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Meet Hannah Yoon of INK GAL in Eagle Rock

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hannah Yoon.

Hannah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was influenced by art at a very young age. My mother raised me in Los Angeles working as a graphic designer while working part-time as an art teacher on the weekends. She would bring a drawing pad along everywhere she took me to keep myself busy. While attending school, I always found myself submitting into art electives such as drawing, painting, or sculpting all the way up until college. I had ambitions to find a career in the big illustration companies such as Disney, DreamWorks, etc. However, art classes were expensive so I worked part-time at a local restaurant to pay for classes and supplies.

In 2009, I remembered the recession hit which led to my parents losing both their jobs. I couldn’t imagine putting them through a deeper financial hole having them pay for my college tuition. I subsequently made the decision to quit school to pursue an opportunity to become a general manager at the restaurant I was employed at. Over the years, I worked tirelessly in the restaurant industry filling every position you can imagine. I was a hostess, waitress, bartender, manager, and sometimes even a dishwasher if needed. Sometimes on long workdays, I would find time to draw on the “specials” boards and decorate it just for fun. Working in the restaurant was very hard work but I learned a lot, especially how to handle customer service. Plus, I was making a decent income and didn’t have to rely on my parents financially.

Towards the end of my hospitality career, I was working as a food and beverage supervisor at a hotel. I was living with my one of my best friends, Grace (@colorwithgrace) who had a successful career in the profession of hair coloring. We had completely different lifestyles and schedules. I think that’s why we never clashed, haha. She was working days and I was working nights. However, the biggest difference in ourselves was our attitude and passion for our jobs. I found myself constantly waiting for my shift to be over and my days off to come faster. After expressing my frustration, Grace suggested that I should look into permanent makeup. She would always compliment my dexterity and say I would be a good fit in the beauty industry. Needless to say, the first step was hard to overcome. You’re pretty much going in blindly not knowing how it’ll turn out. I knew it would be a huge risk to leave a corporate job with all the years of experience I’d invested but as the saying goes, “I’d rather deal with the consequences than live with the regrets”. So after some careful consideration, I saved up for training and decided to invest in myself. About a year later, I opened my small business in Eagle Rock called INK GAL.

Has it been a smooth road?
I wouldn’t say it was easy, but I got very lucky down the road. In the beginning, I didn’t have enough money or clients to open a studio. So I decided I would work somewhere related to beauty services and at least get my foot in the door. I responded to an ad on Craigslist looking for a personal assistant position and was called in for an interview. Turns out it was a position with Mehrin (@mehringlam) who is a renowned permanent makeup artist. She’s done work on celebrities such as Courtney Cox, Jasmine Tookes, to name a few. She offered me the opportunity to be a part of her internship program and train as one of her technicians. I interned with her for a year and during my time there, I absorbed as much as I could.

How I got the opportunity to open my business honestly just kind of fell in my lap. I had been following Laura Roberts (@laurarobertsbrows) for awhile especially since she had microbladed a few of my friends. I admired her work a lot. One day, I sparked a conversation with her on Instagram through direct message regarding training. One thing led to another and she offered me a space to work out of. I still feel very lucky to have crossed paths with these inspiring and motivating women who have given me the chance to excel in my journey. I am very grateful.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with INK GAL – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
INK GAL specializes in two services: Natural Microblading and Lip Rouge Tattoo. Both procedures use high quality customized pigments and is gently implanted into the skin around the eyebrows and the lips. These procedures reinvigorate natural features that may have dulled over the years due to age, scarring, or even stress. My services help my clients, or as I like to say my #inkpals, to regain confidence in their own skin and reduce time in their makeup routine. They’re not intended to replace the makeup look but rather enhance one’s natural beauty. Some of the most rewarding compliments I hear from people is that the outcomes look very natural and seamless.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Aside from good food and weather, LA is a land of opportunities! I believe that’s why a lot of people move here to achieve their biggest dreams in the creative business. You can kind of be yourself here. I guess the only thing I don’t like about LA would be that the expensive housing and traffic.

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Image Credit:

Joelyn Dalit, Annabelle Lee

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