Today we’d like to introduce you to Verlee Somera Gumban.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
After being in the food industry and corporate world for years, it was time to start thinking about having a family. Feeling a void with my previous work environment, I had a longing to help people look and feel great about themselves. My love for beauty and fashion led me to get my Esthetician license and take additional makeup classes back in 2010. Since family is so important to me, I wanted to build a business that would allow me to have the flexibility of working my own hours, but still be present with my family. What was funny was that I didn’t even want to learn to do lashes after I finished beauty school! I decided to learn because I wanted to have that skill in the back of my pocket “just in case” a client wanted that service. I ended up really enjoying lashes and nixed my original business idea and decided to go all in with eyelash extensions. Surprisingly, my QA background translated really well into the lash world – the attention to detail, being meticulous, and good communication skills were a perfect fit.
I worked for a local lash boutique very shortly but decided fairly fast I needed to do this business on my own. I connected with a local business coach, Aaron Keith of Ascension Programs as soon as I started because I had no idea how to gain clients and market myself. With the help of Aaron and the structures he helped me put in place, I was able to grow my business fairly fast and be fully booked within four months of working with him. I’ve had a wonderful client base that was built solely on referrals and word of mouth that has been with me for many years! I also thank Sola Salons for being my home for most of my years, providing me with a creative space, helpful management when I needed anything, and an overall great experience!
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Oh, I wish it was smooth but where’s the fun in that? After coming from a team environment with co-workers that were like family to me, it was the biggest challenge for me to work by myself. I felt really alone in the beginning. There was no manager for me to ask for help when things got tough. There was no kind supervisor with years of experience to help out with expert advice. I found out that I was the person who had to take on all these roles and was responsible for the success of my business. I didn’t anticipate that I would be my own salesperson, marketer, customer service rep, accountant, IT support, and cheerleader. I had no idea these things would be part of my new job description. I just wanted to make people feel pretty and just apply lashes all day! But that’s one of the things I did end up liking about being on my own, was always learning something and always being a student. Now, I’ve built up a small support network around me who help keep me accountable and motivated, so I don’t feel so alone anymore!
My second challenge was having to learn to say no. No matter how much we wish it weren’t so that time is a limited resource, I had to deal with my time being in constant demand. With family and hobbies in the mix, we really only get so many hours in the workday. I never wanted to let people down but had to learn to say no in order to reclaim my time. I had to to keep my energy focused on the tasks that were truly necessary to move the business forward.
So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Lash Maven Eyelash Boutique – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I am a licensed Esthetician and I specialize solely in eyelash extensions, mostly in Russian Volume Lashes. By providing only lashes, I am able to focus on my quality of work, a healthful application of lashes for the client, and consistency of my work day in and day out. Lashes aren’t a one-size-fits-all service, so I do take into account a client’s facial structure, eye shape, brow shape, and their lifestyle. This helps me be able to create a look that is tailored specifically to them.
When “Russian Volume” lashes hit the scene in the US back in 2013, I had to immediately learn this technique. Perfected by Russian Lash Masters, it took lashes to a whole new level. I attended the first North American “LashBoom” Conference in Chicago with hands-on training directly in Volume Lashes by three of the world’s most notable Lash Masters. Always wanting to master and provide the latest techniques and trends in lash artistry, I still continue to work yearly on studying and training so that my clients are in great hands.
I pride myself on the feedback that I hear back from clients, most of them reporting back that people don’t even believe that they have eyelash extensions on, they thought they just had beautiful lashes naturally! By being able to blend the extensions seamlessly, and also creating each lash fan by hand, I am able to customize each look to my client’s face and features. I also know that my heated spa bed provides the best lash naps around, as well as being a one-stop advice shop too!
So, what’s next? Any big plans?
I am really excited to be moving to a new location in January 2019! I have always dreamed of being located directly on 101 Coast Highway, and it has finally come true! I will be joining the team and owner Dawn Nicholas of Remedy Beauty and Relaxation Lounge in Encinitas. Services offered will be progressive skin care treatments, body treatments, waxing services, eyelash extensions, and massage/reflexology. I am also always on the lookout for providing a new service or learning a new skillset, so I’m excited to see what else I get into this year.
- Signature Customized Full Set: Initial Investment starting at $325
- Re-Lash: Maintenance services starting at $120 (Volume Lashes only)
- Address: Remedy Beauty and Relaxation Lounge
232 N. Coast Highway 101
Encinitas, CA 92024
- Website: www.verleepearl.com
- Phone: 858-621-3323
- Email: email@example.com
Melissa McClure Photography, Justin Lee