’ve never had anyone come back later; I’ve had some talk about it, but never had anyone do it. I push pretty hard for them to take both days. I feel it’s extremely important for them to have two days, like muscle memory, so they don’t forget what they are supposed to be doing.
Q: What kind of feedback do you get from people that took the second class?
A: Everyone usually says they can’t imagine taking just one of the classes and then going home and trying to do it. It’s another five hours of hands-on and it’s a lot more inclusive for them.
Q: Have you had to fail anyone?
A: Yes. I’ve actually had to fail two friends, which was awful, but I can’t have people out there doing bad lashes. It’s important for them to be up to the standard. I would hate it if students, trained by me, went out into the world and did a sub-par job. If students fail, I tell them they are welcome to come back. They are usually pretty devastated when they fail, but when they come back they’re proud to show me what they’ve done in the interim.
Q: How many people do you average in a class?
A: I would say six to eight. There are no classes in Rhode Island and there’s usually only one between Connecticut and Massachusetts, so it’s usually a pretty full class.
Q: Do you keep in touch with your students?
A: I do. I like to see how they’re doing and see their “before” and “after” photos. I have an open-door policy. They can call me, text me, or email anytime with any questions or concerns.
Q: Any memory from a class that stands out?
A: I had a student who wanted to learn how to do bottom lashes. I don’t offer it myself, but I do train people on how to do it. She did a full set of bottom lashes in the second day and they were amazing. I was in awe of this girl. I was taking pictures and sending them everywhere. It’s not often you can learn something like that from one of your students.
Q: What’s the best thing about being a Lavish Lashes® Trainer?
A: Seeing up-and-coming people, to hear their stories, where they come from and why they want to do it. Whether it’s someone who’s struggled and doesn’t get it until the end of the second day, or someone who’s just picked up a pair of tweezers and does an amazing job. It’s very rewarding. It’s nice to feel like you’re helping somebody else.
Q: What do you think of Lavish Lashes® customer service?
A: They are so great and so friendly. Every time I call there I feel like I’m in California, because everyone is just happy. It’s not like here on the East Coast; we’re not a friendly species over here (laughs). It’s actually a treat to call the office.
Q: Overall, what makes Lavish Lashes® so great?
A: The products. The adhesive is the best. Our actual lashes are very natural and shiny-looking. Another great thing about Lavish Lashes® is the fact that you have to have formal training to become a Certified Lavish Lashes® Specialist.
Q: How long do you envision yourself doing lashes?
A: I see myself at sixty, working at my mom’s salon, doing the same customers I’ve been doing for thirty years!