Episode 18 - Midday Squares: Jake Karls on Finding your Sweet Spot in an Oversaturated Market

Episode 18 - Midday Squares: Jake Karls on Finding your Sweet Spot in an Oversaturated Market

Episode 18¬†features Jake Karls from Midday Squares on the Ready.Set.Glo! Podcast ūüíę

Jake Karls, EY Entrepreneur of the Year Finalist and Co-Founder/Chief Rainmaker at Mid-Day Squares. 

The goal of Midday Squares was to create the first functional chocolate bar: a bar that is rich in protein/fiber, made with REAL chocolate and REAL food ingredients. They first launched in August 2018 in Montreal, Canada, and sold over 10 MILLION CHOCOLATE BARS in the first 3.5 years. They have built their own fully automated manufacturing plant which can produce 90,000 bars per day. They're currently one of the fastest-growing food brands across North America!  They even have a podcast that documents the journey of how Midday Squares came to be in each episode. 

Tune in as we talk about: 

  • Working with Family¬†
  • Creating 24/7 Content
  • & Breaking into the US Market as a Canadian-Based Company!

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Midday Squares: Jake Karls on Finding your Sweet Spot in an Oversaturated Market

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Transcript

Mary Harcourt  0:05  
Welcome to Ready Set glow, a podcast where I interview the person behind the brand. We're gonna talk about what it took to get started the lessons learned along the way, and the advice they have for you on your own journey. I'm your host, Mary Harcourt, founder and CEO of Cosmo glow. My guest today is an esthetician and a lash artist with a serious love of fashion and documenting her morning coffee. After stumbling upon the lash and skincare world in 2012. She decided to turn it into a career she found a serious need for beauty inspired, trendy and affordable clothing for women to wear. What started as a clothing brand evolved into a lifestyle brand, where Lorena will share her insight on branding, social media, business, website design and more. Through one on one coaching and her digital resources, dear lash love has become a community full of women supporting other women and sharing tips and tricks of their own to other artists. Today we chat about how it all started, where she is today and helpful tips for you. Listen to the end for a special gift from Lorena.

Laredo, welcome to the show. I have been a follower of yours on Instagram for who even knows how long it's so great to meet you and have a conversation with you and just take a deep dive into what your life's all about these days.

Lorena Ashmore  1:33  
Thanks, Mary. I'm so excited. I we were saying earlier how like how long it's taken us to actually finally meet. That's just like the internet world, right? It's like you are like friends with people. But then this happens. And it's like, oh, wow, okay, a face to a name.

Mary Harcourt  1:49  
Well, tell me first off, how did you get started in the beauty industry?

Lorena Ashmore  1:53  
Okay, so it was totally accidental. But in 2012, I went into a spa, and decided to get my eyebrows done. I was living in Baltimore at the time and totally random. But I went in there, got the service done, got my brows done, talked with the esthetician I had no idea that that was even like a job was waxing brows and like doing facials and I fell in love with the girl. She was so cool. She was my age. And she seemed to just love what she did. And I was just kind of in a weird place in my life where I didn't really know what I was doing. I had quit doing bottle service working in restaurants, because I really wanted to find my like adult career. And I was 27 at the time. So I felt like oh my gosh, like times a tick and like I need to get on it. And so I like the moment I connected with this girl, I walked out of there and was like I'm signing up for esthetician school, I don't care, like what I have to do to make this happen. And fast forward like six months later, I moved back to San Diego where I was from enrolled in esthetician school. And that was kind of it I like dropped everything. You know, I wasn't really able to work during that time. You guys listening know that like esthetician school. It's like crammed into a short amount of time, but it's full time and it's really hard to work. And, you know, of course everyone in my life is like, Well, why don't you go back to restaurants and you know, bottle service, you can work at night, but I really just wanted to stay focused on school, even though it was really hard to you know, pay my bills and like eat and all that stuff. So anyway, that's kind of how I got into it. And then I just accidentally found lashing specifically so I had been doing facials and you know, like brow waxing and spray tans for about a year and then stumbled upon lashes and was like, Wait a second. I can see my clients every two to three weeks, like no matter what, because they have to come back, you know, they want their lashes to look good. And I was like hooked. So I took a few lash classes and I somehow convinced all my clients at the time that they should get lashes instead of facials. And I just switched over my clientele. And people ask me all the time, like, Well, how did you do that? At the time, like lashes were so new. And I just like shared my enthusiasm. I made sure I had them on and I kind of didn't give my clients like a choice. I just said I'm transitioning. Hope you'll join along with me. And luckily they did.

Mary Harcourt  4:13  
That's awesome. I mean, at the end of the day, you're your own advocate. Right. So it was a similar story with me where I just walked in one day I'm like you have to do this. And I would say like put it if you're nervous and you don't know what it is. You just put it around the date like when you go to a wedding. Are you going on vacation next year, it's your birthday? Come back to me and they would they'd be like, Hey, I've been thinking about what you said. And I feel like now's the time and then they're hooked

Lorena Ashmore  4:34  
forever. Yes, yes. And they have to come back so like with the facial you know of course they're supposed to come back every three to four weeks but the results are as instant as they are with lashes and that's what really drew me in one it's really tedious thing that you have to sit there and complete and I can get distracted really easily so for lashing for me it was really therapeutic and I was able to like finish something that I started And to they have to come back so that they look pristine. So yeah.

Mary Harcourt  5:05  
It's funny to say they're therapeutic. I almost feel like in a way it was meditative for me, like I was. So into what I was doing. Of course, we all love the like instant gratification, like they come in and they leave one way and the other and you get to see your beautiful work of art. But it would allow my mind to just run it's kind of how I thought it because it looks like what else could I do in this industry in this room, but it's meditative, because you're so fascinated with what you're doing, but you already know what you're doing. And so it allows your mind just to kind of travel off and see what else is out there.

Lorena Ashmore  5:34  
Oh my gosh, you're so right. Like it really it really is. It's one it was therapeutic to it was like a form of meditation. Because you're in there, you can pick the music that you're playing, there's like a candle lit and you're just like zoning out for an hour. And my favorite thing to do is with my clients was to really push gently that they take the time to be still and be quiet. Because I think naturally we always feel like we need to be filling the dead air with words and with conversation. And for me, I was always really, you know, just like making my clients feel like it was okay to be quiet and be still but really selfishly it was so that I didn't have to talk

Mary Harcourt  6:12  
sand, same boat, same boat, absolutely. Like I would put my music on Swamp vibe into like my own little slow jams. But then also you know that these people, everyone has a busy life. We're all whether you have kids or a career or a school knows what you're doing, like you're busy. And sometimes we don't sleep well at night to be able to get that solid, relaxed, fully relaxed nap. You can't put a price on it. And they're going to wake up and not only look more beautiful, love their lashes, but they're going to be like,

Unknown Speaker  6:41  
thank you so much for giving me that hour. Like you can't you can't replace it. Yeah,

Lorena Ashmore  6:45  
so I mean, anyone listening who has issues with talkative clients, it's really you just have to start the conversation and say, like, look, to really take the time, why don't you just relax, like, we don't even need to talk. Don't even worry about it. And then it like puts it on them. And they're like, oh, okay, and they probably will and they'll probably fall asleep.

Mary Harcourt  7:00  
So what it's interesting, I would always allow my people I would say I'm not the biggest conversationalist, but we're gonna get to know each other a lot over the next however many times you're with me, do feel free to take this time to nap because I know what it's like to just run constantly and have things to do. And even if you're just going out to dinner with girls, like arrive fresh. And sometimes we'd sit and talk the whole time, but I think they always knew that like, it's okay, if I nap. And I would put blankets there. Like they wouldn't be comfy. So I loved when they naps. But I also loved building that relationship when they talked,

Lorena Ashmore  7:33  
I can tell this by talking to you that you're like, very nurturing. And you would be like, that's why you're obviously in that industry, but I can already just just by chatting, I'm like, oh, okay, she's like, you're really well spoken. And like those things matter. You have to be well spoken. You have to like lead the conversation and just be like really nurturing for your clients. They need to feel safe when they come to see you. They need to feel

Mary Harcourt  7:55  
safe. And so many secrets gets hold in that room. We have private rooms, which was highly recommended if you are in the spa industry, because people tell you everything. And when they tell you everything they're now like entrusted into you like you are there. You allow them, you're in a way a therapist, like you allow them to get that off their chest, they feel better, they talked it through, and now they can sleep and get a little nap. And now you they wake up and they feel so much more energetic and rejuvenated. And they just kind of dumped a lot of stuff on you that they were able to talk through. You're like at their best, but they leave going thank you so much. And I would always sit there and be like, I didn't really do anything but give me lashes are like no, no, he was everything else. Okay.

Lorena Ashmore  8:39  
Oh, yeah, I mean, that's like, a little percentage of it is the lashes. And I just remember when I was taking clients full time, like most of it was the conversations that we had and the connections that we formed in there. It was like little to do with the lashes. Honestly, my clients loved me so much. They didn't care what I did to them. They just wanted to come in and hang out. So we definitely are. And we're therapists, I am now currently with my coaching as well.

Mary Harcourt  9:03  
So actually, that's what I'm gonna bring up. You made a pivot during COVID As many of us did, what was life like before COVID And then tell us what you're into now.

Lorena Ashmore  9:13  
Okay, so I actually wrote this down because I was like, you know, I need to really make sure that I remember what life was like before COVID. Before COVID I was taking clients five days a week, I was actually going back and forth between two places I was going back and forth between an old spa and my place. This is going to sound insane, but and then I had at my place my online all my retail, I had my setup, I had everything there and I was doing a couple days a week at this other place because I had built a clientele out there and I really didn't want to give them up and it was like too far of a drive for them to crossover. Eventually, I knew I had to like bite the bullet and choose and so obviously I got rid of like the other place that wasn't mine. And I just had to risk because I had the online business was like okay, well I think I can I'll make it up with the online business. Okay, so then I switch over to my own spot, but I was working 40 hours a week just in clients. And then I had my online store and my online stores like back when I had just started lashing just like you are thinking, what else can I do? I was thinking, what else can I do to make money? I don't want to just have this to rely on. And like what about my future? What if something happens to me? What if I get hurt and I guess that was foreshadowing because I did end up getting hurt but um, so I came up with my lash apparel. And it's called Dear lash love. And at the time it was lash love apparel. So anyway, I was managing both I was doing full time with clients. And then doing this online store, doing the marketing for it, posting everything on Instagram created my own website, doing all the graphics, like everything I looking back, I don't know how it was functioning. But I realized that I didn't have any other focus besides work. So it makes sense that I was able to do all that at the time, but but my life was consumed by work like that is what brought me purpose. That is where I felt most passionate, most creative and alive was work and making money. And so that's like, what it was pre COVID I was podcasting. I was going to events, it was pretty, it was pretty chaotic. Now, now that I look at it 37 year old me currently is like, whoa, I'm tired for you. But back then, I mean, I was 2728 2930 I'm gonna reference qMk because she did an interview with someone and she was like that old talking about old parts of her life. She's like, I love those old parts. Like I'm not discrediting anything that I did back then. I'm just in a different place. And that's totally how I feel I'm just in a different place. I of course, I'm a little bit older, I have a kid now COVID hit, things change. That's life. So like, for a while I was kind of, you know, I think everybody was during COVID Like, oh, my gosh, what am I doing with my life? Like, thinking about their greater purpose and all those things? And like, my life doesn't look how it did before. And does that mean that I'm not as relevant or that I'm not as passionate and I, it that's not like, it's just life changes, you know, so you just kind of have to roll with it.

Mary Harcourt  12:13  
I love I think that COVID pivot has put a lot of people into perspective of what mattered to life. You know, we can always be busy and run every day and take clients trust me, I was one of them. I would take as many clients as I possibly could fit. Even if it meant I go in at 8am and leave at 9pm. Like, it doesn't matter. And then COVID happen, it really makes us take a step back and do inventory on your life. And I think you kind of fell into that a little bit as well.

Lorena Ashmore  12:37  
Yeah, definitely. I mean, it. It obviously for at this very time that that COVID hit, I got a disc replacement because I had hurt my neck. I don't know if it was the combination of like a minor fender bender, I don't know if it was lashing, we'll never really know, I had a herniated disc. But it was bad enough that for me to get back the quality of life that I had prior to this injury, I needed, according to my doctor, like I needed a disc replacement. So I got a disc replacement like March 5, or something. And I believe COVID was like it was I remember my fiance coming home while I was laying in bed with a neck brace and saying, okay, everything's shutting down. And it was insane. And so I was recovering from that dealing with, you know, all the craziness in the world, and like uncertainty, and it didn't even cross my mind that my business would be affected because I was like, recovering from surgery, you know, then, you know, I had to do like physical therapy, which I couldn't do in person. So I had to try and do it online. And it was a whole thing. And so it was like, it's really, it's still I'm still recovering from it. I still can't do things like I used to. But um, but I think like month four is when I was like, whoa, wait, okay, my business might not be the same ever again. Like, I'm not taking clients anymore, because I'm injured. So there goes that income. I have this online business that's for lash artists who aren't lashing right now. So this could completely disappear. And it hit me and I remember like writing a blog out on my patio because I was like, I've got to keep the wheels turning, I need to show up for people. And I like had a break down on on my patio because I was like, Wait, it's very likely that like my business will just disappear. And I that's just the reality of it. You know, thankfully, like, I did keep it afloat, I kept it going. And I really truly believe it's because I was staying so connected to our industry, through messages through newsletters, like offering support, that it did stay afloat, and I'm so grateful for it because it really it could have gone in a different direction. And that's kind of where the coaching started is I was just like offering advice than I thought, You know what, I think people need this right now. And so I started doing calls and I've just been doing that ever since and that kind of took over for my my in person clients that I used to take so now I do virtual calls with people and it is it is it makes me feel like how I did when I would take clients like that one on one connection. So Selling. I love it. I could talk all day about this industry and like marketing and branding and you know, newsletters and blogs like I, I have no technical background in it, but I'm really passionate about and I don't really know where it came from. Just I guess experience in life, I don't really know. But I feel like that part of our industry people don't really they're not that great at and so I just love being a resource for it because I could truly talk about it all day.

Mary Harcourt  15:27  
Well, it's so hard. I mean, a you're going to school for skill for a license that opens the door to Pandora's box. I mean, whether you're a cosmetologist or an esthetician or even a nail tech, like there's so many different types of nails, if you just go to nail school, if you go to esthetician, are you going to be a waxer? Oh, last year? Are you in skincare? Are you in like chemical peels? Are you like there's just so many different avenues. And I think everyone focuses so much on just getting through school and absorbing everyone because we're now in control of the person sitting in our treatment room, we want to do the best job we possibly can. But you also have to know the aspect of how to brand and colors and building websites and doing social media that I feel like if that's something that you're naturally gifted at, and you are that that's a beautiful gift to offer others. Yeah. And

Lorena Ashmore  16:15  
it's something that I'm really, really into. And like you said, it's there's a beauty school, you're just trying to graduate and then you get out there and it's like, well, back when I started it wasn't it didn't feel so overwhelming. Now it's like trending that like being a business owner so hard. And you have to do the reels and the tiktoks in the marketing, the branding and like that is that is all true. I think it's just like really heightened right now. And obviously social media, I'm sure you know is like is is so different. It's just not as simple as it was before. So it's it's definitely intimidating and can be overwhelming. But yeah, I mean, I just I really enjoy, like things looking aesthetically pleasing. I enjoy telling a story on social media that's like, where I that's like how I get inspired and get creative is by sharing on social. So I think maybe I'm getting off topic, but like with social media, I think it's just like a, everybody just feels like it's like this dark cloud over their head. I really see it as a creative outlet. So I think if people could just kind of like switch their mindset, it doesn't need to be so pluggy. So like salesy, like use that as a creative outlet for yourself. And just remember that it's like a representation of your business. And it's a way to invite potential clients to come book with you. So it's a free marketing tool, you know, you just have to learn how to use it in a way that works for you.

Mary Harcourt  17:37  
I love that. I mean, it's a great point. I feel like sometimes people are overwhelmed when they look at social media, because everything is so much about content right now you have to put your work up, you have to do this, you have to keep it up date, you have to be current. But if I kind of, I totally agree with you, we're in a we sometimes look at it as a checklist, like did you do your story for the day? Did you do your reel and you're too polished, but if you turn it into your creative outlet, it really is your platform to use it however you want. For however you want to express yourself, which is I think all of us, to some extent have to be creative to be in this industry. It's just a beautiful outlet for that in general.

Lorena Ashmore  18:14  
Right? It's just figuring out how to do that, because we're used to using our creativity for in our room, right and like doing like beautiful lash sets and facials and all that but Okay, let's try to let's how could we use that for social media, like, you just have to find your thing. And I'm like, I know we are going to talk about branding, but I like I feel like there's all this pressure, but we are we're not unless you want to be we're not like major beauty brands. So nothing has to be perfect, we can change our minds, we can change colors, if we want to Yes, you want to be cohesive, and all the right things, but whatever is gonna get you up and moving and productive. Like just do it, you know, and just try to have fun with it. It doesn't need to feel so I don't know, stiff, I guess like it really can be fun.

Mary Harcourt  19:02  
I had I have really five a friend. And she's amazing. And he's done a lot of work with me, but one of her things was breaking it down. So simple. That branding is as simple as finding out what makes you happy. Because if you know that there's certain colors that you love more than others, and you start wearing those colors, and you start putting those colors in your service of menu and you sprinkle them into your salon, when you walk into your salon, you're going to be happy because your colors are there. And when you look on your page, you're going to be so excited because you love these colors. And when you wear these colors now the pictures you're taking, they blend in with your feed. And all of this happens and it comes results down to what makes you happy. So what are the colors that make you happy that you can sprinkle the whole way through your business and now you have branding colors. I love that

Lorena Ashmore  19:47  
that's that's actually a great way of thinking. It takes the pressure off of it. Like instead of being like, Oh, we got to know your brand. It's like whoa, I don't even know what that means. It's like just what makes you happy. I tell my coaching clients all the time, make a mood board. I don't want you to Think about it, I just want you to look at pictures and what what? piques your interest? What makes you happy? Like you said, is it a color? Is it a texture? Is it a flower, and let's put that onto a mood board and figure out what your thing is, I think we also get so burnt out, because it's like, artists feel like, well, I'm so sick of posting my work, or I don't have time to post my work. But I know when I'm looking for somebody that I want to work with, or, you know, do a facial on me or lashes, like I'm also looking for a connection beyond the service that they're providing. So if I like their style, I like maybe what they're wearing, or how they decorate their home, I feel connected to them. So that's where those things like finding out what makes you happy. That's where those come in handy. You know is that like those things will attract like minded people, which in turn will get you will get you your ideal clientele,

Mary Harcourt  20:53  
which comes back to then you're gonna fill your schedule with people that make you happy because you enjoy their company and enjoy being around them, which is gonna make you so happy to be a part of your business because you're serving all these people that you enjoy being a part of. It's a whole little ecosystem. So let's talk about you have a clothing company merchant, and it's cute little adorable T shirts, everyone should go on your website and check it out. But where did that come from? Was that just a thought one day? Or were you always like, this is what I want to do. I've always

Lorena Ashmore  21:19  
been really into fashion and clothing and shopping and all that I actually went to fashion school for a minute and I dropped out. I really wish I would have finished I was like 22 And I don't know, I just was I have no excuse. I just didn't want to finish. So I didn't. But I was lashing one day. And I was like, you know, lash artist and what do we wear to work? I don't want to wear a smock. I don't want to wear scrubs. But I want to wear something. So when my client walks in, it's very clear like Oh, there's the lash girl. So then I thought about graphic tees. And I realized that our industry didn't have any you know, like there was yoga teas. There was workout teas, things that said like coffee on it and you know, whatever. But there was no beauty industry specific T shirts like literally not one. And so I jumped on it. I know I have a creative i i found a graphic designer, I found a printer. I did all the things and I just made it happen. It was on a whim and I use a little bit of money for my savings account was like two grand and I opened up I formed a business on LegalZoom. And I was like I'm going to do this. And I didn't realize at the time that it would become so popular so quick. But it really was because there was nothing else like it. Yes, it was very cute too. But it did help that it was like we are new on Instagram. This is a brand new thing. And my whole my whole thought process with it was yes, I want to wear it. And great other beauty professionals lash artist want to wear it. But I'm complimentary to lash brands. So anybody any brands like borboleta EBL, J Brand, Maven artistry, those are the top ones I can think of right now sugar lash, I reached out to them and gave them my shirts, just as like a hey, look at me, here I am. And it was not threatening because I wasn't, I wasn't selling supplies. So it was like a great little friendship that we all formed, you know, and I think just word of mouth really helped me and I went to one of the trade shows. And that's kind of how I got into it. And now it's it's definitely evolved. Like now I'm doing the coaching and I have a podcast and a blog and all these things. And I'm passionate about fashion. But these other things are kind of I feel like that has led me to where I am now where I can now focus on helping people with their businesses and like their websites. And I created a social media guide that's sitting right in front of me and like I never I don't think I would have been able to do those things had I not started with the clothing. So it's you know, it's wild, because it's I just, you never really know what's going to happen. All right, and it

Mary Harcourt  23:53  
sounds like you kind of just found a niche, or you said, Well, I'm gonna wear it. I think it's adorable and cute. And then let me just see if anyone else wants it, which we're all thinking, Okay, it's cute and adorable. And I can wear it to work that it just gravitated and you are so good with branding and putting everything together that your page has a very nice aesthetic flow, your Instagram has a very nice and steady flow. You're a personable person. So to put all of those things in one place, you feel that connection, where it's like hey, boots on the ground, this girl knows what I'm going through. I can wear this for my clients, it's something I can still go out to work after and feel cute and I don't have to change them scrubs or change on to something that will you know, whatever. And then it catches on.

Lorena Ashmore  24:34  
Yeah, and I was really really particular about the style like all the graphics are. It's there's something that I would personally wear the colors like it's such a process with me, like I'm very particular about the colors, the style, what kind of T shirt it is, I'm not just doing this to do this, and I've been doing it for so long that you know I constantly have to evolve and make it better. But it really was like I didn't think it was just because I wanted something for me, and I wanted to share it with others. And it really truly was not coming from a place of like, I'm gonna kill it and like make a lot of money, I was just doing it for fun and the inside Instagram is so different back then you would just like pop up a photo, it would be in bad lighting. And it was just like a flat lay that I did my garage and people would go crazy for it, you know? And it's just like, so funny to think about what Instagram is now. Like, it's insane. So how, yeah, how

Mary Harcourt  25:26  
did it start? Like, how many shirts did you start with? And where did you get the idea for them?

Lorena Ashmore  25:31  
Oh, gosh, I think I started with four, maybe five designs. And I did like really small runs. So I found the T shirts and like found the supplier, I knew I knew a couple graphic designers. i My cousin had a screen printer that they referred me to who I still use to this day, they're local. So I can like go pick things up if I need to, or go see a sample, which I really liked that I didn't. I don't know, some people like, go through China or wherever. And that's great. But I just really wanted it like in house as close to me as possible. And I just started really small, I got out a piece of paper and was like what do I want these designs to look like, I wish that I had like a process that I could share. But I just I knew I wanted a lash quo. I knew I wanted like signature lashes on a shirt. And there was a one shirt that was really popular for a long, long time. And it was just to lashes on the shirt. But it was just simple. People loved it. You know, it's like part of me is like I could bring it back. But my my style has changed. And here's the thing too is I could go with the masses or go with what I know people really, really want. And maybe I could be doing like 10 times better than I am now. But I still it still has to resonate with me or else I'm not going to want to talk about it, I'm not going to want to share it. So that kind of goes back to marketing for professionals like you have to do, what makes you happy what you enjoy. And you have to offer services that you love, because it's really hard to talk about something that you're just not that into. So back to my back to my designs, I always have to be able to wear something, if I can't wear it, then I can't talk about it. And I can't tell it. But that's kind of how it started, I started really minimal. I didn't want to take out credit cards or loans or anything like that. And that's why I worked full time doing lashes while I ran this online business because I just I really still wanted and needed my money from my clientele. So another tip is like if you want to start your own thing, and you're taking clients like I wouldn't suggest stopping taking clients to like venture out on this thing. I would stockpile that money from your clients for as long as possible and do both at the same time best you can. Because there's just no money, like, client money,

Mary Harcourt  27:46  
how I did the same thing. Like, literally, I ran Cosmo glow, and my salon side by side. Granted, we're closed for the majority of it because California and state restrictions. But even when we reopened, I mean, I would take as many clients as I possibly could, and I stay up till 2am making sure everything was done because it's, it's guaranteed it's like you just you feel good, you know that everything's gonna work out and running a company without taking a penny out of it allowed me to really get it going correctly, rather than if I would have burned the ships not saying there's anything wrong with that. Sometimes that's what you need. But it allowed me to get all of my ducks in a row when it was time to switch gears.

Lorena Ashmore  28:24  
So I can totally relate to that. Like, you're right, if you would have stopped with your salon or I would have stopped taking clients like and we just would have gone all in on this thing. Who knows how well it would have been done?

Mary Harcourt  28:36  
I'm Yeah, I would have had to take a loan for sure. And that is so scary. I mean, you don't you don't even know if it's gonna work, let alone now you owe somebody money, where if you can take clients the whole way through you're like, safeguarded where you already know that you don't you already know hey, I can do this much. And I can always work one more day or one more hour, one more client. But without that it's kind of like oh, wow, the unknown is I don't know.

Lorena Ashmore  29:00  
Yeah, I really miss I'm sure you can relate to like I really miss taking clients because that like quick money is there's nothing like you get home you're like wow, I just made $800 Like I was making bottle service money. So when people were like, Oh, do you miss bottle service? I'm like, No, I was making bottle service money and I was actually doing something that felt good to my soul. You know, I wasn't just like selling vodka. But yeah, I mean it's like starting something new is can always be scary and I just for anyone listening like I really suggest like keeping your clientele for as long as possible. And it's funny because two or three years ago, I might have said something different like my my, my thing was always like passive income, do some things so that you like find something that you can do so you're not like actually sitting in the treatment room and I still believe that to be true because you never know what can happen. And if you can find simple supplemental ways of making income, great do it but there is something beautiful about just like being in the present with You're clients and like that's your career is you are a service provider and you make great money. And you can make your own schedule, hopefully. And like, be happy with that. And if you can find ways to sell retail or do something else on the side, great, but I wish I would have like years ago just said, are just like pumped people more up for that, like it's okay, it is okay to be in your treatment room.

Mary Harcourt  30:23  
Oh, it's great. Especially you're killing it in the game. Like, you know, lashes are so hard to learn. Everyone goes through this, I swear everyone goes through the I'm gonna do this. And then what the hell did I just signed myself up to I'm so confused. And then if you stick with it, you understand how hard the process is that you really don't get good until like weeks and sometimes months or years later. All of a sudden you're like, Okay, I finally got it. And now I can start getting you know, even better. And I think that journey kind of just defines you have to want it and so when you want it so bad you practice until you get it where you're so proud of it and then once you're proud of it, you're confident and people want to go to competent people when I said I was I did the best natural looking lashes and the entire South Bay I did. And when you're selling that you're pumping yourself up, but the people aren't coming in and they're paying you I had people that would book six months in advance. And that didn't leave me for three years. I mean, they're there every two weeks for three years straight and there is nothing better than killing it in the field. Like killing it and having these people not necessarily fight over you but like praise you and be like I come to you because you make me feel so beautiful and I would never miss my appointment. I would cancel my dentist appointment. I would cancel my vacation. I would cancel anything but I do not cancel my appointment with you. You know, that's a feeling that's a vibe that's something that you can't take away.

Lorena Ashmore  31:41  
I agree. I agree. I love that you said you did the like natural lashes that was your thing because that was my thing too. I did not to volume. Okay, sometimes I would dabble. I really perfected classic lashes. That's what I wanted on myself. That was the type of clients I wanted and I charged enough that it was worth it to me and I just like so I love that you said that because I think classic lashes are underrated. I think they're coming back now but like my clientele was that beach girl was the no makeup look was who I am you know and I never wore volume lashes

Mary Harcourt  32:15  
and I think you can align yourself is my clientele was an older clientele. They weren't the young girls that were you doing things for? Going out on a weekend like I was getting the people that had started to age a little bit and wanted that youthfulness back without screaming Hey, I have my lashes done. They just wanted to walk in a room and have people go Petey, you look really good. You look so fresh, what are you doing? Not like, Oh, you got your lashes done. Got it. You know, and that's really marketed you. And at the end of the day, that's kind of what made us so successful is we found our niche in the market while everyone was pursuing mega lashes and everyone's pursuing volumes. We went a different direction. And I took a classroom test and you guys might know her from like lash conference and they have a podcast as well as passed. And the way she does Classics is unlike anyone else. Anyone else her though the way she has like perfected classic lashes. And I took my whole staff to that training. And it really does make classic lashes look unbelievable. And when we started doing that, for the game changed, it was all sudden, like your eyes just come alive. And lashes. Classic lashes they last a long time. They don't it's not like if one falls, the whole fan goes you lose one. And I feel like we built our entire brand and reputation on classic lashes. The great way, like the most amazing, natural looking way.

Lorena Ashmore  33:37  
I will say to in my opinion, the heavier lashes can age you and I feel like I look most youthful with a minimal lash. That's just something that I've noticed about myself personally is like when the lashes are the first thing that somebody notices when you walk in a room, it's too much.

Mary Harcourt  33:56  
So talk to me about what's your current life, you have this new focus of coaching, who's really like your clients, how who reaches out to you? Is it people that are just starting out? Is it someone that's kind of a little hit or run in their career? Is it somebody looking to go the next level? Who do you find is your niche for coaching?

Lorena Ashmore  34:13  
If I were niching I'd be really specific. But it's all the people that you've just said I've had people that have found me from the podcasts that are brand new estheticians straight out of school, they're really wanting to like hit the ground running and so I've like I just built someone's website for her and she was just just going out on her own. I have a lot of my clients are vets like they've been doing it for a long time and they're just feeling stagnant and bored. And I broken my calls down before it was just one call. Now I've broken it down on my website into I believe it's like four or five. So if you're feeling like oh, I don't really know what I need, like the calls, specify kind of like what we could talk about, but really there's nothing off limits. I mean, I sit and just do creative thinking with my clients. We've done I had a girl book me the other day and I I'm I made her like promo cards and posters and business cards. And so it's like, it really is for anyone. I mean, I've been getting into website design as well, because I always designed my own website. And like I'm really into it. I've been doing it for years. So I really saw a need for that as well. Business owners are like, I don't know what I want my website to look like. So I've been doing that. And that's been really, really fun again, because it taps into that branding, the like design the Creed, it's, it allows me to do something different than what I'm currently doing. But it's for anyone, if you're feeling stuck in your business, if you need help coming up with like blog topics, or Instagram posts, a lot of times I sit with clients, and I help them write down a list of things that they that they can post about on social media, a lot of the times, it's just me helping my client get out of their own head. And I have someone for me, I have my Abby, she works for me, and she is my person. And I'm lucky that I have her part time. And she's like my right hand woman. Now, a lot of other business owners don't have that person. And so that's why I kind of create it where you book me for an hour, I can be that person, you can email me and say, Hey, I need x, y and z, I send them a quote. And I tell them, it'll take me five hours. And I do it next week. And I fire it off to them. So it's kind of consulting as well. I've kind of just been like, leaning into whatever people need and going with it. I'm like, You need this, I can do that. All right, let's figure it out. So if that resonates with you, you can you know, you can email me, we'll link it, we'll we'll chat about everything at the end. But it's really been fun. I really like helping people feel like, they're not so stuck anymore, you know, or they're getting excited about something again, maybe it's Instagram, or maybe it's just like tweaking something on their website, or like hiring a new lash artist or designing their space. I love I love like doing all that

Mary Harcourt  36:58  
stuff. I would definitely help me design my space design is not my forte, but I love it. I don't know anyone in this industry that offers services for websites. And it is so overwhelming. When you try and get a website done. I mean, the quotes or you can go on Fiverr and someone pay someone $500 You have to pay someone else to fix it. No, it's not the same or you pay like I mean, I was getting quotes with my son, it was like five grand $2,000, one $1,000 One guy wanted 18. And I figured out how to build my own website. But God if I could have passed that off to anyone, I would have done it. So I think that's a huge tool that everyone is so lucky to have you as a tool and an asset and someone to help them through the process. And really just take that weight off of them. So they can go do what they're good at in the treatment room. And maybe they're, you know, amazing on Instagram, maybe like making reels for them is really working, but to have you as the other half of like, okay, people, we're gonna go from reels to your website. So make sure that looks good,

Lorena Ashmore  37:55  
too. And your website is so important. There's a lot of focus on Instagram, but your website is really like the face of your business, beyond Instagram, and so it should look good, but it is overwhelming. And so, and really to my audience, my community, they they trust me, they like what I share, they can relate to me. And they know that if they're hiring me for something like I will take care of them. It's not just like they found me through Google. And it's a one and done or I say I'm going to help them and then I disappear like no, you I'm in your corner. And so I think that that's comforting, too is like, I'm not going to screw you over, I'm going to give you the best price. And I'm going to make sure that you're happy. And that's really, really important to me because my name is on it. And so yeah, I'm just it's been really fun to transition my business. It's been scary. There's been times where I'm like, Wait, what am I doing? Is this crazy that I'm going from selling T shirts to now doing this, but it all ties in together. And it is what people need. And so I would be stupid not to, like, pay attention to that and go with it. Yeah, and it feels really fulfilling. It's more to me, it's more fulfilling than a t shirt it is.

Mary Harcourt  39:05  
You're like me, you gotta be happy what you're doing. It's not about anything else. Like if I cannot wake up every day and go to bed and be so happy that I did that today, I have to do something different if nothing else matters. So you brought up a great thing. And I feel like it doesn't get enough attention because social media has kind of outrun everything. But when it comes to a website, what are some of the basics that people need to have on their website?

Lorena Ashmore  39:28  
For me, a website is another form of storytelling. So on my website, I make it so that people when they go onto my site that they can scroll like they would on Instagram because that's what we're so used to we're used to scrolling and so when I go to a website and there's one page and I can't move it I'm like wait there what else is there? So you know, there's always like a bar at the top like your menu bar. So I have everything that would be in my menu bar like when you click to let's say you click to the right and it says like menu services Booking Contact blog. Well on my front page, I want you to be able to scroll and see all of those things as well. So that you there's like two ways to get it. And I'm very visual. So I want things to look and feel I want them to have a vibe. But really the basics are an About Me your services. I think blogs are underrated, I think everyone in this industry should have a blog, it doesn't need to be crazy elaborate. It's a great tool and resource for your clients. And it's a great way for people to find you. It's a great form of SEO, it's another creative outlet for me. But it also helps me with like Instagram posts too, because sometimes what I put in a blog I will use for my instagram or a newsletter. So it's just getting your content that you're making maybe via Instagram, putting it in a different place. So I always recommend having a blog. And I think a lot of people get overwhelmed by blogging, but like, again, it's not that serious. It's it can be something fun that you do. But it's a great place to be able to send your clients if they have a question like, hey, go check out this blog. And maybe you have like your favorite products linked or whatever. But like beautiful photos, beautiful photos, make or break a website, I would rather put no photos or really, really great ones. But the photos are what tells the story, you can only do so much with colors, right? But something visual that like it's visually stunning of your product, or just like a great picture of you

Mary Harcourt  41:22  
or your space, people want to know where they're coming to, they want to know when they pull up, that they're not going to have to stand for five minutes and wonder where they're going. They can go Oh, I know exactly what I'm looking for. And they get to pull up and go. I'm here. So

Lorena Ashmore  41:34  
with that being said, I think a picture of you a picture of your space, and maybe some of your work would be great things to have on your website as well. I will say I rarely put pictures of my work on on my website back in the day because I it wasn't really a thing. And I was fully booked. So I don't feel like you necessarily have to be like, This is my work again, it goes back to branding. And if people like your style, they'll probably book with you.

Mary Harcourt  42:00  
Absolutely. It goes back to the storytelling. There is so much value in a story guys. We've been telling stories since the cave age is standing around fires, but think about it. And like when you go and when you're a kid What do you like when grandpa would tell you a story your parents would tuck you in at night and tell your story and like it goes back to girls gossiping they're just stories. We love stories that if you can parlay kind of hey, here's what I'm about here's maybe like a little bit of my background and here's what I do now. I'll take care of you as a client that client just walked through that journey with you and I was like okay, cool. I'm in Oh, you have been so amazing everyone definitely go follow Lorena on Instagram at Deer lash love and then what's the website that everyone can go to find you.

Lorena Ashmore  42:44  
So it is WWW dot deer lash love.com I obviously sell like lash inspired apparel. I have a couple of skincare like T shirts and sweatshirts. We're launching some new things coming up soon. But I also have like my blog on there my own podcast it's called Dear law shall diaries then I have a spot where you can read the blog which I already said my coaching, you can email about websites it's a little bit of everything. And again going back to websites as I make it some so people want to stay on my website longer because that that is better. The longer someone stays on your website the better so I want to make sure that so that they're like clicking around and just like reading the story. Yeah, and then Instagram is deer lash love and I'm really good about for the most part, answering DMS So people always ask me just like questions and I'm happy to answer if you want to email me about something you totally can I really really like being like a go to person.

Mary Harcourt  43:40  
Well thank you so much for being a part of this show and everyone go check her out her stuffs adorable and you're offering coaching now which is really great and what a huge help to offer websites I know everyone listening has at least thinking oh my God, I need to update my website or get a website so check her out. And thank you so much for being a part of the show today. Lorena is generously offering a promotional code for you to use on her website dear lash love.com to receive 15% off enter the code DL l Cosmo glow 15 Think dear lash love Cosmo glow 15 That wraps up today's episode. For more information on our guests. You can find them at Mary harcourt.com under the episodes tab. You can always find me on Instagram at Mary Harcourt underscore and at the Cosmo glow light. I hope you enjoyed today's episode and many more to come