What’s your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?
Lux Brows and Lashes was founded out of a passion for all things beauty and brows over 7 years ago. I’d always loved creating brows and was training in this area while working in a ‘safe’ full time paid Admin Management role. I never actually thought I would do brows as my full time job. After a role within another company fell through, I took the opportunity to go out on my own and start Lux Brows & Lashes. We were originally located in Melbourne’s CBD, but have since settled into a beautiful spot in Essendon Fields.
Describe the process of launching the business.
There was no big fancy launch, no one knew who I was, I simply worked really hard, provided my clients with bomb brows and prayed they would talk to their friends and send them to me. Instagram was only just starting to make an appearance when I started Lux Brows and Lashes and of course advertising wasn’t in my budget so when I was presented with a new client I immediately rebooked their next brow appointment, I was too scared to ask them to tell their friends about me but prayed their brows would be noticed and create talk – hence create more business.
Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?
The strongest marketing tool is right there on the client’s face. Their brows! I have tried everything, paid ads, influencers, specials, competitions, beauty shows, nothing is as powerful as word of mouth, people seeing the transformation of brows is what attracts new clientele and the feeling they get from that retains them as return clients.
How are you doing today and what does the future look like?
To be honest since COVID hit in early 2020 and has forced Melbourne beauty closed for 10 months, it’s been a real struggle to survive. We are a service-based industry and some view beauty as a luxury, after our 6th lockdown I truly can’t know what the future of our business looks like. In 2020 while in COVID lockdown I needed to pivot my small business to generate income, obviously unable to provide a service for our clients Ecommerce was the only way forward to generate income. Each lockdown has allowed time to create our product range, adding value to and complementing our in-studio brow services
Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
I have learnt small business is 24/7, you must be prepared to work long hours over a long period of time. Consider your lifestyle, work ethic, family because relationships and resources will be stretched thin, building a business is slow and you need to dedicate time to the business. Every business owner will agree, staffing is the most challenging part of it takes any small business, build a team the shares your vision.
What platform/tools do you use for your business?
Instagram is the platform I use to showcase and promote my business, but social media is constantly evolving so you need to choose the platform which suits your clientele, who’s your target market what are they using.
What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?
I have found mentors are the best for me – talking to other like minded business people, listening and learning from other business owners drives and inspires me the most. Also encourages me to think outside the box, question things
Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?
Prepare for financial challenges, COVID forced lockdown has taught me that! Be frugal – every penny counts, think about where you’re spending your money and the what the return will be. You are marketing, accounting, advertising, PR, legal, HR – it’s impossible to navigate all this, don’t be afraid to ask for help, talk to people it will amaze you how many people will offer you help. Have a business plan, but remember that business plan will fail so many times before it works – there is no certainty you’ve just got to keep getting back up.