When asked about my plans for the weekend by a few of my clients last week, and I replied that I was attending a Lash Conference, I was met with a look of surprise followed by confusion. A conference, about lashes?? How much is there to talk about lashes? I was asked. Which lead me to realise, that although I fully understand the artistry, intricacies and science behind eyelash extensions, my clients simply thought it was a case of "plonking them on".
So I thought I would write a blog about the conference and give you the inside scoop!
This was my first experience of a lash conference but it definitely won't be my last! World Lash University was held at the beautiful Belfry Hotel And Resort in the Midlands, an absolutely stunning venue and was organised by 3 awesome and inspiring business women from the lash industry, Julie Knight, Katie Godfry and Zoe Mizon. All 3 women run their own businesses and have won multiple awards so who better to organise such an event.
The day started with pastries, teas and coffees while all the attendees collected their goody bags and took their seats. Let me tell you, the goody bags did not disappoint! I mean, who doesn't love free stuff?! We were spoiled by all the fantastic sponsers with free glue, lashes, selfie lights, tweezers, head bands, pens (love a free pen haha!) lash lift mascara, lash cleanser.. the list goes on. It was better than Christmas!
Hush filled the room and the first speaker took to the microphone. In total we had 13 different speakers from all over the world, some travelled all the way from Canada and the USA, all giving amazing advice. I won't list them all but here are a few of my personal favourites from the day.
Ria-Jaine, who specialises in accounting for small beauty business owners. Ria-Jaine spoke about some great advice of the technicalities that come with running a business.
Marina Larskaya, who travelled from Russia to speak at the event. Marina gave a speech about the importance of lash styling and how to correct asymmetrical eye shapes using strategically placed curls and lengths of the extensions
Another of my favourites was Jamie Butler, head of marketing at lash industry giant, LashBase. I follow Jamie avidly on Instagram.. (in a strictly professional capacity I may add.. not in a weird stalker way!) so listening to him speak in person rather than on his story was almost like seeing a celebrity in the flesh! I find marketing, social media in particular, really interesting so this was right up my street!
After lunch, we heard from Leanne Harber, an international lash judge, speaker and trainer. Leanne spoke about her incredible 'bridging' technique which she developed to enable one of her clients, who has sadly been suffering with extreme lash loss due to having cancer for a huge number of years, to have beautiful lashes. It really was so inspiring.
Our penultimate speaker was one of the event organisers, Julie Knight. Before embarking on a career in lashes, Julie spent many years in the police force. Her talk was all about how we, as lash artists/beauty therapists, can spot signs of domestic abuse in our clients. Doing the kind of job we do, we are in a unique position where clients can put their trust in us and feel they can tell us things they may not be able to tell people close to them. As a person who witnessed domestic violence first hand as a young child, my door is a lways open to anybody who feels they need help or an ear to listen with absolutely no judgements.
After the conference finished, all the attendees scurried off to our hotel rooms to get our glad rags on and glam up for the black tie dinner and awards evening. I have to say, everyone looked incredible! I have never been in a room with so many women and felt so much positivity and good vibes! Girl power at its absolute finest!
I didn't enter any of the awards this year, due to a bit of a lack of confidence, but seeing all the winners has totally inspired me and I'm raring to enter next year!
Many prizes were won on the raffle and after a few vinos we danced the night away at the disco!
So there you have it! Never heard of a lash conference before? Now you have! Here's to the class of 2019!