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Conversations with the Inspiring Candace Suero-Hoegemeier and Michael Hoegemeier

Today we’d like to introduce you to Candace Suero-Hoegemeier and Michael Hoegemeier.

Candace and Michael, please share your story with us.
A lot has changed since the beginning of our journey in 2012. Five years ago, I was determined to create a truly one-of-a-kind eyelash extension establishment: one that was fresh, fun and constantly evolving. Upon attending Marinello Beauty School from 2012 to 2013, I became fascinated with eyelash extensions. They were the newest beauty trend at the time and being an avid falsie wearer, I knew I was the perfect candidate to offer the service.

Eager to start my career, I decided to take on any job I could find that would get my foot through the doors of the beauty industry. I hadn’t even graduated beauty school yet and by the end of 2012, I was already working as an Assistant for Three Ways Beautiful Salon in La Jolla, CA. I graduated in May of 2013 and passed my California State Board exam. Like most new licensees, I landed an Esthetician job that required me to offer a multitude of services including full body waxing (Brazilians), facials, spray tanning, and occasionally eyelash extensions.

Fortunately for today’s new lash artists, there is a large, welcoming eyelash extension community to provide immense support, direction, and free training. There is also easy access to these providers through popular social media outlets such as Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. Initially, there was not as large of a community while I was a new artist as there is now and needless to say I had to figure out a lot of things out on my own.

At the age of 22, I had limited funds and bad credit so starting up a small business seemed almost unimaginable. However, I was determined to not let that discourage me. There were three big-name lash distributors at the time who I really wanted to get certified from but at the time I could not afford the training. In order to become certified, I knew that I’d have to make extra money. I knew that I’d have to rely on the quality of my services to build my clientele and start word of mouth amongst people.

With every service, I provided I made sure not only to do my best. I attended lash training, practiced my techniques often for free on friends and family to strengthen my stamina and techniques. I would stay up past midnight practicing making perfect Russian volume fans! (An exclusive technique for creating volume lashes)

By 2015, I had built a steady flow of clientele and decided to branch out on my own. Looking for the ideal place to do business was not easy for me but finally, in August of 2015, I opened up shop in a small, modest studio in Downtown, San Diego inside Phenix Salon Suites.

Phenix Salon is an excellent choice for young beauty entrepreneurs. They offer studios large enough for one or two stylists to operate comfortably and efficiently. Also, they are extremely accommodating to individuals starting their first business with no credit qualifications. It’s a wonderful alternative to working in a full-scale salon and they give you the creative freedom to design your mini studio any way you see fit!

In December 2017, my first addition to my team was none other than my husband Mike. Having played a vital role in the development of my small business and witnessing its overall success, he unselfishly left his full-time job as an accountant and completely invested himself to Tenderoni Lashes. My longtime beauty school colleague, Kristy Flores also joined us just a couple months later and our collective of artists is slowly on the rise.

Rather than our salon is reminiscent of a beehive of workers with only one queen bee owner, we like to think of our establishment as simply a creative space. Our goal is to maintain a working environment that is fun and drama-free! Clients can select their preferred lash artist based on their individual needs. Our artists have the complete creative freedom to fulfill their clients’ lash goals as they best see fit. We simply aim to be the middleman between our artists and clients.

In January 2018 we expanded into our first storefront Chula Vista, CA and are looking to expand to Los Angeles by mid-year. The key to remaining successful, we feel, is to simply be authentic. Be true to yourself and work immensely hard at what it is that you love to do, everything will fall into place.

Has it been a smooth road?
When I first started Tenderoni Lashes, I was 22 and barely had any money or credit. I didn’t let that stop me from following my dream, where there’s a will there’s a way. The problem with so many people is that they stay dreaming. Very rarely will people step out of their comfort zones to fulfill their goals? My biggest advice to those that are barely starting their journey (or thinking about it) is to never lose sight of your ultimate goal. If Michael and I let every disappointment or hardship get the best of us, there wouldn’t be a Tenderoni Lashes, I guarantee you that.

We made our business the biggest priority in our lives in a time that most our age probably wouldn’t have. While most people our age were having babies and weddings, we were busting our a** at the salon. Most don’t realize it but for business owners, work is a 24/7 job. When you love your business you’re willing to make these sacrifices!

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into Tenderoni Lashes story. Tell us more about the business.
Tenderoni Lashes specializes in custom eyelash extension services and most notably our Russian volume application. Since 2013 we have allowed our clients to create their own set of eyelash extensions, customizing everything from the lashes’ length, thickness, and curl. When I first started as a lash artist most salons only offered fixed services and did not allow much room for customization nor full services. It was my intent to have our salon be the game changer our city needed. Here, we go by the completion of the service. Every natural lash receives an eyelash extension and to ensure proper application, we offer complimentary emergency touch-ups.

We offer our clients a multitude of customization options and they have complete creative control, much like a hair salon. No request is ever too big or too little here! I truly believe that our integrity and commitment to both our craftsmanship and clients are what set us apart from anyone else in San Diego.

For good reason, society often focuses more on the problems rather than the opportunities that exist, because the problems need to be solved. However, we’d probably also benefit from looking for and recognizing the opportunities that women are better positioned to capitalize on. Have you discovered such opportunities?
Women are just as capable of achieving life goals as much as men but I feel we do it with more flavor! For so long, society has conditioned us into believing that men and women are best suited for certain opportunities based on gender. However, in this day and age, women are barely now beginning to receive public recognition for their achievements which are comparable to that of men. As an owner of a successful business, I see myself as a perfect example of an accomplished, hardworking woman who can contribute so much to a constantly evolving society.

Our mission is to empower young women by educating them on entrepreneurship. As females, our natural gifts of empathy, compassion, multi-tasking, and creativity absolutely thrive in the business world. We can manage so many things at once!

Pricing:

  • $160 Full Set of Premium Classic Lashes
  • $180 Full Set of Hybrid Lashes (Classic + Volume Mix)
  • $250 Full Set of Russian Volume Lashes
  • $100 Premium Classic Refill
  • $120 Hybrid Refill
  • $150 Russian Volume Refill

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Stephanie “TheHiighSoul” Gresham

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

2 Comments

  1. Kim Davis

    July 7, 2018 at 3:22 am

    Love this girl!!! Congrats Candace and Mike on your new salon. I miss your services so much but I’ll have to stop by and visit when I come to SD. Great article, very inspiring.

  2. Jennifer Nielsen

    July 24, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    I used to get my lashes done here before I moved to SF! Great article!

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