Thank you for taking your time to visit. I’m so excited to get started with blogging, a longtime dream of mine, and share this experience with you all. While some of you may know my story, I want to take a moment to highlight some points in my life that led me here.
Current moment: I am a 30 year old girl boss doing her thing in the beauty business, living the dream in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and traveling the world.
How did I get here?
My journey began as an actual journey that spanned thousands of miles when my parents, brother, extended family, and I immigrated to the United States from Baku, Azerbaijan in 1993. I did not fully understand the sacrifice my parents made for me that day, being only 5 years old, but I will forever be grateful to them.
[Baby Boss Lady]
Contrary to what you may think, I wasn’t exactly the popular kid in school. Kids were eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch and I was trying to blame the overwhelming odor of “galuptsi” or meat stuffed cabbage exploding out of my lunch box on the kid next to me. At the time we came to America, Azerbaijan was still part of the Soviet Union so I spoke mostly Russian. English came much easier to me than it did to my parents, but their determination and hard work taught me many valuable lessons throughout my childhood.
Then, like many graduates of high school, I stepped foot into college uncertain of what I wanted to do and who I wanted to be in life. Though I dreamed of being an artist as a child, the thought of telling that to my foreign parents sent me straight to business school. Coming from a family of entrepreneurs, it always fascinated me how they successfully ran their own businesses and I knew I wanted to be a part of that legacy someday. I studied Marketing and loved diving into the innovative aspects of the field, though Finance and Accounting were a different story, not my forte, to say the least. Looking back, I wish I had explored Graphic Design as a way to channel my creativity further.
Growing up, I was constantly doing someone’s hair and makeup for fun. It came so naturally to me, but I never thought I could pursue it as a career until one day I met a successful Milwaukee businesswoman with her own makeup boutique and something clicked. I remember thinking just how amazing it would be to do make up for a living. It sounded like a farfetched dream, but one I couldn’t ignore. Immediately I started researching my best plan of attack, which led me to The Institute of Beauty and Wellness in Downtown Milwaukee. I enrolled in their $3,500 2-week professional course. For a college student on a budget this seemed like an astronomical cost. Luckily, I was able to take a loan from my parents to cover the cost. Keep in mind this was before Instagram and YouTube bloggers were as common name as they are now. Taking this course was the best decision in my life. Just a few days into the program, I came alive. I felt like my second home. I was so comfortable and at ease, it felt right. Yet I still had my share of fears and doubts. Having not yet graduated from college, I wasn’t sure if I could fit it in with my already packed school schedule. At the end of one of the makeup classes, the photographer approached me with an opportunity to do makeup for a wedding. I was beyond flattered and knew I couldn’t pass that up. That was the first bride I did makeup for. Seeing her face light up on her special day and knowing that I had played a part of making her feel beautiful was euphoric. Was it really possible to get paid for something that made me so happy?
I finished business school, got a job in Corporate America and lo and behold, it wasn’t as glamorous as I had imagined. From the fluorescent lighting to small cubicles and boring meetings, it never felt like enough. I saw it as a growth opportunity and a chance to develop my business knowledge and not as my final destination. For the next 5 years, I worked at various jobs and kept makeup as my side hustle on the weekends.
I fell in love, I fell into marriage, I fell into a treacherous divorce. Through the excruciating heartbreak and terrifying realization of having to fully support myself, I learned more about myself during that time period than I ever have. I did not want it to define me nor did I want to keep wallowing in sadness, I knew I needed to focus my energy into something productive. I went back to school for esthetics and received my esthetician license. Another dream completed. I know now that my hunger to learn can get me through anything. For 7 months, I worked full time, went to school part time and worked weddings on weekends. It was a grueling yet worthwhile time in my life. Plus, I met some of the most amazing girl friends through this experience and really appreciated those who I could lean on.
It wasn’t long before I became obsessed with brows. The main reason I went back to school was to get licensed in waxing brows. Noticing how eyebrows dramatically changed a person’s face, I wanted to focus on learning everything I could about them. The first day of eyebrow shaping class, I felt like I could just take over and show them how it’s done. Every fiber of my being said, “I can do that!” Soon after, I was doing brow waxing for all my classmates, instructors, coworkers, etc. I am still lucky enough to have some of the same clients from my days in school.
[Graduation from Esthetics Program September 2015]
Post-graduation, I received several job opportunities and went with the best fit at the time. I listened to my gut and met so many awesome people. I was just starting to hear about Microblading. Intrigued, I researched it further and kept raving about it to my friends. As luck would have it, Honeycomb Salon opened its doors close to where I was working at the time and I had known several of the girls working there. I walked over one day to congratulate them and saw an empty room. Every bone in my body wanted to branch out and start my own business, but I was still scared. I had been in the industry for less than a year. With a pile of doubts and bills to pay, I took the risk. In July of 2016, I officially became an entrepreneur. By August, I had met with an attorney, graphic designer, accountant, banker, photographer, and countless others. I wasn’t just going to pursue it, I wanted to give it all I had.
Everything seemed amazing, business was booming, clients were happy, but I was getting very sick at work. What doctors thought to be bronchitis became a very clear allergy to lash adhesive. No big deal, it was only 80% OF MY REVENUE. I didn’t know what to do, so I just kept doing the same thing for a few more months trying everything from masks to air purifiers. Anxiety was starting to set in again. I knew something had to change, in came Microblading. In December of 2016, I signed up for training, took out another $3,500 loan from my parents and finished that training program mesmerized by the life changing effects of Microblading.
After removing lash services, I felt terrible for disappointing the clients who had become family to me, some of whom I would even see weekly. With 2 months of no lash clients, I had to find a way to stay afloat. That meant starting to take on Microblading clients. Tattooing someone’s face…there’s no room for error. Every little detail is calculated and every stroke is permanent. No pressure. With a little bit of social media help and my marketing background, I started advertising on Facebook. Since I had built such trust with my previous clients, many took a chance on me despite my lack of experience. I am beyond grateful to them for taking that leap of faith. Hearing that they only trust me to do their brows fills my heart with happiness.
This ride has had many bumps along the way, but each brought me closer to my destiny. Thankfully, business has taken off, I’ve paid back my parents and am confident in my future. This is just the beginning.
I hope this blog motivates all girl bosses out there. Follow your dreams. Work hard. Believe in yourself. Trust your gut. I look forward to sharing all my beauty tips and tricks, my favorite products and anything else worth mentioning.
Follow me on my journey as The Browpreneur!