So you want to start a home lash extension studio! Kudos to you for taking the plunge to starting your own business! But before you get started (or to help perfect the one you’ve already opened), you may be wondering how to make sure that your home lash salon is just as professional and customer-friendly as a typical commercial salon. This can seem like an overwhelming task, particularly if you’re working within a budget or are planning on setting everything up yourself.
Never fear, LashBee is here! We’ve rounded up our experienced lash team to give you the rundown on the 20 most important tips you need to help your studio compete with the best of the best.
1. Use tasteful lash art and decorations
A successful lash experience is just as much about the ambience as it is about the full set! You want your clients tofeel your passion for lashes, and one of the ways to do that is to use bits of lash decor around your home studio. Stick a few lash stickers on empty wall space above your massage bed or on your computer. Keep 2-3 swag items with lash decor, such as mugs, sweatshirts, or baseball hats, displayed on the same shelf as any items you might retail.
Of course, not all your decor needs to be lash-oriented! We recommend infusing a bit of nature into your home studio to create a relaxing, spa-like atmosphere — like one or two nature paintings or framed photography pieces, or potted plants in a corner or by a window.
2. Explicitly show and practice cleanliness.
Maintaining a sterile, spotlessly clean environment serves a twofold purpose: it increases your client’s sense of peace during their appointment and builds their trust in you as a lash artist. (And of course, cleanliness has never been more important than during the pandemic.) Our stylists recommend having hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, and sterilizers/any machines for keeping your tools clean on hand and visible at all times. Use the wipes and sterilizers to wipe down every surface before and after each appointment.
An easy way to keep your home salon looking clean is to make sure your aesthetic is clean, too! If it fits with your business’s brand, try softer, paler colors for your walls, furniture, and massage bed — for instance, LashBeePro’s salon is primarily white with gold and some black accents!
3. Keep creature comforts on hand
Keep your clients content while checking in or on their way to the bathroom with a few goodies! Keep a small bowl of chocolates or other candies on your desk and always have water available. To go the extra mile, we recommend investing in a cute coffee maker or Keurig to allow clients to make themselves tea, coffee, or hot chocolate while they wait.
4. Maintain a stash of important items for your client
Let clients know you’re always prepared — even when they’re not. Oftentimes, your clients may not want to spend the full set conversing or listening to your playlist, but instead just want to relax and listen to the latest episode of their favorite podcast. But what if they forgot their headphones? Fear not, lash clients! Keep a few inexpensive pairs of headphones in storage and you just may save your client’s day. We recommend getting one of each “type” — EarPods with a lightning connector for newer iPhones, earphones with a regular headphone jack, even Bluetooth or over-ear headphones, to cover your bases.
On a similar note, keep a cell phone charger of each type (iPhone and Android) on hand for your clients. Many may walk in with a low battery for a ninety-minute fill, but can walk out with their phones charged enough to get them through the rest of their day!
5. Create open spaces
Just because your home studio is on the smaller side doesn’t mean it can’t feel big and spacious! One easy trick? Try hanging multiple mirrors to give the illusion that your studio goes on fordays — we recommend one in front of or on the wall next to your lash bed so the client can get a good look at their fresh sets, and perhaps one above your reception area (if you have one) to enlarge the space right when clients walk in or out. As a bonus, the mirror will reflect light, making your space feel brighter. Speaking of which...
6. Create lots of natural and artificial lighting
Part of opening up a space is warm, bright, lighting. If your home salon is in a room with windows, make use of them by letting as much natural sunlight flow in as possible. If not, consider investing in artificial natural lamps, including professional lash extension lighting, to give even the most haphazard iPhone client photos that extra salon-quality, professionaloomph. Your clients will also be much more likely to post pictures with their new lashes inside your salon and tag you on social media if they can snap glowing, well-lit photos while still on the lash bed!
7. Match your brand/online aesthetic
Your entire lash business should be cohesive, with each aspect complementing the others. Make sure your home lash studio matches your marketing materials and overall brand! Is your Instagram page filled with glittery eye makeup to go with your volume sets? Utilize some (tasteful!) sparkly decor. Do you mostly post client pictures with white backgrounds? Your home studio should probably consist primarily of white walls or white bedding. You don’t want clients — particularly first-timers! — walking in and feeling jarred because they expected one atmosphere after researching your LinkedIn or website and enter into another.
8. Use organization and storage options that match your aesthetic
Another key to opening up your studio issmart storage. Rather than keeping all your lash supplies displayed, try organizing your items in one place, like in a lash kit or a rolling cart organizer. If you do have a desk or reception area, consider purchasing easy-access storage bins to store your supplies behind the desk — not only will it help keep you organized, it’ll free up extra shelf and floor space in your studio!
Of course, we recommend purchasing tools and storage that match your overall studio aesthetic as much as you can. For instance, don’t buy bright green storage bins or lash tools if your decor is primarily pink or white.
9. Keep your lash bed(s) center stage
The lash bed should always be the centerpiece of the home studio — not just for aesthetic reasons, but to give clients the sense that their experience will be front and center ofyourattention. Place the bed in a location that is easy to access from the room entrance, and try not to keep any objects or furniture in the path from the door to the bed. Try to position the bed near an outlet if possible so that clients have the option to charge their phones during appointments for longer fills or full sets.
10. Optimize for lash bed comfort
The lash bed shouldn’t justlook cozy and inviting, it shouldbe comfortable and optimized for comfort. Keep a soft blanket or two on it so that clients can stay warm if they get cold, and invest in a solid pillow that supports the neck for maximum comfort during longer appointments. We recommend investing in one or two back support pillows and keeping them near or under the bed as well; many clients, especially older, disabled, or pregnant ones, may experience mild discomfort or lower back issues if they lie exclusively on the bed. (You may even want to make a habit of asking clients if they would prefer to have these pillows from the get-go!). PRO TIP: Think ahead to how you’ll make sure to sanitize these in between appointments! Laundry services are often a great bet. You can also purchase pillows made with materials designed for frequent wipe-downs.
11. Create stellar playlists to set the mood
The type of music or background noise you play in your lash studio is key to setting the mood, so think carefully about the vibe you’re going for. Are you gunning for a more tranquil, spa-like atmosphere? You may want to save a few Spotify playlists of gentle piano or nature sounds. Opting for a more spunky, chatty salon environment? Try top 40 pop radio playlists! On the other hand, you may want to follow your clients and ask them what they want to hear while getting their lashes done.
Either way, make sure to invest in a good speaker with crisp, clear sound and place it in an unobtrusive corner of the room on a low or medium volume. You don’t want your music coming out tinny or staticky, nor do you want it to be too loud — getting lash extensions should be a relaxing experience for your client.
12. Have a clean bathroom that matches your aesthetic
Just like in a commercial lash salon, clients will have to wash off their eye makeup or use the bathroom. Even though it’s your home bathroom, you should treat it as an extension of your home studio. Just as you would find in a salon bathroom, keep a bottle of lash shampoo, makeup remover, and a cup of spoolies and flocked applicators on or within reach of the sink.
Keep the bathroom clean and sterile, and match its aesthetic to your studio’s as much as you can — a small potted plant if you have one on your studio windowsill, a smaller landscape painting if you have nature paintings above your lash bed, some small lash decor, etc.
13. Invest in a desk (if possible!)
Whatever aesthetic you choose for your home lash studio, we recommend finding a desk to match it and stationing your computer / tablet, cash box, menu and business cards, and other equipment on it. Use this desk as a tool to physically separate the check-in and check-out stages of a lash appointment from your actual lashing space, thus helping clients feel more like they’re stepping into a sanctuary once they lie down.
However, we understand that not everyone has enough room to fit a whole desk in their home salon. If you find yourself lacking the space for a desk, consider designating a small corner of your studio away from the client space to help it feel separate.
14. Make the check-in/check-out process easy and professional
The key to providing the best lashing experience possible is by investing in professional products and services — and that extends to arenas outside of the purvey of the lash bed. You want to make the checkout processes completely seamless for your clients! One of the best ways to do so is to use professional mobile payment aggregators, such as Square, that come with easy-to-use equipment that allow customers to swipe or tap their credit cards or pay wirelessly through their phones.
15. Use a professional booking service
Want to go the extra mile? Start offering clients a taste of the harmonious, cohesive experience you provide before they even set foot in your studio! If you’re currently primarily booking clients through Instagram DMs or emails, we recommend switching to a professional scheduling software system, like Acuity, to allow clients to book appointments directly on your website and even pay in advance — an excellent way to ensure that your flakier clients won’t commit no-shows or deprive you of income. Not only will you impress your customers with your competence and efficiency, you’ll save yourself the time and hassle of trying to keep track of bookings on your own. Having this one less thing to worry about with each client will help declutter your mind, thus allowing you to spend more quality time with your customers and imbuing you with that intangible yet oh-so-important professionalism and confidence.
16. Have official papers on-hand
Make sure to have 3-4 printed versions of your lash service menu on hand! Consider purchasing a small stand to place on your desk. This will allow clients to leaf through their options while they wait, and perhaps even decide to tack on a few extra services. Similarly, order a stack of your business cards to keep next to your brochures. Marketing your lash business never ends, even once the client is inside your studio.
Another great way to build trust? Consider framing and hanging your licenses, certificates, and any awards or recognitions you’ve received on the wall behind your check-in/check-out space! Let clients know at a glance that you’ve got the creds to take care of them.
17. Match the rest of your house to your workspace...
Each part of your home that the client must walk through in order to access your studio should, to the best of your ability, match the aesthetic of your workspace. If your bathroom and studio have plenty of natural lighting, try to mimic that in the hallway that leads to your studio with artificial lighting. If the client must enter the studio through a different room, if possible, you may even want to set up a small side table displaying some retail products, swag, or additional candy or treats in that room to continue the flow.
18. ...But use your house to your advantage!
One of the greatest advantages to having a home lash studio is just that — you’re at home! Don’t be afraid to put your expanded in-home options to good use. Client mentions she’s craving a soda, and you know you have a few cans in your kitchen? Slip out and fetch her one! Is your client colder than usual on a freezing day? Pop over to your linen closet and grab him that super-warm quilt your grandmother knitted you for Christmas. Did a late afternoon client start her appointment complaining about an incredibly hard day at work? Pour her a glass of low-alcohol wine or champagne and make their volume fill their most pleasant one yet (responsibly, of course!)
19. Keep roommates/family away — or use them to set your atmosphere!
This one is a little more dependent on whatyouwant for your salon. Trying to establish a quiet, spa-like atmosphere? If possible, ask any roommates, friends, or family members you live with to either stay in their rooms or out of sight when possible. On the other hand, if you want your studio to have a more typical salon vibe or you know you have a particularly loquacious client coming up, feel free to let roommates pass through for a chat. It all depends on what type of experience you want to give your clients!
20. Strategically display trial retail products
Retailing aftercare products? Try displaying some sleep masks or aftercare kits on a small shelf attached to the wall next to your desk. Place a lash mug full of cleansing brushes or reusable lash wands next to them to encourage customers to pop into your bathroom and give them a try. Depending on how much shelf space you have, we don’t necessarily recommend storing all of your inventory in plain sight if you can help it. Leave the sample items in view and keep one or two of each item behind them to create a subtle sense of urgency.
We hope these tips help you launch the home lash studio of your dreams! Let us know how yours turns out in the comments, or tag us on Instagram when you post pictures of your fresh studio so that we can give you a shoutout!