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Meet Bylle Breaux of STAY Cosmetics in West Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bylle Breaux.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Bylle. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Pressure brings out the most truthful parts of my life. It shows me immediately what I’m good at and what I should be focusing on. Otherwise, my interests are so broad that I am easily distracted. STAY Cosmetics came out of a high-pressure situation where I realized I needed to get out of my comfort zone and re-brand my small business (formerly SweetPea Lashes).

When my residential landlord threatened us with the Ellis Act, like many renters in Los Angeles, we were faced with having to move out of our Larchmont Village apartment where we had lived for over nine years and into a rental market that had doubled in that time. It was a scary time but it helped me narrow some things down in my personal life while broadening some services I was offering in business.

Since 2013, I had been comfortably offering lash extensions and make-up services from a medical spa in West Hollywood while also working on a novel here, a screenplay there and writing columns for music magazines. Although I knew I needed to grow my business, I kept indulging in artistic and social distractions. Being a huge fan of live music, I always told myself it would happen after this show or that festival. I had a steady list of clients who were happy and I was happy with them. However, when we had to move, it really woke me up and made me see how blessed I am to have the business I do. It made me want to expand in ways I had been meaning to for years but kept putting off. Fortunately, I was able to stay in Larchmont as a resident so my commute wouldn’t increase. Now, my services have expanded to permanent make-up and private label products. This year, I hope to be able to offer online education for those who want to learn these skills.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Being an entrepreneur is full of ups and downs, especially when your the only one in your family who chose that life. There is always self-doubt. Someone always has advice that may work in one area of the country or one type of business but will never work in Los Angeles.

There is very little time for personal vacations or family emergencies and some months are unpredictably better than others. I have student loan debt and came from a family situation where there was no financial assistance or help with investments. Everything I do is all mine, even the mistakes, and I have to own them. When your name and reputation are on the line like that and you know there are no life vests, you can’t afford to hit any icebergs. It’s sink or swim all the time and that never rests.

STAY Cosmetics – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Stay Cosmetics is a vision. As a licensed cosmetologist, I know how expensive and time-consuming beauty services and products can be. It is my vision to find things that can be worn long term and products you can live life in. Not every woman works on camera with a team of hair and make-up people but as someone who has been on those teams, I bring what I’ve learned to my own business.

With my lash extensions, it is important that clients are able to wear them long term, so the integrity of the service and the quality of products used are first priority. If a client can only come to me for a year because I’ve wrecked her lashes in that time by cutting time or cost, then she can’t be a long term client. My ladies have been coming to me since I started and rarely ever need to take a break because I keep their lashes healthy. My private brand includes a gentle foaming cleanser that keeps the lash line clean and oil-free, helping the lashes to stay on longer.

Permanent Make-up services at STAY include Ombre brows (which look like the powder you use to fill in your own brows) and eyeliner. We also offer a lip blush that brings a youthful color to the lips and re-aligns the vermillion border for more fullness. These services last about a year before clients will need to get it freshened up. It’s so much better than the old days of permanent make-up where clients would have these permanent harsh lines that would change to blue over a period of time. The new application techniques allow for softness and slight fading over time. It’s really a very rewarding service to provide.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
My proudest moment in my career has to be the time I realized my clients really do trust and listen to me. For about a year now, I have been making a lash growth serum that could also be worn with extensions but it was expensive to produce. I could only carry so much of the product at a time and wanted to make sure it was my clients who were buying it so I set up a password on my website to access the product and order it online.

After about four months, it kept selling out and when I did the numbers, I realized there is no way my clients were buying this much product. Then I got a voice mail from an angry woman who said her friend had given her the passcode to “buy that scandalous serum you sell” and since I had changed the passcode, she couldn’t get it. I realized that my clients had been sharing the passcode with their friends and at first I was annoyed but then realized it was a good problem to have and I should be proud of it. So I named the product “Lash Scandal” and found someone who could produce it more quickly and at a slightly better price. There is still a passcode but I hope to take it off in a few months and sell it publicly.

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Photos by: @stasiphoto Hair by (Aomeba Shot): @cameroncanchola @zabriela

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