Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in beauty services but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Lily Ngo, Founder and Owner of First Lash, located in Lexington, MA, USA.

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

Our salon is a beauty salon. We specialize in semi-permanent makeup and semi-permanent lash extension. My clients are women and men with specific wants and needs to enhance their beauty through brows and lashes and the newest service for skin as well.

Tell us about yourself

I studied medical esthetician as a beauty background. I used to work part-time as an esthetician at my family beauty shop until they sold it later on when I had my firstborn. I started doing lashes in my second and last year of college. I traveled all over the world on further training with lashes. I now hold over ten lash certificates and am one of the first Lash trainers and educators in the United States For London Lash Pro based in London.

When I had my first child in 2017, with a limited schedule, I resigned from my full-time job with lashing and became a stay-at-home mom. However, after two months as a stay-at-home mom, I struggled with finance, so I started to do lashes part-time on the back porch of my little apartment on the second floor. I worked three days a week for four months. Then things became very inconvenient for my family and my clients. I had no choice but to stop taking clients at home.

With a dream of better life and future for myself and my family, I decided to open my own business. It all started with a simple dream. I once dreamed of having a small studio, working by myself, and still having time to spend with my son. To a high-end luxury beauty shop that has more than eight people working by my side that I have today. I remembered that because of the small clientele at the time, I had to find another service that I could provide to cover my rent, and that's when my life changed forever.

I took a microblade class for three days of training, and I knew I had to get good at the time. With a lot more responsibility as a business owner, I advanced myself in semi-permanent makeup training and now have become one of the 3 Permanent makeup trainers certified through the American Associate Of Micropigmentation (AAM) in Massachusetts. Personally, with constant changes in the beauty industry, I can never stop growing mentally and physically.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I have accomplished many things through my journey, but my biggest accomplishment as a business owner would be being recognized as a Certified American Associates of Pigmentation Trainer. A certification showed that I could train and mentor new permanent makeup artists.

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

Of course, there are many difficult things in running a business, especially when you are also a full-time mom. But I think the biggest hardship I find that will never get easier is finding people working with you who understand and respect your business model.

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

  1. Understand what kind of business model you are trying to start. (a long-term or short-term relationship with client/customers)
  2. Critic on your work ethic.
  3. Respect and don't be afraid to ask for help.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I'm so thankful for this opportunity to share a part of me. I hope someone out there like my young self from 8 years ago would find this as an inspiration or even a push to bring them closer to a better future.

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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