13 years in the beauty industry; 11 years of lashing, 8 years of motherhood; almost 5 years a business owner; and forever a girl on the move.
As a child, ironically, I was tom-boy who loved climbing trees, racing the fastest boys in the neighborhood (and winning), but also a girly girl who became fascinated with the idea of playing with Barbie Dolls, where I could be the director of their fashionista little lives, make them do crazy things, and then decide how it would ultimately play out. So fun! But, who knew that one day my brand name would be Doll, and that I would redefine the word itself. The traditional definition mentions a small model of a human figure, used as a child's toy. And oftentimes, the child would want to play with their favorite doll and aspire to be just like it; because of the doll's hair, the clothes, the car, the confidence she had, and the life she lived. But my new definition would inspire women to aspire to be just like themselves, just the best version; to be their own goals and realizing that they can be the director of their fashionista little lives too; live the life they want to live, and be their own 'favorite doll' but way more fierce + beautiful than any plastic doll on a shelf. As a teenager, I had a thing for hair and makeup. I loved the artistic expression it allowed me to exhibit. It was something about the idea of limitless possibilities that I just loved and rocked with. Looking back now, I believe what I was in love with was being creative and being able to make magic with my hands. After high school, I was awarded a full academic scholarship to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, in which I gladly accepted and pursued Pre-Med, the intelligent side of brain. By Sophomore year, I was bored with the sciences and ready to let it all go to pursue a career in the beauty industry- which would nurture my creative side. Against everyone else's want for my life and opinions that led them to believe that I was making a huge mistake I would later regret, I followed my heart and left college anyway.
After acing all my finals as a first-semester Sophomore, I came home and immediately enrolled in beauty school and that's when the real 'me journey' began. 2005, I graduated with almost perfect attendance. I had loved cosmetology school. Every day of it. So much so, I immediately started to fall in love with the idea of teaching, inspiring and motivating others, who shared the same passion as me. After completing the cosmetology program and earning my cosmetology license, I enrolled into the cosmetology educators program, and then earned my cosmetology teachers' license. Armed with 2 beauty licenses, I really didn't know where the industry would take me but I was ready, and took off!
First stop- hair salons, where I thrived off of building strong relationships, and enriching the lives' of men and women who needed that extra boost of confidence. Being able to help people change the lens in which they saw themselves through was my new addiction, no rehab. And through that, my decision to leave my full scholarship for my calling in beauty industry was confirmed.
Next stop- lashing! I just remember stumbling across the topic in a beauty magazine and being confused as to what lash extensions were, how they were applied, where do you go for training, how much was training, and wait, women specialized in this service? My manic research led me answers that made me feel all kinds of 'I gotta do this' vibes. I worked like crazy to save money quick and in 2007, I signed up for my first lash training with Xtreme Lashes, and walked away with a certification that would change my life in ways I could never imagine.
I literally became obsessed with my new skill set. My OCD nature took over and I fell in love with mastering this very challenging, meticulous task. I was also intrigued with the science behind it + the creative side to it- both sides of me in one career...wow. Let's just say I was completely fulfilled. I reached a happy place in my career that I didn't know could exist. Shortly after that, I decided I wanted to do this everyday and pursued it full time. I utilized my teachers license and taught at a few beauty schools, while I grew my client base for lashes. Thousands of lash applications later, Doll The Lash Bar was born, December 2013. My passion then led to me become a trainer for Xtreme Lashes, the company who helped me to launch my lash career about 9 years prior. Out of the thousands interested, I was one of the twenty-four who were hand-picked to travel nationwide, to educate and inspire health/beauty professionals on the highly sought after lash training program. Talk about role reversal...now I was the trainer, who got to help launch the careers of other passionate lash stylists. The experience- So life-changing. So fun. So challenging. So cool that my little family was able travel with me to most of my trainings. Ultimately, so fulfilling.
And then boom, I hit another cross-road. As my daughter was quickly approaching Kindergarten, my son pre-K, Doll in it's infancy stages, and traveling often, something had to change. Nurturing my new baby, Doll, and being home for my little ones was where I decided to refocus my energy. The decision was tough, but what was coming next with my babies and my brand, I needed to be home.
Now that I was no longer traveling, the extra time on my hands allowed me to nurture DTLB, and launch two new projects. One being....Tah-dahhhhh! Doll The Collection, a fun lifestyle apparel line who's mission statement is: You vs You. We've also redefined the word 'doll', and celebrate self-authenticity. Since it's launch December 2017, the brand has evolved and demand had risen. I realized an online store was necessary to be able to reach and inspire a larger audience. And here it is! You can learn more about the DTC deets in the next blog post! And for second new project, stay tuned for my 3rd blog post to learn about the next addition to the Doll Brand!
What I love most about the path I've chosen is that I get the opportunity to do what I love: 1. lashing, which allows me to be creative artistically and vibe with women through excellent service and deep conversation. We we get to relax, laugh, share, motivate, inspire, cry, and connect with one another; just like family. 2. Designing apparel, which not only allows me to be creative, but now I get to be a part of that crucial point of a woman's day- her morning- her choosing what to wear before she goes out to face the day! 3. Read my next blog post to learn about my other passion I've been super busy pursuing...
Ultimately, I am super proud of the Doll Brand; from where it all started (in my living room over a decade ago) to where it is today, and so excited about where it's going! I just want to connect with women through beauty and apparel, empower others to be authentically themselves, follow their dreams, and leave a legacy my babies can learn from, be proud of, and emulate one day, but in their own little way.