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Rising Stars: Meet Eva Gonzalez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Eva Gonzalez.

Hi Eva, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?

I’m a first generation Mexican American, and the second born of three girls. I have always had a love for makeup. So it was only natural that after high school I enrolled in cosmetology school. I would go to WVOC beauty school in the mornings then rush over to Pierce Community College after; mostly to please my parents! They wanted a better life for my sisters and I, and for them 

that meant going to college. However in my heart I knew college was not the path for me. As soon as I got my cosmetology license I decided to drop out of college to pursue my career in makeup; A decision that my dad was not happy about! This was extremely hard as I did not want to disappoint my parents, but I knew that one day they would understand my vision. 

In 2012 a year after I got my cosmetology license I got the opportunity to work with makeup artist Pricilla Ono as her assistant. I was so excited because doing makeup on set was my dream come true, or so I thought. I soon realized set life just wasn’t for me. I felt so lost in my career, and had no idea what to do next. After all, being a makeup artist had always been my dream. 

I started working as a retail manager working at random places in the mall until I could come up with a plan. Then In 2014 I started working for Ulta Beauty where I was hired as a counter manager for Benefit Cosmetics. That’s when it all started, I was going to be waxing eyebrows and let me tell you I was terrified! I had NEVER waxed an eyebrow before, I had always been a makeup artist. I was so stressed looking up YouTube videos on how to wax and shape a brow, but all the videos on there were so bad it made me even more nervous. I would take over an hour with one client trying not to ruin their brows, sweat dripping down my face because I had no idea what I was doing. 

As time went on I started to make a name for myself at the counter and would be booked weeks in advance. After three years of being a brow artist for Benefit I was being promoted as a district trainer, that’s when I realized I didn’t want to be part of the corporate world. Soon after this realization I made the biggest decision I have ever made. I quit my job, and four days later opened the doors to my very first studio. With some help from my family I was able to put it together with random stuff from home and a few things from Ikea; It wasn’t much at the time but wow it was all mine! 

The beginning was definitely the hardest. There were days where I would only have 1-3 people a day, but all I was worried about was paying my weekly rent. I would pass out flyers in the shopping centers, offer free services in exchange for reviews and referrals, anything I needed to do to get someone in my chair. Slowly I started to grow my client book again, aside from the few clients that followed me when I left the Benefit counter. 

A year after I signed the lease to my suite a new place opened up down the street. Salon Republic at the Village Topanga. It was a beautiful location and I wanted to be there, BUT rent was so much more expensive. I doubted if I could afford to pay that much more in rent. It was a big leap of faith, but after I talked it over with my sister, Vanessa who is a licensed esthetician we decided that she would help me by working in the studio two days a week, we were doing it!

 I am so grateful to have her by my side through this journey, she has been someone to lean on. She keeps my head on straight, and she helps with all the tough decisions. It has now been 2 years at Salon Republic and three years of being my own business owner. Business is booming, I have a great list of clients, and recently had the pleasure of working with Catherine Mcbroom from the Ace family. This journey has been so amazing and crazy I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Sorella Waxing Bar. I have HUGE dreams and will continue to work hard to see them come to life.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
For the most part this journey has been a smooth road. I’ve definitely had many challenges in growing my business, as it’s all new territory for me and half of the time I don’t really know what I’m doing, but I have faith that the universe will guide me through this process and what’s meant for me will never pass me by. Trying to navigate the legal side of a business like paperwork is definitely the most stressful part for me because I feel out of my element; I didn’t grow up knowing how to run a business. I have no experience in this and no one to help guide me through this process. Google has been my best friend. I Google everything constantly looking for answers and doors to open, but I feel so blessed to say the road has been more smooth than bumpy.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I specialize in brow shaping and that’s what I’m most known for. I love creating beautiful shapes. The perfect lines, the crispy trim, it’s ASMR to me! I love the confidence my clients have when they leave my space. Seeing them posting IG stories you can just tell they love their brows and are totally feeling themselves, That’s the best feeling. I’ve worked so hard perfecting my style. I love to keep brows natural, going in and perfecting them with waxing, trimming, and a little makeup for the extra sparkle. I think most brows are naturally beautiful; they just need a little extra love to make them look refined and sharp. I’m really proud of the beauty community I have created for myself and my clients. I am a woman who supports other woman. I believe in woman empowerment! I think creating a safe place for myself and my clients is so important. I have clients I’ve been with for almost my entire career, we uplift each other. I have inspired women who are in my chair to take leaps of faith and start their own business or to chase their passion, in return many of my close clients inspire me as well. It’s really beautiful connecting with so many women. We all have a story, and we are all just trying to do our best finding our way one step at a time. Sorella means sisters because I believe in the power of sisterhood! I love to see other women around me win. I think that’s one thing that really sets me apart, besides my work, is my energy. I lead with integrity in everything that I do.

If you had to, what characteristic of yours would you give the most credit to?
My relentlessness has definitely played a big part in my success. I am relentless in the pursuit of my dreams no matter what. I show up and put the work in, I knock on as many doors as I have to, and I constantly challenge myself to grow personally and in business. I challenge myself to take those scary steps that we sometimes question. I think that the most important quality to have in order to succeed in any part of life is persistence to go after your dreams at all costs.

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