Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in personal care but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Linda Conde, founder of Beauty Code, located in Chicago, IL, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Beauty Code is my artistic expression of natural beauty. It's a judgment-free zone for anyone that needs to refresh their confidence. My clients come to enhance their natural features through Facials, Lash Extensions, Brow Laminations, Lash Lifts, Brow Waxing with customized mapping, and coming soon with Microblading.
Tell us about yourself
Hearing my clients ask about the same services I dreamed of offering encouraged me to branch out on my own in 2019 with eight years of experience. Starting my business was the only way I was going to get the freedom I wanted as an Esthetician. Everywhere I worked limited my capacity to thrive as an artist in the beauty industry. I couldn't push boundaries with new services I wanted to learn, like brow laminations and microblading. Now, my clients motivate me every day to show up and give them the best personal service I can provide. Whether it's a facial, lash extensions, or simple brow wax, we both look forward to seeing each other. My job is like playing dress-up every day. I need to show up for that.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
This may sound cheesy, but finding confidence within myself. From the start, I was terrified to be on my own. Then, the pandemic forced me to start over a second time. As I reflect on my glow-up as a professional, I can't help but be in awe of myself. I feel empowered to educate my clients with whatever I want. My concern for their concerns is how I've become successful in my business. Having the pleasure to personally message them after a visit and no longer doubting my expertise is impressive because I've always been the quiet one. With the beautiful people I continuously meet in my business, it's remarkable I attracted them on my own.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
My hardest struggle as a business owner is staying organized. I have to be disciplined in ordering inventory, sending emails, posting things on social media, etc. Things I don't want to do other than esthetic services. I was never a list person, and now I have multiple lists. It's hard to find time for all that administrative stuff, but that's part of the job.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Do your research. When you start a business, you want to know the demographic you're catering to. Who are the people that will walk past your studio? How much is your competition charging? How much do you need to charge to profit at the hourly rate you want to earn? If there are better rent options for you in that area, will it give you enough visibility for your business? Don't sign any lease until you comb through every word of that contract to make sure it's affordable for you. There are horror stories of naive estheticians trusting the wrong people. Their business fails before it ever gets a chance.
- Do not be afraid to ask for help. There are plenty of social media groups with other professionals giving advice to those who look for it. If you need business advice, look for a chamber of commerce that can guide you in the right direction. Finding a mentor can also be helpful for your success. When you are growing your business on your own and feel stuck, there are resources you can utilize to become successful. If you don't ask for help, your livelihood and dreams will fail.
- Keep a personal portfolio of EVERYTHING you do. I wish I had taken more pictures and videos earlier in my career. After ten years in the beauty industry, I'm now working on building that habit. The more pictures you have of your work, the more you have to compare your progress. Not only that, but the best way to grow a beauty business is word of mouth. If you don't have a portfolio to show, there's nothing to prove your quality work. Your portfolio will follow you anywhere you go, and that's the best way to show off your talents.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
Follow your gut. Our gut knows us better than we know ourselves. It knows what will bring you happiness. The regret of not acting on your gut instinct will be much more disappointing than playing it safe.
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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