Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in beauty and cosmetics but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Imani Ryan, CEO, and Owner of Diva de Luxe Salon Suites and Training Center, located in Milwaukee, WI, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Diva de Luxe Salon Suites and Training center is a hub for all beauty needs. I am in licensed aesthetician in the state of Wisconsin and do offer an array of services, mainly eyelash extensions (classic, hybrid, Russian volume, mega volume), waxing, facials, Microblading, and other brow services. I am also an Eyelash Extension Trainer/Educator; I have been doing this for nearly four years. I have trained over 300 individuals nationwide. My business serves the community; it is for individuals from all walks of life, although my target market is Minority women. I also offer private suite rentals for independent contractors that offer different beauty services like aesthetics, wig making, makeup, nail services, etc. I have two locations; one is currently being renovated, but when they are all finished, do you deluxe will be home to 16 fantastic businesses. The second location Will also be an aesthetics specialty school to train other individuals to become aestheticians.
Tell us about yourself
I first started my business out of my home in 2015; I had recently moved back to Milwaukee from Phoenix, AZ. I found myself pregnant and alone; soon after moving back to Milwaukee, WI, my boyfriend was incarcerated for a period of two years. I had no clue how it was going to support myself; I have always worked in healthcare or customer service jobs. Eyelash extensions were just becoming popular around that time, and I saw the need for an improvement in the Standard of health and safety for eyelash application in Milwaukee. I was working as a behavior therapist when I had to make the hard decision two take my eyelash business full-time. I did that with no hesitation, and I have never looked back. I went from working in my living room to having to brick and mortar businesses that total over 5000 ft.². Although my business started out as a "Basic hustle," it has turned into my career. Empowering and instilling confidence in women daily is the greatest benefit.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
It's hard for me to decide which is my greatest accomplishment as a business owner. It might be the fact that I Pushed on through one of the hardest times in my life and started this business; I was six months pregnant, my spouse, my only support system was suddenly taken away, and I was a full-time student. I finished that semester with a 4.0 and a new LLC and never looked back.
In 2018, I actually traveled alone to London, England, and trained with Francine Widdows of Eyelash Excellence. She is my lash idol. There I studied the "Advanced Russian Volume" eyelash extension application. That experience changed my life and the way I ran my lash training after that.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
I think one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner is keeping consistent motivation. Life always throws us obstacles. I'm the type of person that likes to find ways to overcome these obstacles immediately, but sometimes it comes at a cost. Finding the correct balance for yourself is imperative. Self-care, family time, and mental and emotional support- cannot be neglected. You have to be a healthy individual inside and out to succeed.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
My first tip for anyone that's looking to become an entrepreneur is to make sure that you are doing something that you are passionate about. At the end of the day, if you actually like what you're doing, it won't be a chore. My second piece of advice would be to have a mentor. Find someone in the community that you look up to and pick their brain. People love talking about themselves!! Find out what works for them and what doesn't! Lastly, I would urge everyone to create a business entity and incorporate their business right away. Get things right on paper first!. File the necessary documents with your state and city, obtain all permits and licenses that are required, etc.
Is there anything else you'd like to share?
My business name used to be I M beauty LLC. If you see anything out there about Imani Marie beauty or I M beauty LLC, that is still me :)
My business address is 5404 N. Lovers Lane Rd. Milwaukee Wisconsin 53225. The second location is at 5416 N. Lovers Lane Rd. Milwaukee, WI 53225. I also travel nationwide, mainly to Phoenix, for eyelash training. My website is www.divasdeluxe.com.
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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