Today we’d like to introduce you to Jaimie Smonski.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
In 2013, I was planning a trip to California to visit some family and wanted to get eyelash extensions before I left. I found an online deal for a local studio, and I bought a full set and application, and before I knew it, I was hooked. Every two weeks, without fail, I would be back in the studio, getting my lashes refilled and growing closer and closer to my eyelash artist.
During one of my many visits, I had told the ladies of the studio that I had always wanted to be in the beauty industry but was always unable to justify leaving work to attend school. I had a car payment, rent, and a life to pay for. The owner of the studio informed me that she actually taught eyelash extension classes, and I could certify through the company Minky’s. I immediately jumped at the chance, signed up for class and began working practice into any shred of free time I had — I would work in the salon before work, after work and sometimes on lunch breaks. After months of work, I finally earned my certification and founded 5280 Glam.
Even still, I was working full-time at an engineering firm while doing eyelash extensions for about 8 or 9 months. Once I began to see some major success in my eyelash extension business, I decided to throw myself into this new career. About a year into my lash career, I was thrown a bit of a curveball — No longer could you just be “lash certified,” you had to be a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist. I started looking into schools that could work around my schedule. After looking at 25 different schools, I finally came across the school called “Denver Esthetician School | School of Botanical & Medical Aesthetics.” They did not accept student loans, but they were able to work with my schedule. For six months, I worked a full schedule and went to school on the weekends, then, for six more months, I worked on my intern hours. After a year, I was finally a registered esthetician and could add even more services into my business. I started lash tinting, brow tinting, and waxing. I also became certified in custom spray tanning, certified in chemical peels, microdermabrasion, dermaplaning, microneedling. From there, it has honestly just taken off.
I have a full book of clients, and I’m extremely blessed. My clients are my family, my best friends, and I love what I do. I work on moms, grandmothers, businesswomen, influencers, and more. They call my “Lash Queen,” and I cannot get enough of it. I love watching the transformation women go through within an appointment. Not so much the physical transformation, though I do love that as well, but more so the transformation in their confidence. It truly is the best feeling to see a clients face after they look at themselves in the mirror and their inner confidence seeps out.
Slowly, I began to have clients and friends enlisting my help in learning how to do eyelash extensions. Eventually, I decided to come up with my own teaching criteria and built my own eyelash extension kits for artists in-training. I’ve taught one-on-one and in large groups at a Grand Junction cosmetology school. I truly enjoy teaching. It is exciting to share all the secrets I have learned along the way, as well as tricks and tips on how to make their lash life so much easier.
In 2018, I decided to venture out on my own and open my own salon and I quickly found a space with a lot of potential. My girlfriend Kimberly, who owns Lashes by Kimberly, was also looking to evolve her business, so together we founded”Lash by Lash Design Studio.” We still have our own businesses operating separately in our studio, but the salons concept and design was put together as a team. We also have one other esthetician, Megan, working at LBL. This was the best decision I’ve ever made! Co-founding LBL has pushed me not only become a better esthetician but a better businesswoman all around. I am so proud of what we have accomplished, and I know it’ll only grow from here.
My mind is always going a million miles a minute. I am constantly thinking of new and exciting things I can do to grow my career and diversify my skillset. For example, recently, I have begun some dermaplaning product development. Applying my experience to the development of something that could help my industry has been an amazing ride, and I can only imagine where my career goes from here.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It definitely was not a smooth road. About a year into my lash career the laws changed in Colorado to where you needed to be a licensed esthetician or cosmetologist. I had to work full time, put myself through school financially, attend school, completing hours, and intern hours while trying to stay afloat. It was a hard year but I’m so glad it all happened that way. It’s made me such a stronger person.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
My most popular service is eyelash extensions. Mostly mega volume lashes. I have about 8 to 10 clients a day. I’ll also throw in a couple of custom spray tan clients a day. That is probably my second most popular service. Occasional bottom lashes and lash tinting are pretty big right now too.
I’m most proud of my clientele. How I’ve build my clientele. How we’ve all become so close like family. I’ve had the same clients for years. Their friends and family jump on board as well. I love that my business is all word of mouth. I have the occasional referral who ran into my client on an airplane, airport, Nordstrom’s, grocery store. I think it’s so cool. It’s like having my artwork walking around Colorado.
I think what sets my business apart from others are the kind of lashes I do. People love that mega volume look. I think it’s a bit more difficult to find in Colorado. Also quickness. Most people don’t like to sit still for 3 to 4 hours to get their lashes done. My full sets take an hour and a half and my fills are 45 minutes to 1 hour long. It’s reasonable and you wake up beautiful.
What were you like growing up?
I was very artsy and creative. I was always into drawing, painting, clay sculpting, makeup, hair, clothing designing. Most of the makeup, hair, and clothing was done on my barbies. I was also a tomboy as well. The best of both worlds. I was very outgoing and loved pretending. Using my imagination with my friends. I think that’s what childhood was all about.
- Classic full set of eyelash extentions $199
- Hybrid full set of eyelash extentions $250
- Volume full set of eyelash extentions $300
- Mega volume full set of eyelash extentions $350
- Address: 6300 E Hampden Ave. Denver co 80222. Suite 2105
Located in the District
- Website: 5280glam.com
- Phone: 970-261-4189
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: 5280glam
- Facebook: 5280 Glam
- Other: Lashbylashdesignstudio