What inspired you to become an educator?
It was 2017 and I started doing research on the amount of money to be made doing lash extensions and mentioned to my husband that I thought it would be a good idea. He told me that if that's what I wanted to do, then do it. So I enrolled in esthetics school in May of 2018 (since that's one of our requirements in Colorado). At the time we had a 4 month old baby and everything was going amazing. My husband was my rock. He was never one to think the beauty industry was cool, but the fact that he told me that he thought I should do lash extensions, that was my queue and knew this was going to be my career forever. He was one that HUGELY believed that if you're going to do something, you do it good and you don't quit. In June of 2018, my whole world turned upside down. My husband passed away and I was lost. Completely lost. It was me and my 5 month old baby. Thankfully, we have the most supportive family you can get and we leaned on each other. The whole time I just kept thinking to myself how Cody (my husband) would be so disappointed in me if I just gave up. So, I turned my sad and lost feelings into fire. I told myself I was getting through school, getting lash extension certified, and going to be the best lash artist I could possibly be. I wanted to raise my son to never quit. After I graduated, I opened a small shop and started providing lash extension services and skin care. About a year later I moved back to my hometown and opened a small lash business and I thrived! That was when I decided I wanted to teach other estheticians and cosmetologists how to do lash extensions. Instead of competing with them, I wanted to work with them and support them. So, I googled how to do that, and I found NALA! I signed up and it took me 3 years to complete my manual and become accredited... THREE YEARS! But I never gave up and being able to teach and certify people to do eyelash extensions is my favorite thing ever! I am so thankful I never gave up! I now have a lash training facility on main street where I train, provide lash extension services, skincare, and have lash artists working for me! I currently am remarried to an amazing man who supports me through thick and thin! I couldn't be more thankful for NALA and everything I've learned on this journey!
Tell us about your academy.
I am located in a little town in Western Colorado called Delta. I've been teaching for about 2 1/2 years. I specialize in classic & volume lash extensions, microblading, and chemical peels. This year I am entering an online lash competition where I plan to enter the classic and volume categories as well as the most creative category.
What do you find most rewarding about being an educator?
The thing I love most about it is the excitement I see after someone receives their certification. Lash extensions are very tedious and in a a way, hard, and it's very easy to get fed up with them and just give up. It's really fun to see the girls who say "I can't do this, no way" end up being the ones who love it. A student recently told me, "Lash extensions have changed my life, I absolutely love doing them!" Hearing all the plans and goals my students have are all fun to hear as well.
What obstacles did you have to overcome on your journey to become an educator?
My biggest obstacles are my children. I have 2 sweet little boys who take up about 95% of my time. The other 5% I'm working so I really had to manage my time well when writing my manual. Another obstacle was to open up the time to teach lash courses. I've had to refer a certain amount of clients to other lash artists in town to free up enough time in my schedule.
Why did you enroll in NALA School for Lash Trainers?
I wanted to become a lash educator and wanted to do it the right way. I know some people who just say they are "lash trainers" and have no education to back it up. They don't have adequate insurance, a professional facility or really even the knowledge or organization it takes to be an educator. I did tons of research before enrolling. I wanted to make sure it was the real deal, and I couldn't be more pleased with it.
As a NALA School for Lash Trainers alumni, would you say that investing in a program like this is worth it?
I would absolutely say it's worth it. I would also say that it takes A LOT of work and time! Which to me is what sets it apart from other trainings that aren't as strict. It's such a great feeling of accomplishment when you receive your accreditation because you know that you are in fact one of the best in the WORLD and have all the knowledge it takes to train and educate aspiring lash artists.
Tell us about your upcoming plans.
My plans this year are to enter a lash competition and launch a classic & volume lash extension online course. This year I don't need to update my manual as there aren't currently any changes in the lash industry, so that will stay the same. I also want to attend and/or sponsor a Lash Bash somewhere within the US but I'm not sure if that will happen this year or next.
Would you like to add anything to this article?
All I can say is: Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right and forget about the ones who don't. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get the chance- take it. and if it changes your life- let it. No one said it was going to be easy. They just promised it would be worth it. - Dr. Seuss
To learn more about Kelsey and Simply Stunning Lash Co. visit her website and follow her on social media.
Disclaimer: This blog is intended for informational purposes and is not intended to replace formal business advice, financial advice, government regulations, or any other form of legal advice.