Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in beauty and cosmetics but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Samarah Ballard, Founder, and Owner of Bare Bone Beauty Bar, located in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

I am the owner and founder of Bare Bone Beauty Bar. We specialize in beauty services and are known for our award-winning eyelash extensions and tooth gems. We provide beauty services to everyone and have had the opportunity to work with celebrities. Not only are we innovating the lash industry by not charging upfront deposits to book an appointment, but we also do not charge late or cancellation fees and always provide a free lash bath with every service. We are one of the very few businesses in the beauty industry that put our clients first because we were once consumers that were frustrated by the other service providers who were “nickel-and-diming” us and charging us for things that I believe were completely out of greed. I wanted to be different from the industry standard and provide the service that I was searching for. Now we have gotten so big that we are also going to provide business plans and licensing in the state of Minnesota for eyelash extensions and to teach others how to become solo entrepreneurs in the beauty industry.

Tell us about yourself

My name is Samarah Ballard, and I started my first business at 21 years old. I graduated from an alternative high school in 2017 and had no intention of going to college. I went to beauty school and obtained my lash and nail tech license at 19 years old with the help of my Nana and Grandpa, who started a college savings fund for me when I was very young. I started as Mad Click Nails, an online press on nail store during the COVID-19 pandemic when the entire world was on lockdown. I opened my store and got my first order within minutes. I was so ecstatic, so I called to share the news with my Dad, and he was so happy to hear how excited I was and asked me what the person’s name was, and without me realizing it, my own Dad was my first customer. I took that momentum, and I saw an opportunity as nail salons were closed and people could not get their nail services done. I wanted to help and give people back a form of normalcy and a way to provide self-care during a very depressing time in our world’s history. I am motivated every day to help boost people’s self-esteem and mental health. It is very rewarding to hear from my clients how they landed a new job, had the confidence to ask for a promotion, and felt less nervous on a first date because of the powerful feeling they get after getting any of our services.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner is starting with no education, start-up money, or business loan during one of the worst pandemics our world has seen. Scaling my business from being in my tiny one-bedroom apartment to expanding to a second location in less than one year.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest thing for me as a business owner is maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I struggle with overworking myself to the point where I get burnt out. As a business owner, I am constantly thinking of ways to improve every aspect, and as a result, I feel like I am working all day, every single day. I forget at times that I am human and deserve the same self-care services and happiness that I provide to others.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Educate yourself on everything in your industry. Entrepreneurs are supposed to be generalists, not specialists.
  2. Imperfect action is better than no action.
  3. Create ways to market your business or product for free.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

Although I have no formal education, as a society, we do not value self-education. I do believe the reason why my business grew exponentially in such a short amount of time is that I read every single day. I read a minimum of only 20 pages in the morning a day. Knowledge and action are the two things that will transform you and your business.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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