Lash It Out
Aliyah Lawren is a lash technician and educator in the Philadelphia area. She got her start right in Happy Valley during her senior year of undergrad in her apartment. The first time she was introduced into lashes was from her teacher because she complimented her eyes. Before starting lashes, she never saw herself in this industry. It wasn't until she took a course to learn about lash applications that she found her niche.
Once she became a certified lash technician, she took that opportunity to start her own brand. “Elite by Aliyah Lawren was created, and she started her business. When she first started off her business was slow but the more clients she had the better she got. As she describes it takes a lot of “patience and consistency”. This is to remind us that she wasn't a professional her first try but as she kept practicing her new hobby it got better overtime.
While her business started off as a side hustle during her senior year of college, she didn't know where her brand was going next. When Lawren graduated, her lash business began to expand to clients not only in State College, but in major cities such as Philadelphia and New York. The market for her business was growing exponentially and she knew she couldn't just stop her business in State College. Lawren began doing lashes in her hometown Philadelphia where she made a unique name for herself as an entrepreneur and continued to showcase her work.
The Elite brand is expanding more than lash technician and Lawren actually started training courses for students that wanted to learn about lash extensions as well. She offers her own lash certification class where she teaches students about lash techniques, applications process, the eyes, marketing, and a lifelong mentorship program. This certification class gives young entrepreneurs the opportunity to create their own brand and showcase their talents to others. Students are then certified after they pass the exam and are able to begin practicing lash extensions on their own. While being in the lash industry, Lawren expressed how her communications skills have grown. She describes that she is able to have more professional conversations with people she wouldn't normally communicate with and that it has helped build her confidence as a boss.
During the covid pandemic, her business did take a minor break in the first few months. Lawren says she was able to live off savings. But she decided to open her books back up so clients could start making appointments during the pandemic. Lawren took the right safety measures and protocols to keep her environment and clients safe.
Every week, Lawren has specialized cleaners to disinfect the studio and clients are required to wear masks. While many businesses suffered during the pandemics. Lawren says her business actually spiked.
During quarantine, many people focused on themselves and the practice of self-care was one of them. Lash extensions is a relaxing, luxurious procedure and many people are interested in this semi-new procedures.
The beginning of a new era, “Studio 8”
During the growth of her company, she decided to collaborate with other cosmetic brands to create her own studio for work. That’s when she found“Studio 8,” located in Philadelphia, and it includes certified lash technicians, estheticians, makeup artists, and nail technicians.
“Studio 8” has become a beauty hub for many people in the surrounding area. You can see more of the work on Instagram @_studio8. As well as be on the lookout for @elitebyaliyahlawren on Instagram for more footage and information about her brand.
About the Contributors
Senior / Broadcast Journalism
I am a senior at the Pennsylvania State University. As a Philadelphia native, I am currently studying broadcast journalism with a minor in African-American studies. While I continue my journey as an aspiring on-air personality, I plan to pursue my career in the entertainment industry.