EP 14: Finding your Niche with Katie Allen | Founder of Beyoutiful Lashes

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. On today's episode, we have Katie Allen, you may know her from the brand beautiful ones. Or maybe it's from her other project, the lash artists box, which is a monthly subscription box for lash artist, we're going to talk everything about how she got started in her business to an unlikely pivot from criminal justice into the beauty industry. And I love her because her story is so relatable, it starts with she had nothing and grew it into the brand that it is now and the brand has so much potential, we're so excited to be able to talk to her. Today, we're going to talk to everything on what it's like to have a brand, what it's like to manage inventory deal with supply chain, and just organically grow your business. So let's dive in.

Katie, I love this story of you, you start from such a relatable place as far as falling into the beauty industry kind of not on purpose, and building your company from ground up. So let's get started with that talk about how you came to having your business.

katie allen  1:23  
It's crazy because my degree is in criminal justice. And I was a probation officer. When I tell this story. It's kind of like the Cinderella story because I never in a million years thought that I would be in the lash industry or the beauty industry. I had always gotten my lashes done, loved the way that it made me feel. And so when me and my family moved here to Atlanta from Colorado, they tried to put me into a position within my field, where I was making $28,000 a year as a probation officer. And I was six months pregnant. I had a one and a half year old daughter at the time. And you know, that just wasn't gonna work for us, it wasn't gonna work. And so I looked into getting my certification to do eyelash extensions, because like I said, I've always gotten them in the past, I love the way they made me feel. And I thought it would be a great source of income or extra source of income for my family took the certification, whopping, you know, one, one and a half hour two hour certification. And I left having a bajillion more questions than when I came with jumped right into it. That's kind of how I do things, I jumped straight into it and started practicing on anybody that I could get my hands on, I would start in the Facebook groups, and I would post you know, my work in the groups and there just be crickets, because I was not very good at doing eyelash extensions. But when I jumped all the way into something like I do everything, right, like I encompass my whole self in that field. And so I joined all these Facebook groups, like I was saying, and I would post my work and get crickets. But I started making these little tubes, these aftercare tubes were their little test tubes, and you put this boolean and a little gem on top. And I would make these in my spare time for you know, all these clients that I didn't have yet. And people started commenting, like, where did you get those? How do you make those? Can I buy them? I was like, wow, well, I'm getting more feedback from these little lash tubes than from trying to get people to do eyelash extensions, or, you know, my work from eyelash extensions, naturally, you know, if something's working, that's what you go off of. So I started making these little tubes. And people started asking if they could place orders for them at the time. I remember right, remind you, we had my daughter who is one and a half, I was just newly had my son. And so we were living paycheck to paycheck. And I told my husband, you know, I'm going to make these tubes. And that's going to be some extra income for us. And he was he thought I was crazy. I always say that I'm blessed because I didn't really know anything about the industry when I started my brand. And so I wasn't blinded by like the glitz and the glam. And this is what you're supposed to do. And this is how you're supposed to do it. And I just really put my head down and started a company by total mistake. You know, I started with these lash ones, making probably, you know, 100 to 500 a week. I would Yeah, I would create them go to Hobby Lobby, wait for these gems to come in just scour like you know, Hobby Lobby or Michaels and get all these different tops. And so I started this Facebook group, but for once and so like I'd have people come and then they'd be one two parties. And so you would come and I would have like a whole bunch of different sets, like ready and they'd be like I have three of these sets. You know, comment below if you want to purchase this. They have one of these Do you want this purchase below? And then we do like little giveaways like throughout the little one party, right? Where you would put your favorite tweezer down or you know, just like that interaction, right. And it was something like totally organic, that like, it drove people to my Facebook group. And it's crazy, because it was kind of outside of the box. It's not what you were, quote unquote supposed to do to build a brand. But in a very short amount of time, I had like 10,000 followers on Facebook, for these little ones, and something that was not the how to, you know what I mean? Like, I created my own roadmap on how to do that. And so even, you know, these little groups would probably bring in about $500, a little marketing group, right? Every time we had a one party, and I told my husband, you know, I think that it's time for us to make ones full time. And he was like, okay, you know, like, that's fine. But one thing didn't lead to another where we got so busy with orders that did become my full time job. And I was able to, you know, grow on the ones and start making custom aftercare things. And then eventually going into a brand and just building it from there. No background in business, no background in lashes, or the beauty industry. But just, you know, that hustle and that desire,

Mary Harcourt  6:24  
I think that's what you said before you jump straight in, like, that's the just the entrepreneur bug is we don't really have all the steps one through 10, we just have a will that says, Okay, I'm gonna wake up one day, I'm gonna do this. And we do. So you got hit by that and you're like, I don't really know quite what I'm doing. But I'm gonna get going with it. And you did you found something that really works for you. I didn't even know these little auctions existed. But if you I mean, 10,000 people on a Facebook page is really impressive. So you found something that worked for your business, and got you to where you are now, which is super awesome.

katie allen  6:55  
You say the entrepreneurial bug. I love that. Because if you're working a nine to five for somebody else, like you put in as much work as you can, and you hope it's good. But when you're working for yourself, it's like the more work that you put in, and the harder you try, and the harder you hustle, like, the more it shows, and the more it pays off. And it's like risk reward. It's like there's no other feeling that I could have it compared to there's nothing else that I'd rather be doing.

Mary Harcourt  7:24  
Well, it's kind of addicting to because you see, the harder you work, the results pay off. And all of a sudden, it's like God, I was working on this. And it was so hard. And I look back and it's done. And I see it flourish. And it's kind of like, Oh, we did that. That's so cool. And then you want to do again, and another project and another project and all sudden your company is growing. It's kind of it can be kind of addicting.

katie allen  7:43  
It's addicting. It's scary. It's like, you know, when most people are like, scared to jump, like I'm the opposite. I'm like, oh, let's do it. Like I hope I don't fall, but we'll see. And that can be like a curse and a good thing. I guess at the same time. I know that I've spoken before about how my my husband kind of like is the yin to my Yang. Because if it was up to me, I would be doing a lot of things and trying a lot of things. But he kind of slows me down and makes me think think about you know, certain certain projects before I jump headfirst, which is I guess, good.

Mary Harcourt  8:20  
It's important to find that balance because I'm a little bit the same way when my husband walks through the door. He's like, hey, it's five o'clock, you wanna go do something? I'm like, Oh, it's fine. When he's not here, I'm like, wow, it's 2am. And I'm still working, wonder how much more I can get done. And your husband's the same way. I mean, I love how your relationship works. I love that he pushes you and encourages you and you guys have something that works, which is awesome. You have like all these little kids running around that you're able to build your business around having that family and you've made it work for you.

katie allen  8:49  
Yeah, something that I heard the other day on another podcast was being a working mom. And like having a balance that people talk about. And I really don't believe that there's such a thing for working moms. If you are working then your life your home life is suffering a little bit. And if you're at home then your work life is suffering a little bit like there's no real happy medium, but it does give me the opportunity to be just this amazing role model for my children to show them that you know women can work to women can have businesses and just because I'm not there all the time. Doesn't make me less of a mom and I want to say that and I want to preach it to like every woman out there that is listening right now. Because I know how real my mom guilt is. I know you know how sometimes I just want to stay in my little you know, house with my babies and just not do anything. But like I said if it's not one place that's that's hurting is the other on And so the balance thing that we talked about, I don't really believe that there's such a thing when it comes to your children into your work, but just know that it's okay and that your kids will be better off for it. I had

Mary Harcourt  10:12  
a guest A little while back, Katie, and she was awesome. And she puts something that like will change my whole entire life about work life balance, and said everyone considers work life balance to be a scale like it's 5050. And each side has to be directly 5050, or it's not going to work. But really, it's almost like a tightrope, and you're balancing everything on that tightrope, and you have your kids and your family and your life and career and husband and fun times, and happy hour and vacations and all of that. But you're on a tight rope, just trying to balance everything. And that made so much sense for me because it is so true. That is the balance is you're trying to make it all work while juggling it all in the air and you're kind of falling all over the place you're not falling over, is you're giving yourself some balance. And I think that's a relatable thing as well, where you are trying to make it all work and grow your business and nurture your children and have a fantastic marriage and do all of this stuff. But somehow you make it all work. So you started with ones what have you grown into What all do you carry currently?

katie allen  11:07  
Yeah, so now I mean, we have a whole brand. We carry adhesives, we carry tweezers, we take care of you lashes, we carry pro made lashes, we're distributors for read the bell for prolonged, we also do white labeling, which is kind of the second thing that we did from the ones, I saw that with the ones people wanted to feel like their business was their business. And so you know, I did a little bit of digging, and we found this company in Canada that did the clear adhesive labels, where you could put the logos on the wands. And so it was kind of like a business card right at the end of the service, you'd give them the wand and it has like the logo on it. And you could add your phone number or you know, just whatever you wanted onto it, we experimented with that a little bit. And people loved it loved it, like absolutely loved it. And it's funny, because we went through this company that's from Canada, it was like the first company that I was able to communicate with that kid our price point that could you know, do our turnaround times in that amount of time. But the funny thing is, is that sometimes we'd be waiting for like our stickers to clear customs, we'd be sitting here with like, all these orders ready to put these labels on them. And we would, you know, maybe be waiting for a week at a time sometimes and to like tell your customers Hey, you know, it's going to be an extra seven days, because our stickers are sitting in customs. You know, people weren't very happy about that. But like I said at the beginning, it's a learning process, you learn the things that are absolutely necessary, you learned the things that you know, you could kind of put on the backburner to help your business grow a little bit. And so we did that with the stickers.

Mary Harcourt  12:52  
I love that. And I love that you guys have a little cleansing lawns, the cleansing brushes, that's such a great thing to either have will all the above but have in your salon as well as use on your clients, you can retail them it has your little logo, and then you can send them home and retail kits if you want to do that or any of the above, which is such a touch of personalization. When you're building your business, you're building your brand, you're building your name you want to be established, it's such a cute little touch. And I believe your minimum orders are super low, right, we can

katie allen  13:20  
do the custom labels on we do like custom aftercare kits. So it's like the foam wash the wand and the cleaning brush all with your logo. And our minimum order is 10. That's great. So anyone can afford this like absolutely anybody. And we also have it at a price point where you can make a profit from it. It's not just going to be you know, this is a kit with your logo. And you know, you're going to get your money back, but it's a kit with your logo, you're going to make some money, and you're going to have that professionalism in your business to be like, This is our aftercare kit. And that's just been such such a success. And I talked to different companies and different people about finding your niche within the industry. And that's definitely where mine stemmed from being able to offer something different than what everybody else is doing. Being able to, you know, find what your niche is and what you can offer that's different within this industry is really going to set you apart and make you successful.

Mary Harcourt  14:15  
So you started in lashes. Are you primarily customizing things for lash artists, you branch into other industries? Is there hope for that in the future?

katie allen  14:24  
We did experiment a little bit with, you know, providing labels and other types of beauty products for different beauty brands. But at the end of the day, I feel like the lash industry is really where we want to zone in on because I feel like if you're doing a million things that 70% You're never going to be 100% successful.

Mary Harcourt  14:47  
And hey, you found your niche right so this is working for you. You've been able to grow your company scale it you've honed in on what's really working, I think it's great. What are some things you've learned obviously knowing your niche and sticking to it is one of them. But what's Another lesson you learned while you were growing and scaling your business,

katie allen  15:02  
a lesson that I've learned, and I talked about it a little bit at the beginning, is just doing what works for your business. That is so, so, so important. And I want to yell that to everybody. There is no right or wrong way to run your business. And it, like irks me a little bit when I'm in this, these Facebook groups, and people are asking, like, how am I supposed to do this? How am I supposed to do this, and then you have a list of wrong and right. There's so many different variants that come into play in regards to your business, your customers, what you're offering your clientele, like, there's just so many different things that come into play, that you really need to see what works for you and your personality, and your business and your expectations and go with that.

Mary Harcourt  15:54  
Somebody could say like, you'd have to be all over social media online, doing 10 stories a day making reels all day. But if you're not someone that's comfortable on the camera, it's probably not going to work for you. But what might work is going out and having coffee introducing yourself to somebody saying Are you do you live locally, I live right around the street. That's amazing. My salons two doors down. If you're ever thinking about these services, I would love if you can consider me for your service. I have amazing readings, you're like you can look up on Yelp and cut. Here's my card. This is a great website. And that can be how you get your clients is face to face or with a handshake. Or maybe you're amazing writer and you love doing blogs and newsletters. So if you have a yes or no, this is what works for everyone. You might fall short when really you're just you're not harnessing your potential by focusing in on what you're good at.

katie allen  16:41  
But just also keep in mind that it's not going to happen overnight for you either, you will probably get 99 knows before you get that one. Yes. And just you know showing up every single day and pushing every single day, that's when you're going to start to see that difference. And I wish that like last trainers would be more upfront with that. What like during trainings and stuff, because people go in to this industry with the expectation of you know, making $100,000 after the first month because I mean there is that potential, but if it was that easy, everybody would be doing it. Absolutely. I feel like there's a big movement where people are adding business into the courses more same with you I went through when that didn't exist and I bought a salon without ever running a business and it's it's a harsh wake up call.

Mary Harcourt  17:33  
I struggled and learned a lot very quickly and very, very hard and tragically but you know you learn those lessons and I think that is something it's almost like you want to advertise how much you can make to get the course sold but the reality of it is you start from zero you got to build ground up and if we can hone in on any one is that it does take time it takes a lot of effort and it takes a lot of practice but if you stick to it it's so worth it and you can get there to where you're you're having these amazing months

katie allen  18:01  
yeah, absolutely. And I think that like the art of being able to communicate and actually actually like market yourself besides on social media has really been lost people usually our customers from word of mouth and interactions very small percentage of your of your lash customers especially for like small businesses actually come from social media those platforms Yes, once in a while people will you know, do an Instagram search for a lash tech, but most of the time is going to be someplace that you know, they walk by or they see a card or you know you have that social interaction. And so people stress over their Facebook posts in their Instagram posts and making sure that they're doing all of that when maybe that's not where you're getting your best results.

Mary Harcourt  18:47  
And it gets its friends of friends I can't even tell you my my salon built by getting girls that came in that would bring me their circle of friends that would bring me their circle of friends. It would bring me their circle of friends. And I used to think like, oh, wow, that one person has like over the test of time bought me essentially like 30 People just that one person because she told her friend that told her friend told her friend that told her whole friend. Now the whole tennis group comes to me like the whole day. So it can start maybe that one person came to you through Instagram posts, who knows where they come from, right but it is a lot of times word of mouth because it's a trusted source. So your clients going home and saying I love my girl. She's great. She takes her time. I've never had a bad service. She's super cute. The swans clean. I'm so happy with her. And someone else could be sitting there going Oh good. Tell me because I'm not happy with my girl. She always runs late. She shortens my service. I feel like I'm not getting the correct service that I should be getting parkings disastrous. I'm just really having a rough time. And now she switches to you. Who knows how many other friends that she has gone. I just found this amazing girl. Jenny goes to her. I just started going to her you need to start going to her and they'll build your book for you. So you brought up inventory before let's touch on that. What is it like to have a back stock I see Other things by Geo, so you have a whole backside inventory. This comes from hard lessons, I'm sure. So what is it like working with just different distributors supply chain the past two years having inventory on hand elaborate on all of that? Yeah,

katie allen  20:16  
I mean, inventory is like my love hate relationship, because I really, really love the product side, you know, your products don't call in sick to work, your products always show up. But yes, finding a good reliable, you know, vendor and all that jazz is definitely a process, I was blessed to be able to grow my brand very organically. And so in doing so, I was able to really know the cost of product inside and out, I was able to place orders for small batches, so that I could check the quality of the product. And so if you know, I really did come or purchase a product that was not the greatest, it wasn't that much lost, because they were in the small batches. And I was doing it very organically to say, you know, I'm placing an order of 20 pieces, I'm placing an order of, you know, very small batches. And I wasn't so crazy busy that like 2020 pieces would last me a while, you know, the majority of it was the lash mods and the customization. And so I was able to add products onto my brand very slowly and very methodically, without having this like, immediate need for them. And so being able to do that really, I believe helped me grow my brand to what it is today. When it comes to inventory, I kind of learned the hard way, like I'm kind of a penny pitcher. And so I would order exactly what I needed, and nothing more. And I knew that it would take three weeks to get there. And so you know, on that date, it would be that's when I would order, you know, the first time that it happened was pay customs, or, Hey, you know, this product got ruined during transit, you have to be able to anticipate the things that you you don't want to anticipate being able to budget for more product than you might necessarily need to kind of cover yourself being able to, I guess place orders with more than enough time. So that your customers aren't waiting so that you're not stressing out. I remember, for the longest time I would place my order, right when I knew I needed to place it and then it would be maybe three days late, but I was stressing out all three days. It was supposed to be here three days ago. And you know, just make things easier on yourself. place to place your your week before that. Like I said, you learn as you go.

Mary Harcourt  22:52  
Yeah, I think that's a skill. That's an exercise that makes you stronger that you eventually just kind of realize you have to do it much earlier than you originally anticipated.

katie allen  23:02  
What about supply chain last two years have been crazy in supply chain world that has to have affected you. Yes. So our supplier is actually from Vietnam. And so that was a little bit different than some of the other lash brands because a lot of the other lash brands get a lot of their products from China. Vietnam didn't have the shutdown that China did. I know a lot of other brands dealt with like the pre made fans like situation. And we have always done the promo advance. And so those were all 100% handmade, and the product was from Vietnam. And so we didn't have the supply chain issues there. Either. I want to say this, like in the most gentle way, but we really kind of took off during that time, because we were able to have the products that no one else had at the time, when COVID hit. It was like an auto ship moment, there was like two, maybe a two week span where it was like crickets. And I was like, That's it, you know, we're gonna have to do something else we're gonna have to pivot. And you know, that's it. I had extra stock of about 2000 masks in my inventory. And I put these masks up, you know, on my website, and they literally were by saving grace of my business because I sold out of these 2000 masks at like full price within like a week and the fact that we just had them in stock like readily readily available. I'm such a firm believer and like God and everything happens for a reason and like he absolutely had my back on that one. Um, yeah, it was kind of like my sign that, you know, you'll be fine. Just move forward, one foot in front of the other and so I was very blessed. My family was very blessed that during that time We could have come out much worse. And we've definitely prevailed.

Mary Harcourt  25:05  
Well, I think it's just being open to the pivot. Because obviously, things aren't going exactly how you planned every day. But when things take a turn, you are able to kind of navigate and go, Okay, it's in your hands. Now, let's see what happens. And usually it leads to a prettier and brighter place. So just being open sometimes really has a huge effect on making

katie allen  25:25  
things worse. Yeah, absolutely. You could never be stuck in like the plan that you have for yourself. If you look at, like my pictures from 2018, or my website, or you know, just what my game plan was for my business in 2018, it's so different from like, what we are today and what we will be in three years. Absolutely.

Mary Harcourt  25:49  
That's that's the entrepreneur thing, too, is you're just, you don't really know where you're going. But you're going, you'll figure it out when you get there. So you also have this crazy cool thing called the lash artists box, which is a subscription box. Tell everyone about that?

katie allen  26:02  
Yes. So I actually purchased this company. This company was Katie grosses baby. She thought that in this industry, there are so many different lash brands. And it's so expensive to try all these different brands to pay for shipping. And then to like, get a product that you're maybe not that crazy about. And she was like, Well, what if there was like a better way. And she created this subscription box, where you get to try multiple brands in this one box. I know like different brands have like a skirt subscription box for just like their brand. This has different brands. So you get to try, you know, different glues, different lashes, different swag of all these different brands, delivered straight to your door for $55 a month. And there's over $100 worth of product in every single box. And like this is such a genius idea for like both sides. Because on the brand side, you get to put your physical product into hundreds of people's hands 100 of your your demographics hands, where they get to try these products where you get to introduce these products. And then these lash artists get to try these products at a fraction of the cost. And so it was just an ingenious idea that when she asked if I wanted to take over this company, it was a no brainer. And like you said with the entrepreneurial spirit, it was like, Yeah, let's do it. So yeah, we've had that company since November of 2021. And we did make a couple of changes. Just it used to be like a bimonthly box. Now it's a monthly box. And just like the structure of it has changed a little bit, but super, I love doing it every month. It's a fun, fun project.

Mary Harcourt  27:50  
So what is it like having a subscription box? Is it like three days of madness while you're stuffing boxes? putting labels on getting them out? Or is it just kind of like a month you like it's it's this project that goes on every day a little bit each day? Or is it that like bottleneck of three days a month where

katie allen  28:06  
it's, you know, sometimes it's harder than other times? I think that the hardest part for me is like reaching out to brands and being like, hey, like, do you want to get your products inside these boxes, this is what we're doing. I mean, there's months where like, my inbox is full, and people are like, hey, you know, I want in the box, tell me about it. And then I have that figured out. But then there's other months where I'm like, I need to get somebody in here, I need to get something in here. And so I think that that is probably the hardest part of the business. We haven't worked out pretty well where we have like the due dates, and I like to stay completely on top of people and their due dates. So that you know when the the time that time of the month comes, it's just pretty simple putting the items into the boxes, and then having it ready. So like the typical month will will look like this. We will have the brand for the previous month or the upcoming month, and all those different brands for that box. I'll design the box. We'll do you know teasers on Instagram and social media. We'll change up the marketing that we have for that month. We'll do the photoshoot, we'll do the videos. We will do like all the extra little things that we put into the box. And then we have the marketing for that entire month of the month the box to make sure that we're giving all those products kind of like their shout outs you know we're advertising for them that is part of the lash artist box. And so it's kind of like a never ending like Okay, now we have this month then. Now let's start on the next month. But it's like a very methodical process. So it's not like overwhelming at any point.

Mary Harcourt  29:58  
I love it. I mean it isn't add on, I would imagine it's amazing for brands that have new products, you know, because you kind of want to try and first your your see the advertisement, you're curious about it. But when they're in your hands, and it's like, oh, cool, this is part of my box, I get to try it. Now, in the lash industry, as you mentioned earlier, we're just babies in it, things are always going to be we're just scratching the surface of what it's capable of. And we're going to be evolving and innovating. And part of innovation is just getting those new products, a new way to do something into the hands of these lash artists that they try and go, Oh, wow, that really works. And now they're a buyer for life. So it's a great opportunity. I think it's awesome. How big do you see the lash artists box getting how many subscribers would be like your goal? Oh, man.

katie allen  30:42  
So it's, it's like a hard, like, the more you grow, the harder it gets, right? The more subscribers you have, the more boxes you need to fill, the more products you need to get, the more expensive it becomes. And so it is like, it's hard to be like, Okay, we're gonna do 1000 boxes, all of the same brand, all of the same product, I need this product in a month, like I am a firm believer in growing organically and figuring out what works and what doesn't work and being able to pivot. So if that looks like, hey, maybe half the boxes will look like this, and half the boxes will look like that. And just like growing with what works, I, you know, I really do feel like we could get into the 1000s of subscribers per month.

Mary Harcourt  31:25  
So you're a firm believer in multiple streams of income, you started your business, when you were kind of just back up against the wall, which is so relatable, we've all been there, we all started from absolutely nothing and not a clue how to apply eyelash extension, and have built these amazing businesses. So what is your take on why multiple streams of income is so important?

katie allen  31:44  
Like I can't preach it enough that, like, why stress yourself out? Why have this like overwhelming stress of like, I need to make sure that I make X amount of money and that we sell this much product and we do this and you know, you're you're breaking your back to do it, instead of making multiple investments and having different streams come in, and then not having to worry so much about it. Because if you have these different businesses in place, and you can have so many different types of income in the lash industry, then if one business is suffering, than the other one can kind of help it a little bit. And if both of them are doing great, then you know that that's amazing, then you learn how to save your money or invest your money in a way where you're making more money. You know, I grew up lower middle class, I would say. And so we, you know, our treat would be going to McDonald's and getting to order not off the dollar menu, you know, like that was a big thing. And so never in my wildest dreams did I think that I'd be able to not only have my own business, but be able to save money and invest money in what that would look like. And so it's something that you have to learn, especially if you've never been taught that before. The more that I did it, the more of it was like an aha moment of like, well, that's how you become, you know, wealthy, or that's how you invest properly to make something more because if you have, you're making X amount of money, and you're just leaving it in the bank, you're not doing anything with that money, you're not making that into more, if you take that money and you invest it to something else, and that's growing over here, and you take some of that money and you invest that into something else. And that's growing over here. That's how you flourish into becoming a brand or, you know, having multiple brands. Right now we have a storefront, we have E commerce, we have the lash artist box. And then my husband actually has a fourth business which is like bouncy castles that we rent out to like for like birthday parties and stuff. And that's another stream of income and we plan on opening up another supply store in a different state, you know, and just constantly going with like, why not, you know,

Mary Harcourt  34:00  
well and your company even lets other lash artists have an extra stream of income because you can put your logo on things. So all of a sudden now you have a retail store and that retail people are gonna buy this product anywhere it's just gonna be at the drugstore or through you and why should it not be for you, you're the they're the person that they're investing to get their lashes done with. So send them home with like some custom lash wash, you have the brushes, you have all kinds of stuff and then they could also create their own brand from your supplies as well. Is that correct? Yes.

katie allen  34:26  
So there's certain things that we're able to customize. At this point. We do training kits, we do the aftercare stuff and now we do ring the bell last year as well. And like I said, we're growing organically with that. So people are like what are you going to do lashes when are you going to do this eventually, but not yet. But yes, no, I always I always preach that like retail is your easy money. Retail is your bread and butter because you're going to spend X amount of time on your lash service and say you bring in $100 From that, if you add on another $50, for the retail items, or the things that you have up front, like that doesn't take any of your physical time. But that could be additional money with the tip that they add that is, you know, say you spent $20, and you're making a $20 profit, all you did was click, you know, add to cart, and you're making a profit from that, like, that's, that's where you're gonna start genuine generating more income. It's, you know, work smarter, not harder, for sure.

Mary Harcourt  35:32  
I completely agree. I know, when we first added retail into my salon, I was like, I don't know, it wasn't gonna work. It's a lot of investment. And then I started watching it where these ladies would come in and get their lashes done. And they each take home a product, if not to sometimes they pick up a candle, we get hair ties, we'd like the cutest little things. I used to think like this easiest way to make money. Why was I not doing this the entire time I was here, it took so long. But that's an additional way you can make income in your business. And you guys make it so easy just to purchase little cute things that you can send home with your logos on it.

katie allen  36:02  
Yeah. And I think that like a little tidbit of advice that I could give to people is if you are going to retail items make them very readily available. Like where people will either come in or where they're checking out where they're taking their you know, their wallet out, have it there. So that people will have that, oh, I need that. Or it's easy to have that conversation of oh, what is this? That will make your the purchase of the retail item a lot easier.

Mary Harcourt  36:33  
I love it. You were at last count as a vendor. Do you guys do a lot of trade shows to kind of promote your business? Do you feel like that's a good avenue for you? Was that your only one? Do you do a bunch through the years.

katie allen  36:45  
So right now for this year, we are going to be set up at the Miami factor the beauty factor in Miami. And then afterwards, we're going to IBS Vegas. And then we're going to finish off at lash con again for this year. Yeah, I am a huge firm believer in trade show. Because it's really hard to reach different demographics and different audiences and the ones that you are already like in, that's one of the hardest things to do. And so if you go to these trade shows, like one people get to know you get to know the person kind of behind the brand, they get to physically like see your product, or learn about your product. It's like a double whammy for me as well with the lash artist box. Because not only am I trying to reach a customer, I'm trying to reach brands being able to communicate and form relationships and just kind of be like, hey, you know, this is the person behind the DM on Instagram. It's very, very essential for both of our businesses. There's been times where people don't maybe necessarily buy the products, you know, at the trade show. But giving them that information. I've gained a lot of clients repeat customer clients from the trade shows. And so at the end of the day, like Oh, but it's so expensive, and maybe only made X amount of money, you have to take into consideration the relationships that you build. And that marketing in your brain. Like if somebody sees you at a trade show whether they stop or not. Like they're gonna remember your brand, they're gonna remember that name. And so maybe a couple of times, you know, it'll pop up on Instagram or on Facebook. And eventually they'll say, you know, let me check that out. Just putting your logo places and communicating with people does so much more than people really take into consideration.

Mary Harcourt  38:31  
I agree with all of that. I think it's just a way to meet a different different group of people. I mean, they're not and not everyone is on Instagram. Everyone is on Tik Tok. Not everyone is on Facebook. And I think it's really important for you as well. I mean, it's like the ripple because you get a lot of students in school at these at these shows. And the students might see your product and be like, Oh, that's really cool when I'm ready. And then they graduate their school. They take a couple clients, they become a solo salon owner or zero salon Republic. And now all of a sudden they're like, oh, man, I wish I had my stuff with my logo on it. Wait That girl at the trade show? She did that? Let me find it. It's like a quick Google search way. Oh my God, that's her. Okay, let me place my order now. So sometimes I feel like trade shows. It's the ripple effect, man. It is not instant. It's like what happens months down the road, sometimes years. But it's a ripple, which I think will be very helpful for your business.

katie allen  39:26  
Yeah. And it kind of goes back to when you were talking about, you know, you have that one last client that comes in and then they tell their friends and they tell their friends and they tell their friends like it's the same with the lash industry and lash brands and lash products. Like if somebody likes your product. You know, if you're in a sola, you have 30 other people around you, they're probably going to tell these people about the product as well. And so yeah, it's definitely a ripple effect. Absolutely.

Mary Harcourt  39:50  
Well, you have a podcast too. I was on it. So cute. It's called Help is on the way. I love it so much. What is your podcast

katie allen  39:56  
about? So help us on the way I have My co hosts Susana from 2g lash, she was actually one of my very first customers. And she is just the sweetest, funniest most sassy woman that you'll ever meet. She's hilarious. And her and I just really formed a relationship right off the bat and she is the most talented lash artists that I've ever seen. And so I was like hey, you need to you need to do this podcast with me. And so she gives more of the lash artist tips and advice and tricks where I bring in like the brand side of it. Because the business just like my brand when I started it, I never felt like comfortable right off the bat like saying these are the lashes you need this is the you know the tweezers you need because I knew nothing about it. And so I brought on with the belt I brought on prolong you know, these trusted names that I could retell off. And the same thing with Susanna like, I am not like the amazing lash expert, right? Like, that's not my forte, but she is. And so why not bring her on to be able to answer those questions and be able to give our viewers or the people that are listening, the best possible advice that we can. That's what we do. We also, we've done a lot of interviews lately, just kind of giving background on people I love, love, love just learning about our industry and the people in it. And you know what we're all made of?

Mary Harcourt  41:28  
I love that. So one last thing, and I'll let you go Where do you see your company going in the future? Like what are your goals if everything worked out in the stars all aligned?

katie allen  41:38  
Yeah. And it's kind of crazy that you're asking me that? Because I have really been doing some like searching as to like, where should my brand be going, you know what direction and I've tried a lot of things that you know you're supposed to do and check off the boxes of oh, I need a salon I need to offer lashes. And that definitely is not what I enjoy doing. I enjoy brands, I love it. I enjoy products, I enjoy that part of the business. And so my ideal want and desire is to open multiple retail locations for beautiful ones, different states with just with just products where people can come in and try their products just like we have here in Atlanta. Our next location is going to be Colorado. I would love to eventually franchise it out where people can you know, say hey, we want to open up a beautiful ones retail store and sell our products there. So yeah, that's that's, that's where I want it to go. So

Mary Harcourt  42:41  
I love that. I hope you get there. Well, you have been amazing. Thank you so much. I love you. I love your story. Your products are amazing. Where can everyone go to find who you are find out more about your products, all that fun stuff.

katie allen  42:53  
Yeah, so we have lots of places you can find us. You can find us on Instagram at beautiful ones. We have a Facebook group, lash artist and marketing. We have a YouTube channel beautiful ones. We have the podcast help is on the way. I think that's it we have tick tock as well. Beautiful ones. And our website is www dot beautiful ones.com And then the lash artist box WWW dot flashcard spots.

Mary Harcourt  43:21  
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 glowlight I hope you enjoyed today's episode and many more to come