Meet Trailblazer Brittani Hamilton Strong

Meet Trailblazer Brittani Hamilton Strong

Meet Trailblazer Brittani Hamilton Strong

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittani Hamilton Strong.

Brittani, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I was introduced to lash extensions at the age of 17 by taking a lash course with some close friends. When I completed the course I thought to myself how incredible lash extensions were and how I was going to take the opportunity to grow my clientele because of the potential I saw in lashes. I enrolled in Paul Mitchell Esthetician school shortly after and began practicing lash extensions from home (yes, I still lived at home with my parents but don’t worry I would provide a top-notch service by stealing my parents champagne to serve to my clients). I would go to school from 9:00am-4:30pm, then have clients from 5:00-11:00pm… sometimes midnight! I always say lash extensions chose me.

By the time I graduated, I had actually built a full clientele. I attribute a lot of my client building success to Instagram. I would share before and after’s, reach out to people in the community, and constantly engage. After I graduated I needed to find somewhere to work. At that time, I didn’t realize it, but I was actually the first person in my city providing lash extensions. So, when I went to find somewhere to work there was nowhere! I even tried to find somewhere to booth rent and people were nervous about letting an 18-year old doing “lash extensions” (which were so unheard-of at the time) in their salons. Salon owners weren’t sure about the liability that would come with it. So, I was really bummed because I had this amazing clientele and nowhere to go. That was when I was walking along this row in Aliso Viejo called “Vantis” and there was a tiny coffee shop I loved. The row has homes above and businesses below. I was drinking my coffee and walking along and there just so happened to be one space that said ”For Rent” and just out of curiosity I called. I didn’t think in my wildest dreams I would be able to afford it. It just so happened they actually wanted to rent the whole space (home + business) and they had just had a someone call that was only wanting to rent the home section! I negotiated the rental deal (I tried to pull out negotiation skills I learned from every movie I ever watched) and it worked out.

Here we are almost five years later in the same space with the same people are living above. I opened my salon, SoCal Beauty at 18 years old. It is a Lash, Brow, and Massage salon that is truly unmatched in the area for “luxury boutique style” services. We also have built a great online store presence with all of the top-notch products we carry. I have built a team of seven amazing girls and have had almost zero turnover. I am completely obsessed with managing and building my team. One thing I had not anticipated loving as a business owner was the mentorship aspect of it. When I was able to prove to myself that I could build a clientele with lashes and be successful doing them that was amazing. But what was truly an indescribable feeling was when I was able to mentor and help somebody else build a clientele and make a stable income in this industry. Our salon has won “Best of Aliso” in the beauty industry category 4 years in a row now and I believe that is because we have an outstanding team that provides outstanding services. We pride ourselves on doing and being the best. I could not be more grateful for the love and support that we receive from the community, family, friends, and this industries’ top leaders. I have a feeling this is just the beginning for SoCal Beauty.

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?
There have definitely been a lot of bumps! Owning a business is not easy at all. I think a lot of times (in the beauty industry particularly) people think that just because they build a clientele means they would be a good salon owner. Being a salon business owner and being a service provider are two different jobs. That for me was something I had to learn very quickly in the beginning. As a business owner, you are dedicating your life to making someone else’s better, often at your own expense. What I mean by that is you are deciding to take on the full responsibility of paying someone/multiple people’s bills and income. At the beginning of owning my business, there were times when there was barely anything left for me once I paid my team. But I knew that there was a bigger picture and I had a plan to get myself to the point where I needed be. There are a lot of Friday nights, Saturdays, and Sundays where my husband and I spend time at the salon building, fixing, improving the space, thinking about how we can create a better working environment for our team or better customer experience. I would never tell someone to get into business because they “don’t want a boss” or they “want to be their own boss” because as a business owner, yes you are now in charge of everything… but when you build a team you are still serving others. Which is clearly my favorite part of owning a business. I love to help people and make others happy. So, I think if you have the proper personality, drive, and expectations you will be a fabulous owner. There’s a lot of companies that paint a pretty picture and have awesome social media’s but are secretly a hot mess internally. You need to know that there will be bumps, but if you are passionate about what you are doing and you have clear goals with action plans to achieve them, you will be unstoppable.

We’d love to hear more about SoCal Beauty.
Our salon specializes in luxury Lash Extensions. We also provide micro-blading and massage but we are mainly a lash focused salon. We are known industry-wide and have created a great following for our Signature SoCal Style. What I am proud of most about our brand is how well we have been able to actually brand ourselves. It’s really hard to be consistent across all social media, websites, and in-store. When someone sees us online, they know exactly what to expect in-store. We have the same color scheme portrayed throughout, we provide luxury service and carry top quality product. I would say so many things that make our salon experience different but one thing that is really cool about our Lash Experience is that you are sitting in a Zero Gravity Chair while receiving your Lash Experience. A zero gravity chair brings your body to a zero gravity position, essentially releasing all pressure off of your spine. About 15-30 mins into the appointment, a lot of customers experience their back cracking because it is fully aligning your spine. Also, each lash service is fully customized to the client’s wants and needs in a safe and healthy manner. All of our lash artists are trained and certified educators of Borboleta Beauty, the leader in lash industry products. With this amazing education, our salon is able to perform the safest lash extensions out there. We will always consider the client’s needs and style preference, then customize their sets safety so as not to damage their natural lashes.

So much of the media coverage is focused on the challenges facing women today, but what about the opportunities? Do you feel there are any opportunities that women are particularly well positioned for?
I feel that both men and women definitely can do anything they set their minds to! I am really glad we are living in a time where women have a voice and are using it to achieve their goals and dreams.

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