Esthetics is a very niche industry. With only one school North of Seattle, students commute long distances to complete their training in skincare and beauty. Kelli Torvik, owner of Lethal Lash Beauty, made this commute every morning as she completed her certification in esthetics, although she was already gaining valuable experience in the field while working for two different spas, with a combined commitment of 4 years.
It wasn’t until Kelli decided to focus on eyelash extension services that she realized she had a talent for it. She started by offering eyelash extensions for free to her friends, and then as trades, until she honed the skill to a professional capacity.
For about a year Lethal Lash Beauty had no name – people just knew Kelli, what she offered, and would request an appointment. Kelli acted as a concierge beauty service by driving to people’s homes, setting up a massage table and applying lashes. Eventually lugging the massage table up and down flights of apartment and house stairs got old.
Something had to change.
Finding a location in Fairhaven (1000 McKenzie Ave Suite 16) was the change that Lethal Lash Beauty needed. By having a physical location, Kelli could start offering a more consistent schedule to her clients, skin care products and additional services like facials and eyelash tinting.
Kelli now works Monday – Friday 10am – 6pm and Saturday 10am – 3pm by appointment only. You can book online at www.lethallashbeauty.com
Enjoy the rest of the interview in this Q&A session.
What was it that made you want to start this business?
I love the idea that my work can empower people through beauty and self confidence.
What was the toughest thing you went through when opening?
Working for myself, because if anything went wrong then it was on me. I had a steady job, so jumping to full time working for myself was a scary jump to make. The toughest thing was perhaps the unknown, and uncertainty of it all.
How about now?
Not having a front desk member that helps book appointments. I’m currently answering phone calls to answer questions and book clients while running the other aspects of the business.
What is your big WHY? Why did you start?
I worked at spas in the past and it felt too corporate – impersonal and rushing people in and out of the door. I like to make people feel comfortable, and make personal connections with them. My reason of why I started is I had something to offer women to make them feel empowered and comfortable in their own skin.
What is your vision 5 years from now? 10 years from now?
I would like to keep my small business feel, but with more employees. I also plan to give back to the community through collaborative fundraisers for nonprofits.
What is your biggest barrier to reaching that goal?
Time. And making sure I’m hiring the right people. I want to make sure that my clients feel comfortable and get the best service possible.
What is the toughest part about having a business in 2017?
Wearing all the hats! Thinking about marketing, supply management, taxes, payroll, performing the services and scheduling.
If a customer was to choose between your business and 3 others just like it why would you suggest they at least give you a try first?
I’ve done a lot of research into the products I use and choose to carry. Through trial and error, I feel like I do use and carry the best products. I listen to my clients and customize their skincare regimen to them. I truly care about all my clients and want to make sure I give them the best experience possible.
What is the #1 way you currently bring in new customers?
Through my website. I have a great designer (Jordan at Stambaugh Designs) who helped me with a complete brand package including a logo, menus, business cards, signage, a website, and internet marketing.
Instagram and Facebook have also played a large role in my marketing and customer acquisition.
And of course, referrals from happy customers are the best!