HC: Hi Natalie, what drove you to create your business?
N: LashDollzUK was established in 2012 and I was driven by a couple of factors. It was always a long term plan to invest in myself and devote my time to something that meant I could be financially free. I'm very hard on myself and have always pushed myself to the limit by setting high goals. My passion, skills and talent have always been my competition.
I had my last child and was a homemaker studying humanities and social sciences. At this stage I was a heavy consumer of beauty services and I was also attending acting auditions and networking within this field, so my nails, hair & lashes always had to be on point. A friend and I were having our lashes done religiously (like we were addicted to this regime and would fall apart if a gap occurred or had our lashes hanging off or in need of infills!!) we had an amazing Lash Esthetican named Jackie who also managed spas up and down the UK, she was a major key player in the Lash industry. As well as managing her own clinetelle, she was a part of the panel of the British Beauty Council. Understandably she was having to chop and change our apps last minute or was unavailable and around these times Lash Estheticians were scarce and not that good!
So one evening we met up at our usual mid week meet up and she had cancelled on us that evening so my friend then suggested that I go get qualified as soon as so I could. In 2011 I qualified and my lashes were coming up like how the Russian volume looks now - all attached (which is where I believe the technique derived from as it is a Lash Estheticians' main mistake during her first few months to a year).
I had a lot of support from family and friends who I had practiced on. I literally had thrown myself into the lions den by starting off in the local Fitness First Gym. All the magic and growth of LashDollzUK is history from there. I had always managed LashDollzUk part time due to other commitments and other long term goals, I have failed many times, nearly giving up on many occasions due to pressures both generally and personally, but I have always known that this overall brand and concept could work and has been an investment I will never regret.
HC: What does Lash Dollz UK means for you?
N: LashDollzUK means quite a bit, both emotional and personal achievements that I have gained as an individual, female & mother. The trials and tribulations I have encountered whilst on this journey have been an amazing. Every time I have came across a hurdle, my brand was something that drove me to push forward even more, never give up and to keep heading towards the long term vision that I have for LDUK. I have proven to myself that I am capable of achieving anything that I can dream of. Of course, it has been a massive learning curve for me and the different positions and roles I have had to engage with whilst keeping my brand moving. LDUK is the foundation of something big that I am laying the foundations of every day.
HC: What made you choose Hunter Collective as a new base?
N: The reason I chose Hunter Collective has a back story as well. In 2017 I partnered with and started freelancing with Blow and they had a party at HC. I'd never heard of them when I saw the invite, so I goodled them. I was shocked that there was this amazing venue - one which I had never came across before - with this space and an amazing concept. I was at a point in my freelancing career that I wanted a base, somewhere more stable where I could focus, get more work like my admin and marketing done, coordinate projects and interact with other like-minded individuals in a completely unique environment. I have always worked alone and interacted only with clients and when working on admin etc I was at home which was too much of a distraction to grow my business.
HC gives me the opportunity to break LashDollz into a physical space, which I had always felt could benefit from my Eyelash services. It is in the perfect location, the vibe was awesome and it is a place where like minded individuals can come together and just be professional at what they do. No competition, just distribution of gifts and a place to fulfil my creativity as well as network. I just felt this overall concept was the right home for LDUK. Also coming back into the area where I grew up, where my first flat was, where I worked lived & played, so it was also a throwback personally.
HC: What do you love about freelancing?
N: What I love about freelancing is that it gives you the freedom to choose exactly how and when you work. It fosters self-confidence and offers me the flexibility to manage myself as a professional. It heightens my senses when exploring the different opportunities you can chase whilst on the go and networking. I am not tied to a specific routine or schedule and can adjust accordingly for clients or for myself. The freedom to go anywhere without any constraints means less stress and pressure as you are your own Bossette!
HC: What IS your advice for someone wanting to go freelance in the beauty business?
- Get organised, establish and identify your market and your target customers.
- Have all your marketing materials ready to spread the word of services you are going to provide at least a couple months prior before you start to operate.
- Organisation is one of the most important factors - making sure you are fully equipped with all the tools for the service you are going to provide. Make sure your diary does not overlap or clash.
- TFL or Car is another major factor. I tend to find TFL highly reliable and gets me to my locations more efficiently than a car, less traffic - jump on and off the transport and it gives me peace of mind as I don't have to worry about parking. My equipment is stored in a beauty mobile case so I don't have to carry it. If using a car ensure you leave in enough time included for delays. It's unprofessional to turn up late which is a no no.
- Network, network, network.