Today we’d like to introduce you to Wynter Ho.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
My career in the beauty industry started four years ago when I realized I did not envision myself working a regular 9-5 job. I was currently a student finishing up my bachelor’s degree in Human Communications at Cal State Fullerton when I decided I wanted to change my path completely. While in school, I worked many different jobs. I worked in retail, the food industry, and even at the bank! I tried working everywhere you could name! I found none of the jobs to be fulfilling but knew customer service was a strong suit of mine. The only thing I took away from working so many different roles is that I learned I loved working and being around others. I always knew I wanted my own business and always loved anything beauty related. Growing up, my grandparents owned many different nail salons and would often bring me to the shops. As a kid, I hated being at the nail salon because of the smell and hated seeing my family working long hours. I watched my family build their clientele and how each shop was very different from the last. My grandparents are the main reason why I decided to start working as a lash stylist. They had encouraged me to enroll in beauty school because they knew I kept jumping from job to job while juggling school. Now that I own my own business, it makes sense to me why I never belonged at a specific job or in a different industry other than beauty. I enrolled in school and found a liking towards skincare and makeup right away. Lash extensions weren’t as popular back then, and there were not a lot of stylists around our area at the time, so I decided to give it a shot.
I didn’t like it as much as I hoped at first because it requires a lot of patience and can be very tedious at times! I kept practicing and practicing on friends and family members and started to gain confidence in my work. From there, I worked at several different lash studios initially to learn the basics of the industry and how to deal with clients. One day, I decided to take a leap of faith and opened a little studio. My very first studio was a tiny 400 sq ft room inside of Salon Suite establishment. The studio only fit my lash bed and I barely had enough room to move around. It was tiny, but it was mine! I became my very own boss. Fast forward to today, Wink By Wynter is now located in a much bigger salon in Huntington Beach, and we are growing our team. We now offer not just lash extensions, but also nail and brow services.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No, it was not always an easy road. It’s actually still a struggle some days. One thing I would like to advise other women or young entrepreneurs about is that it never gets easier. You just get better at learning how to manage and overcome obstacles. Some people seem to think that you go through the struggles, and everything is peachy after. It’s actually not that way at all because the hard work never stops. You continuously go through ups and down when you own a business. Some days, you run into problems and others are perfectly fine. The key to being a successful business owner and entrepreneur is ultimately self-preserve and to be a master at problem-solving. I am so grateful for my family and friends that have supported and helped me through this journey. Without them, I would not have been able to grow my business as fast as I did. In the early stages of my business, I struggled the most with building clientele and establishing structure. I didn’t have any existing clients before opening my own so, I was very fearful that I would not generate enough income to stay afloat. I would advertise on Groupon and offer discounts to referrals to get by during the early stages. I was fearful but knew that it was normal when you start a new business venture. I started with only $500 in my bank account and look back now and am thankful I kept pushing through.
A major struggle of mine was learning how to juggle work and my personal life. When I started Wink By Wynter, I was still going to school full time and was busy jumping into this new career that I began to withdraw from important people in my life at that time. I was having a hard time managing time with friends/family, school studies, and getting my business off the ground. I had a lot of self-doubt and guilt because of some of the lost relationships/friendships I had to sacrifice to stay focused.
There was a point in the early stages of starting Wink By Wynter that I felt as if I wanted to give up. I was going through a very rough break up at the time and lost all sense of self-worth. I struggled with putting on a brave face for work and tried my very best to remain professional even though I was going through a very traumatizing time. There were many days I did not want to see clients but knew it was essential to put all my problems aside to build the business. Although I didn’t know if starting my business was the right choice, I powered through and realized talking to my clients helped make the days more comfortable. I felt consoled by many of them when I would share my personal battles. I realized my clients are women, like myself, that go through life problems, and after getting to know many of them, I was able to form genuine friendships with them. Once I began feeling comfortable being at work again and found joy in being back in the studio, I began to drown myself with work. I let work fuel me and found myself so motivated to get better at my craft. I would practice on my days off and just kept focusing on ways to make the business better. Lashing gave me my confidence and self-worth back. It felt good to hear clients were happy with my work. It became less of a job and fun working on clients because we would laugh and share stories about everything and anything. Many even will say that lash artist, like me, is like a client’s therapist. I would see my clients every two weeks, and it did start to feel like a therapy session for the client and me. I began to enjoy getting to know every one of them. What I love most about lashing is that I get to make them feel pretty before any occasion or event taking place in their lives. From engagement photos to their baby showers or even then their wedding! It’s awesome getting to glam them up before each special occasion. I am absolutely thankful for the friendships I have gained through lashing.
Being a business owner at a young age can be very challenging for many different reasons. The biggest reason it is challenging for me most is that some do not take you seriously when you are a young entrepreneur — some associate Millenials with a lack of substance and ability to take on leadership when owning a business. However, I think some of the most youthful minds are the most creative and innovative. I am always attending new lash training and testing out new and more innovative products. I think it’s essential never to stop learning and to stay up to date with the beauty trends.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Wink By Wynter Lash Studio – what should we know?
I have been a lash artist for four years. I specialize in volume sets and focus on customizing each set for each client. I love replicating strip false lash looks and am known for creating dramatic sets. I am proud of how far Wink By Wynter has come. It is crazy to think about how I started with a tiny room!
Additionally, I am known as a trainer. I like to train others who are trying to start in this field. I teach them the fundamentals of lashing and how and how to build a substantial lashing career. I have been a trainer for a little over a year and am super passionate about teaching. I feel like teaching allows you to get excited about the material again!
One thing that sets us apart from others is that we put a lot of time into learning new techniques and styles. We are always testing out new products that are top quality for our clients. We have curated a long list of products and hope to open a lash supply store to share our favorite supplies with other fellow lash artists. We are also offering a specialty service that allows our clients to get their lashes and nails done at the same time! It is a special service that is convenient for our clients and cuts their salon time in half. We have come up with this innovative way to make clients feel pampered even if they are a tight schedule.
We ultimately care about our students and their success rate. We even provide lifelong mentorship and keep in touch with all of our students who have completed our course. It is important to us that we offer top of the line kits to our students so that they are equipped with all the knowledge they need to know to start lashing efficiently.
Do you recommend any apps, books or podcasts that have been helpful to you?
I highly recommend listening to the LashCast Podcast if you are an aspiring lash artist. It is a great podcast to listen to for tips/tricks or inspiration.
- Signature Wispies By Wynter – $180
- Wink By Wynter Signature Lash Set & Mani – $120
- Ombre Powder Brows – $250
- Wink By Wynter Signature Mani & Pedi – $45
- Address: 8452 Edinger Avenue Huntington Beach CA 92647
- Website: WinkByWynter.com
- Phone: 714-589-4680
- Instagram: winkbywynter
- Facebook: winkbwywynter