Lash Artist of the Month: Alanna Griffin
MEET ALANNA GRIFFIN
"My mission in this industry is to abolish mean girls (with kindness!) and help others manifest their goals as I feel I’ve been able to for myself!"
1. WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
I dropped out of high school at 16 and started working full time. I got my GED and was trained on the job as a dental assistant, as well as started working towards my Associate’s degree through Chandler Gilbert Community College. I wanted to be a dentist, but after about six months I realized, though I loved assisting, I could never handle the responsibility or liability of being a dentist.
In 2013, the wonderful doctors I worked for took their entire staff on a trip to Hawaii as a thank you. My mom, who had been wearing lash extensions for several years, convinced me to go see her gal Kendra (Owner of Wildflower Beauty Bar) for before the Hawaii trip. I took the plunge and was immediately OBSESSED! Over the next year, I pestered Kendra with questions about everything esthetics-related and she really planted the seed that I should look into becoming an esthetician and learning how to do lashes myself.
At this point, I was 19, a little more than halfway to earning my Associate’s degree, and had no idea where to go from there. I loved being a dental assistant, but I knew that would be as far as I would go in that industry. I started school for esthetics in September 2014. I worked full time during the day and went to school at night Monday-Friday. Seven long months later, I graduated! I opened a little esthetics studio in one of the bedrooms in my Gilbert home, continued working as a dental assistant during the day while lashing on evenings and weekends. I called myself Ethereal Esthetics and was stoked at the idea of becoming my own boss.
Within a few months of graduating, the company through which I received my lash certification offered me a job as a full-time lash artist. It was such a great offer I decided to put my business on hold though I was terrified to make the jump from the stable assisting job I’d been at for five years into the “unsteady” commission industry.
I spent 12 months lashing full time, building a clientele, and hustling 5-6 days a week for 10 hours a day. After a year, the owner offered me a promotion to teach the monthly lash classes and eventually become her regional manager as well as the director of education. I excitedly accepted her offer and slowly began transferring all my beloved clients to the other girls working in the salon. I was so sad to leave my clients but thrilled for an opportunity to grow with the business.
I was teaching lash classes, interviewing, hiring, training, checking in on the stores, managing the staff, and (in my free time, LOL) writing the company’s new education training manuals and website content. At this time, I was also recently separated from my husband and we were filing for a divorce while also selling our home in Gilbert. It was at this point my life came harshly into focus. I was working 60+ hour weeks (on salary) for a woman who was emotionally and mentally abusive, barely saw my family, and was so stressed out I became physically ill. The day I arrived late for my own birthday dinner, I knew I had to leave.
With no plan for a job, my roommate covering my rent for two months, and my mom buying groceries, (thanks mom!) I was feverishly applying for any customer service job I could find. I felt like I wasn’t a fit for the beauty industry with its mean girls and high stress.
Within a few weeks, however, the word was out to former clients that I had left the company. Suddenly Facebook and Instagram messages starting trickling in—“Hi, I heard you left! So, how can I book with you!?” I threw together an at home studio with just basics and started lashing from home again. One of my former coworkers offered me a job at her studio, and I decided to give lashing another go. And while working for her was wonderful, I started to see I needed to start my own business to make it in this industry.
Lotus Esthetics Inc. was incorporated September 2017, and Lotus Lash Lounge opened its doors in November of 2017 in Scottsdale, AZ. To say I feel blessed would be a vast understatement. Lotus has survived its first year paying a RIDICULOUS amount of rent in Scottsdale (I had to drive for Lyft to make it through last summer!) and has now found a comfy home in Chandler, AZ at Lalelei Lash and Beauty Bar. I am grateful every day to the women who have supported me since day one, the women I have met along my journey, and the WONDERFUL souls I get to hang out with at Lalelei. In the past year and a half, I have been blessed enough to lash full time, educate privately, manufacture a lash shampoo, and more.
This year, Lotus Esthetics Inc. is beginning a journey into new services, a rebrand, and more products—one this industry has NEVER seen before which I am SO excited to launch!
I currently live in Chandler, Arizona with the love of my life Brian and our 5-year old cat Mouse. We work a lot for now but have big plans for our future which involve growing hemp, raising chickens and eventually maybe a family. I’m thrilled to say I have never been happier.
2. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IS YOUR ROLE OR MISSION IN THIS INDUSTRY?
It’s all about the energy, baby! Some may call me “woo-woo”, but I feel my woo-woo is what keeps clients coming back. I work hard on myself both spiritually and emotionally, not only to block other people’s “stuff” from affecting me but also to hold space for those who really need someone to talk to. My mission in this industry is to abolish mean girls (with kindness!) and help others manifest their goals as I feel I’ve been able to for myself!
3. DO YOU HAVE A CERTAIN STYLE YOU PREFER?
I love a nice, clean shape and Russian volume! I work exclusively with .07 lashes in 6mm-12mm, though I use 11+ sparingly. I don’t have offer classic lash set at all but will occasionally throw some .12’s into a light volume full set. I love customizing my sets to the client’s eye shape and needs and tend to attract an older clientele (30-60 years old) which I love.
4. WHAT'S THE BEST WAY YOU'VE FOUND TO ATTAIN AND RETAIN YOUR CLIENTS?
They say your vibe attracts your tribe, and I’ve found that to be true. I have been so blessed to have a solid foundation of regular clients for 4+ years! I feel like The Beauty Biz BFF’s said it best—treat your regulars like gold. I strive to go above and beyond for the clients who are loyal to me. If you take care of your regulars, the referrals will never stop and your relationship with them will become so precious! Send them a Happy Birthday or Happy Mother’s Day text. Buy them flowers if they have an appointment with you on a special day. Write them love notes just because.
And if they move out of state, hit up a lash sister in that state to take great care of them and send them off with love. Also, don’t be afraid to fire clients who are toxic and drain the freaking life out of you. If you are finding yourself emotionally zapped after every interaction with a client, get rid of them! They are taking away your precious life force that your loyal clients need and deserve, girl! You reap what you sow, so if you’re pouring love into those that love you, you will never stop growing.
5. WHO INSPIRES YOU?
First off, Jenelle Paris is one of the dopest humans I have met in the industry. She has created such a cultured brand and is so real and down to earth even though she’s a fucking badass. Leata Fulilangi, the owner of Lalelei, has become a sister to me; I owe a lot of my success to her. Trina Dial LITERALLY changed my lashing life, from the way I make fans to my styling techniques. Tiana of The Lash Exchange fires me the frick UP! Kendra Harris of Wildflower Beauty Bar was my first inspiration in the industry and the reason I got into it. And my boyfriend Brian Roberts; he inspires and motivates me DAILY. He is the reason I haven’t quit and the sounding board for all my new ideas.
6. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LASH AFFAIR PRODUCT?
I love Lash Affair’s Clear Connection adhesive! It has a super quick dry time and I love the wide humidity range which is perfect for unpredictable Arizona weather. Clear Connection is also way less irritating without the carbon found in black adhesives.
Become our next Lash Artist of the Month! To enter, make sure to follow us on Instagram at @lashaffairbyjp. Look for the LAM photo and follow the instructions in the description. Good luck and happy lashing!