When you walk into The Lash Lounge, you see a beautiful salon. But what isn’t always immediately visible are the strong, hard-working women behind it.
In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re shining the light on a few of the many incredible women who are making an impact at The Lash Lounge. See how these 3 franchise owners and female business leaders fulfilled their dreams, overcame challenges and became successful female entrepreneurs.
Soaring to Success
As the proud owner of The Lash Lounge Pembroke Pines – Pines and Flamingo in Pembroke Pines, Florida, Aparna Reddy is preparing to celebrate her 4th anniversary as a Lash Lounge franchisee. This milestone didn’t happen overnight and created the perfect opportunity for Aparna to reflect on how she’s gotten to where she is today!
Aparna grew up in a small, slow-paced town in Georgia. Today she lives in Florida where there’s a multicultural atmosphere and nods to that southern way of relaxed living she knew and loved when she was young.
After working in finance for the marketing department of a corporate bank, Aparna was looking for a career change. “I was at a crossroads in the sense that I retired from my previous life.” Having lash extensions herself, she LOVED the way they not only made her look, but how they made her feel. Paired with research and her desire to get into franchising, Aparna discovered The Lash Lounge. When it came to franchise opportunities and opening her own salon, the thing that sold her was the sheer dedication to provide excellent service and premier quality to every guest.
Today, Aparna is running a successful salon which she believes is the result of the environment she has created for herself AND her team! “I’ve implemented a new mindset at the salon called “One Voice, Next Level” which is essentially our mantra. This has contributed to the overall growth of the salon and our team.” Another thing Aparna believes has made an impact on the success of her salon: being a team player!
When she’s not fiercely running her salon, Aparna enjoys reading, engaging in artistic activities, and listening to philosophical podcasts. Something that Aparna thinks people would be surprised to learn about her: If you peeked inside her handbag, you’d find a comic book. Stemming from childhood, Aparna has always had an affinity for comic books. Today, she loves to read them just as much as she did when she was a child.
Aparna’s Words of Wisdom
“Take accountability and have integrity. You should be accountable and responsible for whatever you do—good or bad.” Those are the timeless words of wisdom to women looking to create their own path, from a woman who did just that!
Taking a Leap
Sarah Otero, owner of The Lash Lounge Franklin – South in Franklin, Tennessee embodies what it means to be a strong, disciplined woman.
Starting at a very young age, discipline is something Sarah learned and has carried with her throughout her life. In fact, discipline was something she learned from her dad. “I started running with my dad and ran my first 5K with him when I was eleven. Our time together taught me discipline and led me to a lifestyle, turned long-term career in fitness where I was able to impact my community’s lives, empowering people to health and confidence while also mentoring others. Today, I still LOVE helping people feel their best.”
As she grew into adulthood, Sarah’s love for fitness remained and led to a career as a personal trainer where she taught group fitness for almost 25 years. During that time, Sarah achieved great accomplishments, including one that not many can claim: winning an Emmy Award! She won this prestigious award in 2017 for Outstanding Achievement for Commercials for Chicago Athletic Club’s “Transform Yourself” campaign.
It wasn’t until a couple years later and after her son graduated from high school that Sarah and her husband, Keith decided they were ready for a change. Their desire for change propelled them to take a huge leap of faith and they decided to move 500 miles from Chicago to Tennessee. “I knew I wanted to own a business and considered opening a fitness studio. After ruling out my own concept studio, I turned to franchises because of the brand recognition and business support. I journeyed through the discovery process with The Lash Lounge and realized it’s the luxury, recognized brand leader of the lash industry with a solid operations and training system; it was EXACTY what I was looking for!”
In September of 2021, Sarah opened her salon. From the moment she opened, her passion for inspiring women remained. When she’s not at her salon inspiring her staff, stylists and guests, you’ll probably find her teaching a spin or HIIT class. Wherever she is, you better believe she’s fueling her passion for mentoring and motivating women.
Sarah’s Tip to Future Female Business Leaders
As Sarah reflects on where she is today and how she got there, she knows exactly what her one tip to future female business leaders is: “Take the leap! There are many successful female business leaders to support you and cheer you on throughout the process. There may never be the perfect time. So, don’t wait. Don’t give up!”
Owner of The Lash Lounge Walnut Creek – North in Walnut Creek, California, Suzy ElMarakby’s life has been a testament to challenging cultural expectations in order to achieve her dreams of professional success.
For Suzy, it’s that unwavering bravery that motivated her to move from to the United States from Egypt, where she had lived her entire life. “I come from a society where women are not meant to be empowered.” Expanding further on the cultural differences and what’s expected of women from a societal lens, Suzy shared that moving to the United States allowed her to lean into her power as a woman. Through her immense belief in herself, as well as her family’s unwavering support, Suzy has exceeded expectations.
Determination is something Suzy has embodied from a young age. Growing up, she knew that she wanted to be a model and be involved in something she loved: the beauty industry. And she did just that! From a model and owner of three women’s and children’s stores in Egypt, Suzy has taken her experiences and worked tirelessly to make a name for herself. Along the way, she’s been mindful about serving as an inspiration to other women.
Suzy’s personal passion led her to where she is today and a title she’s so proud to have: owner of a Lash Lounge franchise! As a proud owner, Suzy takes pride in the culture of her salon and believes that is the secret sauce to her salon’s success. She’s also big on supporting the goals of her stylists and she encourages them to learn, FLY and always challenge themselves. Her mission: help her stylists achieve great things. She tells them: “This is the place where all your dreams can come true!”
When Suzy isn’t running her salon, she’s practices the Muslim traditions that are important to her, including meditation. Most days she exercises and walks her golden retriever, Caesar, who’s been by her side through her transition from Egypt.
Suzy’s Inspiring Advice
“You must seek your passion. Even if you come from a hard culture, believe in yourself and you will find your freedom and independence. You can do whatever you want, and you should do what you love and value it. Respect who has been here before and have a level of patience to learn and grow!” Those are the inspiring words Suzy has for women who, like her, have a desire to create a new path.
Follow Your Passion
Inspirations! That’s exactly what Aparna, Sarah and Suzy are! They are women who have soared, taken leaps and exceeded expectations. They have unapologetically followed their passions and most of all, they have inspired other women along the way!
You, yes YOU, can do the same. And if you do that by fulfilling your dreams and open a business, we hope it’s with us. There’s ALWAYS room for strong, empowered, trailblazing WOMEN at The Lash Lounge!