Today we’d like to introduce you to Prisilla Weckesser.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
The performing and visual arts have always been apart of my life. Whether if it was acting, writing or painting, I have always found peace and excitement in the arts. With that said, when I was a Personal Banker at Wells Fargo, I was completely depressed with what I was doing in my life. I didn’t see a clear future, all I saw was anxiety about how to get through each day.
In 2014, I took my mother n law to get her eyebrows “tattooed” as a Christmas present. It was then when I quickly realized I was doing something terribly wrong in my life and that I needed to make a change. Remember those stories of all those successful people saying that they knew they had to take a leap of faith when they saw a certain sign? This was my sign, and it was so powerful. I looked at the Permanent Cosmetics Specialist that was tattooing my mother n law’s eyebrows, and I said…” I could do this.” She said that she was currently searching for an apprentice and that she only teaches once a year. Sign me up!
After a series of hard conversations with my husband, we decided that this was something I needed to do. It was a family effort. I sold my car, borrowed money from my in-laws and our family took a financial hit. Until this day, I am still forever grateful for my in-laws and my husband’s patience and support. I could not have done this without them.
Now, almost two years after completion of my Permanent Cosmetics Apprenticeship, I have almost two hundred loyal clients and I am financially stable. I have worked very hard (and still am) at networking and working on my skill. I have climbed the first mountain of starting your own business, and now the wheels are turning. I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for me!
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
With every small business startup, there are always challenges. Like with almost every startup, financial stability was a huge challenge for our family. Starting a business is a family effort, and I spent a lot of money just to get started… without having an income. But it’s those challenges you face that make you or break you.
Also, my husband and I had our first child together while I was in my apprenticeship. The challenge with that was that I had a high-risk pregnancy, and was on bed rest most of the time. It took me a while to finish my apprenticeship. But with a baby on the way and bills piling up, failing wasn’t an option. I had given up my stable job in corporate life. This was my only shot. I look back now and wonder how we did it. I say “we” because it took an army to get me through my apprenticeship and my anxiety provoking pregnancy. And now, with my second year in business coming around the corner, we are pregnant again!
My advice to women who are about to start or are in the midst of their journey is to have a TEAM. You will not be able to accomplish it all without having a strong support system. A TEAM that will drop everything if you can’t be there to pick up your kids. A team that will help you get organized and to stay organized. A team that will step up and makes dinner effortlessly for you and your family because you have nothing left in your soul (or refrigerator). A team that fully supports what you do and is super patient because there will not be globs of money coming in for a long time. And most importantly, you need a good group of friends that will support and buy what you are offering. Creating a following and representation is the blood of your business.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I am a Certified Permanent Cosmetics Specialist. I specialize in the art of cosmetic semi-permanent tattooing of the eyebrows, lips, and eyeliner. My services include Microblading, decorative eyeliner, and lip pigmentation.
I am currently known for my unique approach to obtaining the most natural look for eyebrows in Microblading. Many artists will only do their best to create a perfectly symmetrical set of eyebrows. And trust me that’s great because everyone wants symmetrical eyebrows! But that shows only as far as they were trained, and every client will get similar results.
Because of my artistic nature, I can create a set of eyebrows that are unique to each client. I not only try my best to create symmetry, but I also follow the natural features of that client and I accentuate them. By doing this, each set of eyebrows is perfectly created just for that client. I follow the natural pathways of their hair, their eyebrow bones, etc. Paying attention to these subtle features on a client’s face can make a difference. Every client is a new fresh palette. Being challenged like that is what gets my motors turning.
I am currently most proud of educating my clients. The Permanent Cosmetics world is so under-regulated, which is why you see so many “bad” permanent makeup jobs out there. I have no problem spending all the time in the world educating my potential or current clients about skin conditions, risks, and what each treatment entails. I feel so much better in my heart if a client is fully aware of what they are getting themselves into. Informed consent is extremely important to me.
I am currently starting a blog/vlog about Permanent Cosmetics education and education on other beauty services/products and techniques.
What do you feel are the biggest barriers today to female leadership, in your industry or generally?
We live in a “beauty world.” The Permanent Cosmetics Industry is a small part of the “beauty industry”, but it still has an emphasis on beauty. And when I say, “I am a Permanent Cosmetics Artist”, everyone naturally thinks beauty or vanity. Being a part of the beauty world creates its own challenges as a woman in the business world.
The truth is, I don’t feel like I am 100% apart of the “beauty” label. Most of my clients struggle with major illnesses that cause hair loss. A huge part of my clientele has cancer. When people hear Permanent Cosmetics, they just think of vanity. But it’s much more than vanity to my clients and I. I am bringing back confidence one stroke at a time. If I can give them just a little bit of confidence that helps them get through their life-changing illnesses, then I am truly blessed to be able to provide that for them.
Another one of my struggles from being apart of the “beauty world” and from having a vanity label on my side, is having other business owners take me seriously. I am young, and I look young. So when I walked into my first networking meeting with my high heels and highlights, I certainly felt the energy of doubt floating through the air. But I never stopped attending those meetings. Now a year later from being apart of one of the biggest networking groups in the world (BNI), I am a trusted partner. I have proved myself to be a serious business owner despite my beauty/vanity stigma.
- Microblading $450
- Lip Pigmentation $500
- Eyeliner $350
- Address: 28780 Old Town Front St. C-8, Temecula, CA 92590
- Website: www.temeculapermanentmakeup.com
- Phone: (310) 850- 2269
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/prisillascosmetics/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/prisillascosmetics/