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Article: Tinel Carapia on Positioning Your Studio in the Market

Tinel Carapia on Positioning Your Studio in the Market

It isn’t easy to set yourself apart from other permanent makeup artists, let alone an entire studio apart from all the studios in your area. However, it can be done. Tinel Carapia, the owner of The Highbrow in Newport Beach, CA shared with us how she positioned her studio in a highly competitive market. Read on to find ways to create a studio that stands out. 

Tell us about yourself! Your background, history & the nitty gritty of all things you!

Beauty for me goes super far back. My mom had two girls only two years apart, so she had a lot of hyper children running around. To settle down, she would bring out all of her makeup. Then she would have me do one side, my sister the other, and I was just fascinated with it. She had this 80s palette that I’m sure every mom had, and it had every single color you can imagine. Then I started doing makeup for friends for dances, and I started getting paid for it. That’s where it all started. Then I applied for MAC, where I was for six years, and I went from there. 

How did you first get into the beauty industry? The PMU Industry?

Once I was ready to take the next step after makeup, I knew I needed something else. There was a girl who I worked with, Vanessa, who took me under her wing at the counter and showed me the ropes. She had left to become a brow artist. So once I was done, I reached out to her again and asked “How can you help me move to the next step?” 

She taught me everything she knew: how to wax, different brow types, shapes -- all the things that I thought I knew as a makeup artist were suddenly brand new to me. It’s not only creating with makeup, it’s now creating with their actual hair. She taught me everything including lash tinting. Those things, being a redhead, changed my life so much and I thought permanent could really change people’s lives.

Some might say the PMU market in their area is saturated. How do you position your services in such a market?

Once I got my esthetician license and was working, I noticed that many artists felt that they were out there to prove that they were better than everybody. They had to talk down to people. They had to make themselves known like that they were the boss and that they were in control.

And I just don’t like that. I like an even platform, people obviously know who owns it. It’s not a mystery. You don’t need to say that every five seconds. I really wanted this to be a space where women come in, we can have fun, we can kill it. We can make money. We can. Be artistic and creative and at the end of the day, leave and want to come back the next day.

So that’s really the spin that I always wanted to work at and I feel like at The Highbrow, we’ve created that. Like when you come in, it is positive and uplifting. And I think it’s so important.

For more tips, follow Tinel @say_tinela on instagram!

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