MEET DORIANA RAMA
Owner of Stoli Lash Avenue
Congratulations to our July Lash Artist of the Month, Doriana! Doriana has worked hard to make a name for herself in the Lash Industry, and she is definitely killing it out there.
WHERE DO YOU WORK?
I am the solo artist and owner of Stoli Lash Avenue, which opened in 2015. My son is almost 7 and once I had him it was not easy to leave him and go back to work. I wanted to find a job that allowed me to be close to him, but also make money and contribute to my household.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A LASH ARTIST?
It was a combination of everything. Not only being able to be near my son, but I’ve also always enjoyed makeup, the artistry behind it, and the glam era of fake lashes in Hollywood. It’s always intrigued me how lashes can change your look so dramatically; although, it’s such a small thing to make such a large difference. I’ve always been passionate about anything artistic and intricate.
When you get good enough you create something you are able to customize to each client, which keeps you passionate and want to learn more. Now it’s more than that, now it’s everything. It’s my purpose.
I moved to Calgary when I was 17 from Albania, so I have always been independent. After I had my son I was scrolling through Instagram and saw videos of microblading. I looked for courses that involved this and found a course that also taught lashes as well.
Because the training was only one day I didn’t feel as comfortable jumping right into microblading, but I knew I could practice lashing. Lashes gave me room for growth.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN LASHING AND WHAT CERTIFICATIONS DO YOU HAVE?
I’ve been lashing for 5 years. I’m a 5x certified Lash Artist and a certified Lash Educator with NALA.
When I first started I was doing classic and everyone wanted volume, so two months later I began looking for information online regarding how to do volume lashes. I reached out to a lash artist near me and asked for her help. She informed me that she couldn’t provide me with a certificate, but that I could shadow her and learn that way. After learning from her I took a volume course to have legitimate paperwork to back my skills. One year after becoming a lash artist I became a certified Lash Educator with NALA.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST FEAR GOING INTO THIS INDUSTRY?
Unhappy clients - someone looking at themselves after their appointment and telling me this isn’t what they wanted. Of course, it happened in the beginning because I was learning and it’s hard to nail everyone’s vision in the beginning. I kept telling myself that I was learning and not to give up.
I knew that it was my responsibility to set high standards and expectations with my clients. I was excited for new clients to come to me and be recurring clients because they had the lash standards they should have had all along.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE ASPECT OF BEING A LASH ARTIST?
I truly enjoy the process of lashing, the artistry of the photography, and using social media to showcase my work. The most rewarding part of being a lash artist is giving clients confidence. How can you compare that to anything else? It’s the best feeling to know I am giving women confidence and the ability to kill it.
OTHER THAN LASHING, WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE HOBBY?
Anything active outdoors. I love running and biking. I also really enjoy salsa dancing. Of course, spending time with my son is my highest priority!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A NEW LASH ARTIST?
Don’t give up, always practice. You have to put in the time to become the best. Becoming a Lash Artist takes time and if you’re not feeling it, then it’s not for you. Lashing isn’t something you can do part-time. You only master the artistry of lashing if you do it full time. You need to dedicate your research, time, and life to the industry - have a passion for it.
WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR INSPIRATIONS?
It was hard for me to find role models in my young life. I moved to Canada at a very young age and I had to be my own role model in different ways. If I was feeling down I would look at past times I felt the same way and see how I handled those situations and moved forward. I look for advice from podcasts and audiobooks.
One of my main inspirations if my boyfriend. It sounds cliche, but he is always calm, collected, balanced, and makes the best decisions. He doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the talk.
WHAT IS THE BEST WAY YOU’VE FOUND TO GAIN AND RETAIN YOUR CLIENTS?
The best way to gain new clients is to find the platform that works best for you. For me, it’s Instagram and Facebook. That’s where I found my first clients, and from there it became word of mouth. Whatever your platform is, be on it 24/7. Get back to people who message you right away - you likely aren’t the only artist they reached out to.
The best way to retain clients is through your customer service and quality work. You have to be consistent and professional with everything you do. You cannot cut corners in the lash industry. Since we live in a world of instant gratification you have to be on it, especially when building your clientele. You need to have your goals in mind and know what you need to do to achieve those goals.
I provided the best service and quality of work to my clients and now I am booked months in advance, my clients are happy, and they don’t leave me. Although this took time and nearly took over my life now I am able to go away for a month or so and I don’t have to worry about my clients.
WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER LASH ARTISTS? WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU?
I think what sets me apart from other lash artists is my capability to customer lash sets to every single person, not just their face and eye shape, but to their lifestyle and their identity. My consultations are very thorough. I don’t just ask about the makeup they wear, if they have glasses, how often they work out, etc. I get to know them. I see what my client is like as a person and then I customize my work depending on that.
We don’t all walk around with the same haircut, so why would we walk around with the same lashes? Although lashes may not be as visible, when they are done right they make a huge difference.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LASH AFFAIR PRODUCT?
Hands down, The tweezers! I purchased a few at the International Beauty Show a few years ago and they are my favorite. I have full trust in the tweezers - they aren’t going anywhere.
Want to see more of Doriana? Follow her on Instagram @stoli.lashavenue.
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!