Published by The Pacific Business Hub | By Cecilia Sagote of Seki Media
Owning a steady business is one thing. But to maintain a business and to constantly be innovative is another.
That’s what Melbourne-based Pasifika business LASHFIX have been working on in the last year as they closed up their brick and mortar salon in the trendy suburb of Port Melbourne to focus on a ‘giving back’ method to build their brand.
And it’s a move that is working for them.
For six years, sisters Venna, 33 and Ama, 26 operated their popular beauty business which saw a stream of diverse clients coming in and out, from social media influencers to international female sports stars.
The trials and errors they experienced in running their shop have been valuable for the duo’s business growth.
“Running our beauty salon definitely took up a lot of time and energy,” says Venna.
“It wasn’t easy but we learnt so much. Like what it means to have a budget and work within it. It’s crazy thinking back to how we were able to pay wages every week, pay $7000 a month to rent and keep the lights on plus tax. We learnt so much about ourselves but it wasn’t always rainbows and fairies. We were stretched so thin.”
They remind other entrepreneurs that doing what you love doesn’t mean it should drain you to the point that you are compromising other important areas.
“It is crucial you are looking after your mental and physical health. If you are constantly running on passion alone and not nurturing the other parts of your body and your life, you will feel drained. This is something we learnt the hard way.”
Now with Covid-19 taking over Melbourne and putting enormous dents in small businesses everywhere, the girls say that the pandemic has instead given them time to reflect on their business goals.
“To be honest, Covid came at the perfect time for us. We were just about to renew our lease but because we were forced to close down in March, we had time to be with our family and just enjoy being in their presence. It gave us the time we needed to re-centre, refocus and shift our perspective on what we value.”
And part of that re-focus is working on a new dimension of their LASHFIX brand: Teaching.
Last year Lashfix had orchestrated training workshops in Auckland and Melbourne leading up to the closure of their salon. The girls are grateful that they have managed to run a few training workshops in Melbourne as their sole focus for business just before Covid hit.
“We have always wanted to offer lash training. A lot of the high school clients here in Melbourne are NZ citizens which meant that they’re not eligible for student loans or government assistance.”
“I remembered them saying things like, ‘I wish I was able to do this or that.’ They felt like their only option was factory work which isn't a bad thing. Our parents worked in factories so we are not bagging factory work. We just want to create a different pathway for young Pasifika women.”
And with valuable lash experience under their belts, they are able to command $2000 - $5000 per person for their courses. Lashfix also offer the Afterpay option so that students can pay in instalments and alleviate any debt.
“The most common feedback we get from our training courses, is that we are warm and inviting. The space we have created is open, safe and comfortable.
“A lot of the time, our students are surprised at how much there is to learn about lashes and the business side. We've even had girls come to us after training elsewhere looking for more intense training.”
Book your lashfix course and start your career in beauty! www.lashfix.com.au