Today we’d like to introduce you to Kimberly Lemke.
Kimberly, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I had an interest in all things beauty from an early age like most little girls but had no idea that a person could make a living on it. I had been going to community college for a couple years, taking different courses and trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I started to lose interest in the things I thought would make good careers: First Grade Teacher, Vet, Historian (you can tell I had no idea what I was doing!)… I finally decided conventional school was not for me and luckily I had parents who supported the idea of their daughter finding something she would love even if it wasn’t the conventional way. I realized quickly that there was a whole world of beauty that people made their living on and that became my main focus. After narrowing it down to becoming an Esthetician, I started school right away and absolutely fell in love with helping people with their skin concerns and waxing. I actually failed my written AND practical test the first time I took it because I was a nervous wreck! It was one of the reasons I didn’t like conventional school – I have the knowledge but freak out when it can time to prove it on paper! The second time was a charm! I passed with flying colors and I knew it before they even told me. I was so happy and jumped on finding a place I could start my business.
Unfortunately, I started a skin care business in the heart of a recession and no one wanted to invest money in themselves and when they did, they wanted instant results. I became frustrated with the lack of client flow, so I decided to look into adding something more satisfying to my service list. That’s when I found it – eyelash extensions. I had no idea what they were but it was something that enhanced my client’s beauty instantly and knew it would be a hit if I could pump out the results. I bought a kit and with only myself as my guide, a mannequin head, and a training manual I taught myself the trade over the course of three months. After adding eyelash extensions to my service menu, I didn’t have the interest I thought there would be. I randomly stumbled on a job listing for a part-time Lash Stylist in Mission Valley in 2011 and thought to myself, “Sounds tedious, but I’ll give it a try.” It’s safe to say the woman at Blink Lash Boutique really sparked my love for the eyelash world and it never stopped. I worked there for a few years then after I got married to my wonderful and supportive husband (also my accountant!), we both agreed that I was ready to be my own boss.
In 2014, I found a small studio office in the heart of La Mesa, CA and worked by myself for almost four years building the most loyal of clientele. I rented my space off and on to other lash techs for a couple years and while I was on maternity leave with my beautiful baby girl, Phoebe Joy. In April of 2018, I had the opportunity to move into the larger office of my building. I discussed it with my husband and we both agreed that an expansion would be difficult but worth the plunge. I opened the doors of La La Lash Studio May of 2018 and hired two of the most amazing Lash Stylists to help support an education of lash care and health to all of our clients, it’s just the beginning and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for La La Lash Studio!
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?
Sometimes, the smallest thing can turn into the biggest part of your life! I had no idea eyelash extensions would become my passion and my career focus, when you find something you’re passionate about, it won’t seem like a “job” and every day you go to work, you’ll feel rewarded!
Please tell us about La La Lash Studio.
I pride myself on client education. If we provide a service, work that we are proud of – shouldn’t we teach our clients how to preserve that work and treat it the best way possible for their own benefit?
Eyelash extensions should enhance our client’s life, not hinder it. I want to make sure the work that comes out of La La Lash Studio is work that makes our clients feel amazing! I see so many “Lash Techs” who provide eyelash extensions to people and they don’t know how to properly apply or even educate their clients on home care. I hear it all the time – “The girl that did my lashes told me to never get them wet”, “I was told to take a break from eyelash extensions every other month” or “I heard that once you lose your natural lashes, that that doesn’t grow back”. None of these statements are true! Poor education or lack of skill gives this industry of Eyelash Extensions a bad rap, but I am determined to make a difference and educate our clients on the truth!
Who have you been inspired by?
From my days working at Blink, I saw firsthand how passion and career could coincide. Jen and Janelle were an inspiration and great influence on how I came to be where I am today. I watched as they built a brand from the ground up and create an atmosphere of lash luxury for both employees and patrons. Between being wives and mothers, they added business owner and boss to their repertoire and I was most definitely inspired by their drive.
- Full Sets $125-$175
- Touch Up $65
- Removal $50 (free with purchase of Full Set)
- Address: 8356 Allison Ave Suite D
- Website: www.lalalashstudio.com
- Phone: 619-320-8690
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lalalashstudiolamesa/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lashcottage/
- Other: www.vagaro.com/lalalashstudio
Kimberly Lemke, Alejandra Morales