Spotlight reporter Dani White investigates behind the scenes of 18-year-old lash business owner Lucy Harvey from Broxbourne to find out how she became a successful business owner.
OWNING a business is an achievement that doesn’t come easy. Hard work, dedication and time have to be thrown in to become a success. So, how difficult is it for a teen to open up their own business?
Towards the end of 2019, Lucy first opened up her business at the age of 17. With very little experience in the lash industry, Lucy’s initial inspiration came from her own mother who had been a beautician.
The idea for lashes came after Lucy realised there was a gap in the market within her local area and they were becoming much more popular on social media. Lucy mainly specialises in eyelash extensions, this is when a customer comes in and has eyelashes stuck on individually. However she also creates strip lashes which enable her customers to have eyelashes delivered to their doorstep ready for a night out.
As with starting any other business, Lucy had to come up with a name and logo. Only being 17 at the time, Lucy didn’t have much experience with editing or creating logos. However she had a variety of skills when it came to creating collages with apps on her iPhone. Therefore, using photos from her experiments, she managed to create her own personal logo without going through the trouble of having to pay a professional to do it. Keeping it simple and recognisable, Lucy came up with the name BeautyByLu for her business and this is what is presented on her social media pages.
Kick starting her career, fortunately Lucy had a spare room in her house which her mum used to previously carry out her beautician work. This has now been refreshed and refurbished and has become Lucy’s treatment room. Financially it’s much harder for a teen to start up a business, especially when going into the lash Industry. It requires a lot of equipment but luckily for Lucy her family were very supportive with helping cover costs.
Lucy said: “I really appreciate everything my family have done for me. I wouldn’t have been able to do it without them, although I wanted to make sure I played my part, so I put all my savings I earned from my part time job at Tesco’s towards for my equipment.”
One member of her family who supported Lucy more than anyone, was her sister Gemma Harvey, 21, who was the guinea pig in the whole process. Lucy used to practise her lashes on her sister, before she attended a college course.
Gemma said “I was happy to let Lucy practise on me, we always help each other out and I know how passionate she was about starting her own business.” Lucy has now gone on to receiving a diploma in eyelash extensions and has also received a level 2 and 3 beauty therapy diploma at Hertford Regional College.
Starting off with no customers, Lucy has managed to build up her client base to around 50 consistent customers and gets extra orders every day. Since creating her social media page Lucy has managed to gain 211 followers on Instagram.
Lucy explained “My business wouldn’t be this successful if it wasn’t for uploading to Instagram every day.” This is where Lucy promotes the majority of her work and she even uses this platform to take her bookings and lash orders.
Although this sounds like an easy journey, Lucy faced doubts and issues. When she first started, she never thought it would become as successful as it is today.
She explained “I didn’t know what I was getting into, and I didn’t know whether it would be a waste of time.”
However she now admits it has been the best thing she has ever done. When first stepping into the lash life, she found it difficult trying to match exactly what the client wanted as her job is very precise. Disappointment would hit when a set of lashes wouldn’t turn out the way she wanted and this would knock back her confidence. After facing a few months of going through emotional setbacks, she is now much more familiar with the job itself and understands more.
Customers are usually shocked at how young Lucy was when she began training to do lashes, followed by opening up her own business. Rather than seeing this as negative, Lucy takes it as a compliment; they pick up on her level of professionalism and overall are really pleased with the outcome.
Evie Gostling , 19, has been a customer for the past three months. She first came to Lucy after seeing one of her Instagram posts. Evie said “I’ve been to a few lash technicians, but Lucy is by far the best.”
The reason she keeps coming back is not only because the lashes stay on for a long time but because of how bubbly and friendly Lucy is as a person. Evie recommends anyone who is interested in lashes to visit Lucy’s beauty room.
The future is looking more exciting for clients of Lucy as she hopes to expand the business by attending new courses that will enable her to offer new treatments.
Main Photo: Lucy Harvey putting eyelash extensions on customer Evie Gostling