03 September 2023
Name: Rita Jun
Business Name: Jun Studios Inc.
How many years have you been in the lash industry: 6+
UA lash product you can’t live without: My trusty micro grip down to fan tweezer
Guilty pleasure: Haagen Dazs vanilla ice cream bars
Here are the deep Qs 🤣
How did you get started in the lash industry? What drew you to becoming a lash artist?
I was 8 months pregnant with my first son when I took my first classics course. I’ve always loved working and I started thinking that I should do something on the side while on maternity leave. A friend of mine started teaching the classic course out of her home so I thought why not give it a try!
Can you share your journey as an entrepreneur in the lash industry? What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
In the beginning, it felt like a lonely journey, especially since I was lashing from home. I experienced extreme retention issues through all my first seasons.. First fall, first winter, first spring, first summer. It was a whole year of constantly making the tiniest tweaks to the way I lashed and every time I felt I got the hang of it, the change in temperature or humidity always threw me off again.
When my son got into his toddler stage, I felt it was too disruptive for client appointments. I continued to see friends who wouldn’t have a problem with noise. I went full time in my nursing job at this point. Fast forward about 4 years, I got pregnant with my second boy and realized full time nursing wouldn’t give me the flexibility I needed to juggle two kids. My older one would soon start kindergarten and I didn’t want to miss drop offs and pick ups. I had two sisters who were makeup artists for many years, and so that’s when I posed the idea of moving forward with opening up a beauty studio.
What sets your lash business apart from others in the industry? How do you differentiate yourself and attract clients?
Since it’s very common for lash artists to either be renting a bed at a salon, or be working from home, I had always experienced it as an in and out kind of thing and I wanted to make the whole process much more of an experience. Many other salons line up beds very closely one after the other and I knew I didn’t want that. I knew I wanted to create a BEAUTIFUL, calm, and relaxing studio where our clients would feel confident in the work we do.
In the beauty industry, results depend on so many details such as how solutions affect lashes on a chemical level and we’ve seen so many clients come to us after they had undesirable results elsewhere. We get it, it can happen to us too. The difference with JUN is that clients are assured that if we fall short of something, we will always put in 110% effort to make it right. So clients can feel at ease when they book an appointment with us. We’re in it for the long game, not to make a quick buck.
What has been the single most influential experience since starting your career?
I dont have one single influential experience because as soon as I decided to open up this salon, there have been a whole ton of amazing experiences that got thrown my way. However, I will say that the most influential decision I probably made was to hire a business coach before we opened up. Since I only knew nursing, there was no way I was going to leave the success of my business up to chance. I’m 1000% confident my coach Lia Juhas saved me from a bunch of bad decisions, and quite possibly saved me from an early failure of the business.
Can you share a memorable success story or achievement in your career that you are proud of?
I’m very proud of the team that we have formed at JUN Studios. We are literally a second family and it makes work much more fun. I trust every single one of the staff and they also know I have their back anytime they need me, whether it’s work related or not. This took time to foster and I think some companies have been in business a long time and still can’t say they’ve been able to achieve this, so I’m incredibly proud of this.
As a content creator, what strategies do you use to create engaging and informative lash-related content for your audience?
Content creation is a whole other ballgame. It’s almost like a second business because that’s how much work is involved. We’ve definitely found that the best content results from models because we simply cannot expect our clients to allow us to capture so many photos and videos from different angles. The type of content you can capture from a paying client will not be unique enough and people have seen the same before and after content a million times. We now know that the need to get models in for content will remain as long as we’re in business.
What are some common misconceptions about being a lash artist or entrepreneur in the beauty industry?
I believe that most people think that as long as you can do quality work, the clients will come. That is simply just not true. Even if you have an incredibly beautiful studio like ours, you still have to work very hard at marketing yourself. It takes time to build a brand, and having a great brand is ultimately what will help your business succeed and stay successful in the long run. You have to treat this as a real business, whether you work alone from home, or if you have a brick and mortar business. What I mean by that is that you know your numbers, you analyze them and constantly make changes until you find what works. You have to get your mindset in the right place because the odds are against you. That’s why I’m not on board with the artists that market the fact that people can make 6 figure incomes after a 2 day course. I’ve had many people inquire about whether we offer training, and I won’t commit to that unless we can also include training on business ownership.
What advice would you give to someone who is considering starting their own lash business/brand?
I would say shadow a lash artist for a day and not only watch the technique, but find out whether you care enough to understand the procedure down to the chemical process. Basically, become a UA lash nerd. And if you don’t think you have the interest to understand why even a 1 second difference will affect your whole lash set, it might not be the business for you.
What's the funniest or most memorable experience you've had while working on a client's lashes?
The best one has to be when we had a client bring in her own special chair to accommodate her recent Brazilian butt lift surgery. It had a hole cut out because doctor’s orders were that she couldn’t sit for a certain amount of time. It was definitely not ergonomic for us but we had ourselves a pretty devoted client after that effort!
What are you super passionate about right now? (Anything at all, doesn’t have to be lash related. Share projects, products, et. here)
I am going pretty hard at self development right now. I believe that the business will only ever be as successful as what the owner is ready for. I’m super interested in human psychology and I’m immersing myself in why people think the way they do. I’m passionate about finding new ways that we can be of service to our clients and find solutions for unique gaps that exist in our industry.
I’m also a huge believer in giving back to our community, so I’m working on new partnerships that we can form with local organizations and seeing how we can get involved.
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