The Lash Lounge Chicago – River North Shines Strong, Rebuilds After Break-In

  • Published
  • Last Updated
  • January 3rd, 2022
The Lash Lounge "See OUR Shine" mural outside Chicago River North salon

Today, we have to take a moment to shine a light on our phenomenal franchisee and staff at The Lash Lounge Chicago – River North. Despite being presented with unfathomable circumstances, together, they rose, turning a break-in into a team triumph.

What Happened at The Lash Lounge Chicago – River North?

After suffering the effects of the pandemic, followed by the uncertainty, unrest and threat of civil rights rioting in late May and early June, The Lash Lounge Chicago – River North franchise owner, Michael Jania, set out to reopen strong.

Over the course of his COVID-19 temporary closure, Michael lost all of his lash stylists, and was in the process of hand-selecting and certifying a whole new team when the events of the early morning on Sunday, August 9 threatened, once again, to unravel it all.

At approximately 4:30 a.m., looters broke into the salon, shattering the door and exterior windows. They walked away with Lash Lounge property and merchandise, damaging the salon in their midst.

Exterior shot of The Lash Lounge  Chicago – River North boarded up after riots and break-in at their salon

A New Day Brings New Determination

Scheduled to arrive that Sunday morning for training, Michael notified the freshly hired team that training was cancelled due to the morning’s events. He did, however, mention that if anyone wanted to come in around noon to help during the clean-up process, that would be appreciated.

“I didn’t know what to expect…especially with what had happened the night before. The whole team showed up. I almost wanted to cry when they all came in to help out. I had only known these people for a week and they all cared enough to come in and do this.”

Staff from The Lash Lounge Chicago River North painting the exterior of the salon

Beauty Out of Destruction

Not wanting to lose momentum, training resumed Tuesday through Thursday that week. Friday was different. Michael had an idea. Having just had to board up in June to protect the salon from threats of a riot: “It was unbearable to go up to the beautiful salon and then have to see plywood.”

He turned to one of his stylists, Ani, also an artist: “Would you lead the group? I’ll get the paint.”

The team spent 2 hours in the Friday sun painting the brand-new salon mural, the messages “You are beautiful.” and “See our shine.” prominently displayed.

stickers placed by guests on the exterior mural outside of The Lash Lounge Chicago River North salon

Once they reopened, the team started encouraging guests to stick their “See It in My Eyes” campaign sticker to it. On them, guests jot down a word that reflects their unique power after leaving The Lash Lounge.

Looking Forward

Following the unwavering dedication and efforts of his new team, Michael reflects: “I think it’s brought us all closer together. I think it’s something that would have normally developed for months—or even years. I think it gave us a lot of pride in what we’re doing here. We’re The Lash Lounge and everyone is proud of it.”

A Positive Push

Amidst all the trials and uncertainty Michael has faced, his positivity and steadfast determination makes all of us at The Lash Lounge so very proud.

“I couldn’t tell you how happy I am, in a matter of a month, to go from basically the worst customer experience in the industry because I couldn’t service anybody to having guests that are just super happy right now. I’m going to [continue] push the staff very hard to take care of our guests to the nth degree.”

staff and owner from The Lash Lounge Chicago River North salon

Help Your Local Businesses Stay Strong and Shine

Business owners, their staff and society as a whole need ALL the support they can get during these times. Whether it’s your favorite local eatery or a Lash Lounge near you, do what you can to show support.

From money you can put back into your community and local businesses, to a sincere message of support on social media, a little goes a long way and WILL be appreciated!