Published by The Pacific Business Hub | By Fatima Lui - Saturday Fly
The idea of beauty looks different for everyone, but for Tongan business owner Veronica Pahulu, beauty looks like women empowerment and self confidence.
Veronica Pahulu began her career in the beauty industry from the comfort of her own home.
“My daughter Lavika's birth 4 years ago marked a change in my life and I didn’t need to 'settle' for the stable 9-5 life as an office manager. I needed something more, I needed to leave something behind for my children, something that they could be proud of. A legacy for my daughter & her brothers” says Veronica. Setting up the spare bedroom in her house and transforming her garage into a beauty studio, Veronica grew her clientele from very few to very many. So much so, that she took up the opportunity to set up shop inside the Mangere Town Centre, where her business name is proudly displayed for everyone to see: LAVIKA’S LASH HOUSE. “Lavika is my daughter's name. Lavika represents a woman who doesn't settle with what is given to her. A self-empowered woman who uses her life lessons to empower other women. Lavika is a woman who understands that true empowerment starts with financial independence and is something I try hard through my business to advocate to other women. That they have the power to go out & get the life that they truly deserve” Veronica says proudly.
Veronica leads her business with purpose and has done well, however despite the many successes and growing clientele, Veronica is not new to challenges and trials in her business. She says “There's always challenges along the way with business. When something is sorted, another challenge pops up, new levels - new devils, I say! But it's your ability to recognise the problem & act quickly to solve them. Speed is key, especially in this day and age, you need to be able to move swiftly and be adaptable to change or you will be left behind. You also have to be coachable, always open to learn and accept new ideas - whether they are useful or not but always remain open. Always know that with your business the problem starts with you, and the solution is you”.
The passion that Veronica has for her business and for the clients she serves is evident in her energy and the opportunities she creates for other women like her. When women approach Lavika’s lash house, it’s not solely about lashes. It’s about rest and restoration. They’re given a comfortable recliner to rest in, a safe space to share everything on their mind and they walk out looking beautiful - or as young people would say it “with their lashes on fleek”. Veronica has also introduced a business model that enables other eyelash technicians to work inside her salon. She says “Our working model is truly FREE YOUR LIFE. You set your pay targets, pick your hours you work. And basically come do your thing, and go home to live your life. You are truly the boss of YOU. A happy happy workforce, is a productive one. Now we have opened up our education part of our business, and are training up a new wave of women who not only want to learn the art of lashing, but we give them the confidence and tools to start their own lash business. In the process empowering them towards their own financial independence. The best part of Lavikas Lash House for me is that yes it's my business, but I don't ever feel like I'm really working because I get to have fun, do what I love, and empower others along the way.”
Veronica’s Tongan culture plays an important role in her business and there is four golden pillars in Tongan society that shapes her core values in business. “We have four Kaveikoula or 'four golden pillars' in Tongan society. Without being Tongan & holding these core values in how I work, I don't think Lavikas Lash House would be as successful as it is" Veronica says.
The work ethic and drive that Veronica possesses is the epitome of women empowerment. Using a business model that communicates her values and enables other women to create their own work-life balance has served her well in business. She adapts to changes in business and offers wisdom to other business owners. She says “A dream without action is just a dream. Learn your craft & master it. Why settle for mediocrity? When you can be the best! Learn your craft & practise until you are a master. When my "perfect family" had the rug pulled out from under us 15 months ago, I suddenly found myself a single mum of 6 beautiful children. I thank God everyday that he planted the seed of Lavikas Lash House in me a few years prior. It was all I had to fall back on and it's carried myself & my family through the hardest times. That is why I am so invested in my business, I would not have had the strength without it. Which is why I advocate to other women, MAINTAIN your financial independence because you deserve it”.