In honor of Women’s History Month, we’ve partnered with LoveSeen‘s founder, fashion icon, and designer, Jenna Lyons. See how she has built her beauty business, plus advice on how you can start your own.
What inspired you to develop your false eyelash line?
I have no lashes myself due to a genetic disorder. That has made me hyper-aware of other people’s beautiful lashes – and wanted them for myself. In my quest to find false lashes I could wear, I noticed that the products on the market were quite full and dramatic. They all needed to be worn with a heavy black liner and were overwhelming for my desired beauty look. So I thought I would make my own, and LOVESEEN was born. It was not that easy – but it’s the short story.
What is unique about your business?
There are three core tenets that make us different:
1. Our lashes are distinctly more delicate and natural looking than the majority of offerings in the market. We even make lashes in brown and black mixed so that women with fair complexions can wear them without heavy liner.
2. Our packing is unique in design and literally the only brand we know that does not ship our lashes on a plastic tray. We worked closely with our packing supplier to make a lash tray made of sugarcane pulp and a box of unvarnished cardboard. Both are completely recyclable and break down easily.
3. We focus on diversity with intention. We hired 21 different models to build our lashes on. We asked women and men, ages 17-72, all different ethnicities, eye shapes, and skin tones – how they wanted to look – and then we built the lashes directly on them until they liked the way they looked. They shared with us that they felt “ seen,” which is where our name came from!
How did you use your experience in fashion to build your business?
All businesses are built on similar foundations. What is the white space? What does the customer want or need? What is special or unique about your product, and how do you share that? And most importantly, detail. Nothing is not important.
What is the go-to beauty service that always makes you feel confident?
My go-to beauty service is absolutely getting my hair done. I am terrible at it – when I have a fresh blowout, extensions, or slicked-back updo, I feel EXTRA.
What do you find most challenging about being a beauty entrepreneur?
The most challenging part of being a small business owner is having a small team and wearing a lot of hats – and sometimes hats that don’t fit very well – but it’s also the BEST PART.
How do you manage feelings of doubt?
This is a tough one – the one thing that I keep going back to is why? Why did I do this? Why did I believe? Why is it important, and why do I care? Connecting to the purpose of what and why I started is always helpful. That core belief and a sense of purpose can bring me back in times of doubt. So I think about those things every 30 minutes.
What advice do you give someone who’s just starting their business?
Ask for feedback and questions from those who are successful. Don’t be afraid to pivot, don’t give up, never assume, and ASK FOR HELP. No one knows everything. Acknowledge and embrace what you don’t know and seek out those who do.
How do you like to support women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs?
Being on the front lines of a small business, I am keenly aware of how challenging it is for anyone who does not sit in the majority. I am so grateful when I feel support from other women and happy when I can do the same. Support comes in many shapes – it can be simply recommending products and giving thoughtful and considerate feedback. It can be financial, and it can be making connections. It can be marketing, and it can be sharing your experiences – GOOD AND BAD. Build your community. Reach out and engage with people who are doing things you admire. Be loud in your support if you have the ability. It all matters.
What advice would you give beauty professionals who want to launch their product line?
Do something you believe in —something you have a passion for. That way, it won’t make you crazy at 10 pm on a Friday night when you are still working.
What do you want your legacy to be?
The work I did in any field – fashion, home, or beauty – made someone feel welcome, beautiful, and celebrated.