Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Thomason.
Hi Jennifer, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
About four years ago, I blindly began my journey of changing careers. Figuring out that real estate wasn’t for me was no big surprise. After quitting my last job in real estate and property management, I ended up moving out of my apartment. That led to moving back in with my parents to save some money. There was an apparent craving for spontaneity that couldn’t be ignored. My craving was to be brave and travel abroad alone. After all, I felt like I had missed out on traveling abroad by not attending college. These feelings led to finding a nonprofit program that granted me the opportunity to live with a host family in Spain. One month was spent with the family, and the rest of my stay was spent exploring different countries and meeting up with friends.
It was inevitable that I would go through waves of depression and confusion after being on such a travel high. My former roommate and friend who owns a salon suggested to try esthetician school. Around that same time, I volunteered to help do hair and makeup for my girlfriend’s wedding. Her hired makeup artist ended up bailing the day of the wedding, leaving me with a very large bridal party of 10. It was very fun yet fulfilling to work under pressure and help alleviate a stressful situation. Makeup artistry has always been a passion of mine, but it never crossed my mind that working in the beauty industry could be an everyday job.
My career began as a concierge at my friend’s salon. My mission was to better understand the environment and salon culture while being enrolled in esthetician school. The program I chose was flexible, allowing me to finish in 11 months. Two months into having my license and working at the salon, the pandemic hit. Once everything had shut down it felt like there was ample time to think of a future game plan. Amidst multiple closures, it made the most sense that I start my own business. It was easy to make this decision because the clientele I had built over the past year became my security blanket. After a successfully busy year in 2021, my rolodex of clients had jumped to 298 people. My agenda this year looks very different. My plan is to spend half of my time in Los Angeles with my regular return clients. The other half will be spent in Denver, CO, my new home base. I am very excited and eager to test a different market and expand my business.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
This question hits hard right now because of currently relocating. It’s important to remember that even if the path you’re on doesn’t make sense in the moment, the universe will always take care of you. Everything works itself out. It’s really essential to keep that in mind while battling your struggles. One of the biggest stressors I find in my business and in life is that I look at the end result of challenges first. Taking a closer look at the little steps needed to conquer the challenges is going to help you achieve more.
Starting off as a newly licensed esthetician, it is likely that you will have a hard time gaining more experience while not having a place to work out of. In the beginning, I spent most of my time lugging my equipment around and doing house calls. It is really important to visualize what type of work environment and location best suits you. There will be financial instability as you are building a consistent clientele and paying off school or personal debt. A feeling that was hard to kick was feeling behind in life and like it was too late to start a new career. While it may seem as though you’re behind, remember that you are investing in your future. Lastly, figuring out how to run a business without having any prior experience is definitely scary. It’s a lot of trial and error, and you are now responsible for the overhead of running the business. There are times too where I will panic because it’s a slower week and people aren’t booking, but there is always something you could be doing during downtime to improve your business.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
As an esthetician my services currently include lash extensions, brow shaping and waxing, brow lamination, brow and lash tinting, and lash lifts. Fresh out of esthetician school my services also included skin care, facials, spray tans, and make up application. After getting into the groove of things, you come to learn what you really excel at and enjoy doing. It can also be a matter of what is worth your time or not. The cool thing about this industry is that there will always be new services, trends, and techniques to learn. I take pride in my work and my signature is to maintain a natural look. My specialty is definitely lash extensions and brow lamination. It’s so fun to hype my clients up on their own beauty and individuality. The key is to accentuate their natural assets. The best part of my job is connecting with my clients and building a strong level of trust, receiving their loyalty in return. It is such a mutual feeling to boost each other’s confidence. I know I’m doing my job when my clients post a selfie, they come back and refer their friends, or when I get a text from them complimenting my work.
Can you tell us more about what you were like growing up?
Growing up, I was pretty shy but loved trying to make people laugh. It was comical that I was such a girly girl and had more boy friends than girl friends. In preschool, you could find me in the sandbox wearing a dress and cowboy boots. When I was a child, I thought I wanted to be a veterinarian. However, looking back, it was a no-brainer that I ended up in the beauty industry. At a mere age of 4 or 5, discovering my mom’s makeup collection was always a treat for me. A large portion of my adolescence was spent playing with Barbies and dressing up with friends. From the age of 2 to 13, I did gymnastics. This was how I connected with my dad who was a former gymnast. Towards the end of my gymnastics career, I was competing mostly every weekend. My curiosity drove me to being pretty brave and willing to try anything new.
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