Meet Trainer Veronica Payne
Veronica graduated from Dudley Beauty College in 2008 with a license in esthetics. After graduation, she worked at a salon in Chicago and built her clientele, including singer Jennifer Hudson. In 2011, Veronica opened her own salon, Whip Lashe, where, in addition to lash extensions, she offers facials and other esthetic services. Veronica loves being a Lavish Lashes® trainer and enjoys traveling to new places and meeting new people.
Q: How did you get started in lash extensions?
A: In 2009, I started searching online for companies where I could do lash extensions instead of the individual lashes that were damaging everyone’s lashes
I started calling around and I found Lavish.
Q: Why did you choose Lavish Lashes® to get your training?
A: I had a little questionnaire that I used when I called different companies, and Lavish had the best answers.
Q: What type of answers do you mean?
A: I loved the emphasis on health and safety, the quality behind the products, the adhesive they were using, and the training the offered. So I flew to New York and took my training under Mary Jane Dana, Co-founder of Lavish Lashes®.
Q: Did you research any other lash extension companies?
A: Yes, four other companies. But Lavish stood out. They are more knowledgeable about the lash count and lash weight. When you order from another company, they can’t tell you how many lashes you are getting; they base it on weight, whereas with Lavish, even if you order the heaviest lash, you still get a count of 2500.
Q: Tell me about your experience as a lash stylist.
A: I always knew I wanted to be a trainer, but felt I needed to work in the industry for a while because I am my own biggest critic. I moved to a higher-end salon and built my business from there. That’s when it really took off. I have several clients that are professional women, VP’s of big companies like Martin-Martin and NBC, and I have a lot of women who are hair stylists. While working at the salon, I also had the opportunity to do lashes for Jennifer Hudson.
Q: When did you become a Trainer? Why?
A: After I had my own business for a while, I really developed a lot of respect for what Tim and Mary Jane are doing with Lavish Lashes®, and I decided I wanted to learn more about the industry. So I took the advanced class with Amber and I picked up a lot of tips from her that I still use today. Then, I decided I wanted to be a trainer and I contacted Mary Jane to start the process. I trained under Amber, then Laura, and the third time I was ready to go on my own. Mary Jane supported me the whole time; she was really awesome.
My biggest reason for becoming a trainer is that I want my students to learn the right way, so they don’t damage anyone’s lashes. When you see people who are getting trained from a DVD or YouTube, you know they don’t realize that you must be properly trained to do lash extension applications. I am passionate about training. You have to be properly trained; otherwise you’re going to make horrible mistakes. Unfortunately, some people that think they can learn the process without taking the class and end up creating a really bad name for lash extensions.
Q: What is the lash industry like in your area right now?
A: It is really, really competitive. Some stylists who go with inferior companies for training and/or products try to undercut the price. Unfortunately, in Chicago, clients will look for coupons and learn the hard way. When I get clients who had the “cheaper” lashes and then experience the difference with Lavish Lashes®, they understand why my service costs more.
Q: What percentage of your business is doing lashes?
A: I’d say seventy-five percent. The lash industry has really taken off.
Q: What do you do to promote yourself and get new customers?
A: I really don’t have to do any marketing. I’m not taking any new clients. I’m just too busy.
Q: What do you feel is the most important thing you can teach your students?
A: Sanitization. I love talking about sanitization. You would be surprised at how many people get the technique, but don’t clean their tools. This is so important. I emphasize to my students to keep their tools clean. We talk about barbicide and alcohol, and the importance of correctly cleaning everything. Additionally, we discuss how and why you educate your clients.
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: I tell them to practice. The more you do, the better you get. I suggest taking “before” and “after” pictures. I love to stay in touch with my students. They text me, send me pictures, and ask me questions. Just because the class ends doesn’t mean the relationship ends.
Q: What should every customer know when they go to choose lashes?
A: In general, you should know whether the stylist is certified, who trained her, and if the company she certified with is reputable. The client should call the stylist and ask how the lashes are selected. Is it one size fits all? How does the process work? How do you care for the lashes?
Q: As a Trainer, do you find that most people take both the basic and advanced training class, or just the basic?
A: Most students take the basic class and don’t take both classes back to back. I’d say if you have a class of six, three stay for the second day. But for the students that do, I see that their technique is amazing by the time they leave. On the second day the students get close to applying the full set and they’re learning more advanced techniques. At the end of the advanced class, they feel more confident. I wish more people would do it.
Q: Do you have students come back at a later date to take the advanced class?
A: Yes. Sometimes people are already awesome, but they come back to get even better. I’d say that most of my students, who come back for that second day, are doing full sets in under two hours after just three or four months.
Q: Do you feel it’s important for students to take the advanced course?
A: I think it’s extremely important. It improves students’ technique and therefore, their confidence. On that second day, I’m coming over and giving extra pointers and students have more freedom. The first day I micro-manage them, and on the second day they get to develop their flow, which really helps with their confidence.
Q: What kind of feedback do you get from people that took the second class?
A: Everyone tells me they are very glad they took the advanced class.
Q: Have you had to fail anyone and if so, why?
A: Yes. I had one student that I felt was borderline in her skills; there were a couple of important things she couldn’t retain. I told her to send in some photos and we would work together before she came back to retake the class.
Q: How often do you train?
A: I started out training once or twice a month but sometimes it turns into three or four times a month. I just came back from Canada this weekend, next weekend I’m in New Orleans, and the week after that I’m in Detroit. I’m a little jet setter here!
Q: How many people do you average in a class and what’s the largest class you’ve taught?
A: Four to six is average for a class and eight is the largest.
Q: How did you like teaching a larger group?
A: I love the energy of a larger group. It’s amazing. Of course, the class goes a little bit longer, but with the energy you’re getting, you can’t beat it. I love the fuller classes.
Q: So, you keep in touch with your students?
A: Most of them. They send me pictures because they’re proud of what they’ve done, or maybe they forget a little tip and they’ll ask about it.
Q: Any memory from a class that stands out?
A: I have a good memory that stands out…there was one student who was a little antsy because she didn’t like sitting in a classroom and had some poor instructors. I told her that I try to make my classes as interesting and upbeat as possible and to give me a chance.
Q: So what happened after she took the class?
A: At the end of it, she actually called the company and said it was the best training she’d ever had; it was fun, it was humorous. That was one of those moments where I actually cried. I couldn’t believe she loved the class. It was great.
Q: Have you had any students who had taken training from another lash company? If so, what was their reason for taking your course?
A: Yes. Some say they are taking our training class because they just didn’t get it before, or that the previous trainer wasn’t very helpful. Other trainers don’t jump in and take you step-by-step like Lavish does. Students from other companies love our instruction manuals and they are absolutely floored by our style of presentations.
Q: What’s the best thing about being a Lavish Lashes® Trainer?
A: This is going to sound like a Hallmark card, but I love watching a student who has never picked up a lash, doesn’t know how to hold tweezers, and by the end of the class applies five, seven, or even ten great lashes. It’s the best feeling for me. It’s like the feeling a mom gets watching her baby learn to walk. I absolutely love to see the confidence and the smiles. It is amazing.
Q: Overall, what makes Lavish Lashes® so great?
A: Everything? I’m in love with the adhesive. It is the best adhesive ever. Another thing is the incredible customer service. When you call Lavish, you feel like you’re part of a family. It’s a big company, but at the same time you get a small-family feel, which is one of the reasons it is great to work for Lavish.