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Lashing Out

Written By: Genesis Gonzalez

Photographed By: Curtis Kim

Expert Name: Janelle Koch

Credentials: Owner, Blink Lash Boutique

All fabulous things come to those in the blink of a lash! It is no secret that when it comes to beauty routines, lash extensions are a must! Flawless, beautiful and full lashes perfect for any occasion or day to day activities, these lashes have women blinking at the exciting new treatment. Blink Lash Boutique has an eye for lash extensions, literally! Janelle Koch and Jen Pearson have transformed their passion into a well-recognized and flourishing business. At Blink Lash Boutique, customers indulge in a one of kind experience filled with relaxation, absolute fun, and the delight of Champagne. There is no comparison to the rest, for Blink Lash Boutique provides the utmost quality care and treatment for your lashes.

Koch and her team are well trained when it comes to the beauty of lash extensions. The process is simple and easy, and for many, whether you have thicker or even sparse lashes, Blink Lash Boutique will have a flawless treatment for everyone. Forget the mascara and the hassle of strip lashes; treat yourself to the perfect look every time. Whether you are going out for the night, sweating it out at hot yoga or cooling down at the beach this summer, your lashes deserve Blink Lash Boutique!

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Q: What inspired you to open a lash extension boutique, as this is a very interesting and unique niche?

Janelle Koch: I know it is! I had already been an esthetician prior to eyelash extensions coming around. When I first heard of it, I actually had really fine, sparse and short eyelashes myself. I would try to curl them, and it wouldn’t hold. I was always jealous of my friends who could get a really full mascara look. I would wear strip lashes sometimes, but that wasn’t really my thing. I was just immediately intrigued. When I took the training back in 2006, I thought, “If I can learn this service, I can offer it to clients and do it myself and do it on myself.” Which you can’t do, but I didn’t know that at the time. I found out there was a growing demand for it, and for somebody to do it the right way.

Q: Was there specific training you went through to learn this process?

JK: Yes, I did take a training course at one of the reputable training providers back then, but really all of the trainings out there are just a one or two-day course. It is so dependent on each technician from that point on, to take what they tell you and practice it and perfect it. A lot of people take a two-day or one-day hands-on class, and they think they’re going to be an expert the next day, when really it takes months and months to develop that skill.

Q: How did your partnership with Jen Pearson come about, and do you find it is a perfect fit?

JK: We are definitely yin and yang! We are such a great balance for each other. We had met just about a year prior to us becoming business partners together. She was also an esthetician at the time, and I actually trained her to do lashes. She started doing it in a little studio that we were both working at. She loved it! As things started to grow, she was doing her own thing, and I was doing my own thing, and then we just merged together.

Q: Do you feel this is becoming a growing trend in the beauty industry?

JK: I’ve seen it grow so much! When I opened my own business in 2008, people thought I was crazy! How could you possibly have enough clients to only offer one service? Even then, at the peak of the recession, I was getting busier and busier. Clients would tell me, “I will give up my nails. I won’t go to happy hour with my girlfriends because this is something that I can’t do myself.” As the years have gone on, more people have found out about it, and it’s becoming a staple in people’s beauty routine, like getting their nails done or getting their hair color touched up.

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Q: How do lash extensions compare to lashes you purchase in the drug stores?

JK: These are individually attached, so it’s not attached to your skin like strip lashes are to the base of your eyelids. The extensions are individually adhered one extension to one natural lash at a time over and over. They don’t shed out until you naturally shed your existing natural lash. They do stay on a lot longer. You can shower, swim or workout. A lot of people like it because they’re doing hot yoga, and it still looks like they have mascara on, but it’s not running down their face with black streaks. As you’re gradually shedding out your natural lashes, that’s when you need to come back and get a touch-up. We just replace the ones you’ve shed out and put new extensions on the new growth.

Q: Is it easy to maintain and upkeep?

JK: Our typical clients will come in for a 30-minute appointment every 2 or 3 weeks. It’s very similar maintenance to getting your nails done.

Q: Do you feel lash extensions can work for those with very little or sparse eyelashes to begin with?

JK: Yes it can, but they’re not going to get as full of a look as someone who has really thick and full lashes to begin with. We can do a lot more. We can use a denser lash or a longer lash on someone who has thick, sturdy lashes. Someone with more frail and sparse lashes, we can definitely improve what they have. That’s what we went to learn in Canada, a new technique called Volume Lashing. It’s great for people that do have finer and sparse lashes because we can give them a much fuller look than the classic lash technique.

Q: Would you say the overall process and atmosphere is easy and fun?

JK: We try to be a really fun, friendly and outgoing place. When you walk in, we’re going to ask you if you want coffee, tea, water or Champagne. A lot of clients end up falling asleep during their appointment since they’re laying down with their eyes closed, but other clients like to visit and talk, and we love that too! It really just depends on the client. We have a lot of clients tell us, “This is the best time of my day. I get to come relax and see you girls.” We like that!

Q: How would you define what it means to be beautiful?

JK: Confidence is the most beautiful quality any woman can have! With any beauty treatment, eyelash extensions include something that makes you feel a little bit more beautiful. It’s going to bring out that confidence in you. That’s when personalities really shine through.

Q: As a successful business owner, what advice would you give those aspiring to be where you are today?

JK: I would just say if it’s something you love and are passionate about, you can make it happen! It makes it so much easier to put in the hours and hard work when it’s something that you love. You just have to find the right resources and the right people to guide you. We had people that helped coach us with ways we could develop the brand and the business. But other than that, we did all the work ourselves. It was a lot of hours and a lot of sleepless nights. There’s a lot that goes into it, but if we can do it, anyone can!

Blink Lash Boutique
7801 Mission Center Ct, Ste 104
San Diego, CA 92108
619.964.6082
www.blink-boutique.com