Working with the right brand can be such a validating experience. It takes trust and pushing your boundaries a little to create a partnership that blossoms. In the process, you’ll gain credibility in the industry and build community. Plus, it just makes a lot of business sense. Trainer and artist Julie Laflamme of Beauty 2 Brows shares her experience on working with permanent makeup brands.
Tell us about yourself! Your background, history & the nitty gritty of all things you!
I’ve been in the industry for 10 years. I’m Aboriginal, born and raised in Edmonton, Canada. I was taken away from my family when I was 2 years old. Growing up, I was a tomboy and wanted to become a police officer and be in the army. Once I had my son, I did a whole 180 with my life.
How did you first get into the beauty industry? The PMU Industry?
My friend Julie took a course and hated it, but said I would probably excel at it, so I enrolled. My first day I thought this would be so easy. I was shocked at how much learning and education there is in advanced aesthetics and cosmetic tattoos. It was mind blowing for me in 2010.
My husband gave me the push and I quit my 9-5 job. We rented out the tiniest room and started with lash lifts and microblading. I did promos the whole year, but wasn’t getting anywhere. Every artist has that time in their life. Then I took BrowNude’s course.
What is important to you when you look at partnered brands?
The biggest struggle was getting the right pigment and saturation. My clients would come back with a green or red, it would heal so wrong. I tried every pigment color. When I took the BrowNude course, I learned about color correction and saturation, how much depth to put in.
On darker skin types, a lot of pigments are hard to see. I love working on Aboriginal people and darker skin tones. I look at healed results and quality, how well the pigment works with the client’s skin. Being new, you’ll get products from training and have to find the right pigment line that works well with your clients and you. Healed results is number one.
How do you make sure your values align with the brands you work with?
I look at their appearance on social media, what their brand is about. I’m not going to support someone who doesn’t support my beliefs as an Aboriginal person. I do so many different services and my age range is from 10 years old to 70 years old. My product line needs to value my customers and cater to everyone, not just one age group.
What is important in a product-based business and a service-based one?
Get to know the people behind the brand. I like reading their success stories and if they’re family-oriented. I’m all about the energies. Intuition is very important to me. The brands that I use daily, I know those people. You really are important to people.
Through the 10 years of my career, I've had a grandma, mother and daughter come to me. That client is still with me from the beginning -- that’s loyalty. That’s something to be thankful for and proud of. I would love for other artists to have that.
What is your advice to someone wanting to start working with companies within their field?
Get uncomfortable. It took me so long to get there because I hated my voice. I listened to myself and thought, Why do I sound like that? Once you overcome that, you get comfortable. The responses you get from people by being out there is better. People notice.