Richard Eastern went into the lash extension business for three reasons—there was an established business model, the product is practical and saves women time and, most importantly, it’s empowering.
“I was really excited about the empowerment of women,” Eastern says. “I really like that it makes women feel good about themselves, internally and externally. That piece really hit me.”
A Bellevue native and University of Washington alumnus, Eastern spent the first two decades of his professional life as an entrepreneur and real estate broker. Roughly a year ago, he met with a franchise broker to look at options for building a new business.
“I like that franchises are a way to have a business without reinventing the wheel,” he says. “I always felt like it’s my personality and ingenuity to take something and edit it rather than start from scratch.”
Now, he and his wife, Stacey, have two salons, with five beds in each. Their main objective is to give Bellevue and Redmond communities a high-end option for lashes, brows, permanent makeup and threading. Eastern has enjoyed the positive response so far.
“There was one woman who said she only had the time and money to go to a therapist or get her lashes done, and she chose the lashes,” he says. “She was joking, but it does provide a valuable service. It gets women excited about themselves and ready to tackle the world.”
Eastern thinks they might open a third salon in the next few years, but he says that would be the cap.
“My dad was a pharmacist in Seattle for 50 years, and he had three locations. He always emphasized not biting off more than you can chew. He knew every customer and client and made sure the interaction was valued. I learned that from him,” Eastern says.
Lose these Lash Myths
Myth 1: Having lash extensions applied could hurt or feel uncomfortable.
Truth: The process of having lash extensions applied does not hurt and should never cause discomfort if they are being applied by a trained lash stylist. Actually, the lash extension application process is a very relaxing experience and many clients enjoy a nap.
Myth 2: Eyelash extensions could damage my natural lashes.
Truth: When you combine premium products and trained lash stylists with proper application techniques, then your natural lashes should never be damaged. During the lash application process, it’s imperative to the health of your lashes to have each natural hair isolated when an extension is adhered to it and ensure proper separation so that the hairs can continue to grow and shed as they would naturally.
Myth 3: My natural lashes will be shorter if/when I decide to have my extensions removed.
Truth: When eyelash extensions are applied by a trained lash stylist, your natural lashes are allowed to grow as usual. Women without lash extensions usually apply and remove mascara every day. The application and slight pulling of lashes when applying mascara followed by the cleaning and rubbing of your eyes to remove the mascara can greatly damage your lashes. With a proper lash extension application, there will be no damage and your lashes should grow better than they would if you were applying, wearing and cleaning off mascara day to day.
Myth 4: Eyelash extensions are one-size-fits-all, and my lashes will look just like my friend’s lashes after she got her lash extensions.
Truth: All of us have different eye shapes and a different number of natural lashes. What does this mean? It means that lash extensions can be (and should be) customized just for you. It also means that your lash extensions may not look just like your friend’s lash extensions since you each have a different eye shape and number of natural lashes.
*According to thelashlounge.com.
6 Facts about Lash Shedding
- On average, a person can lose up to 20 percent of their natural eyelashes every two weeks.
- Natural eyelashes grow in and fall out in cycles, which occur every 60 to 90 days.
- All hairs, including eyelashes, replace themselves every few years.
- Depending on their individual growth cycles, a person can typically shed between one and five natural eyelashes every day.
- When a natural eyelash matures and falls out, a new lash has already been growing and quickly replaces the lost eyelash. For many of us, this process is not noticed.
- When eyelashes are extended with quality extensions (like we use here at The Lash Lounge), it will be more noticeable when these lashes shed because they are longer and darker than your natural lashes.
*According to thelashlounge.com.