Resiliency of ALX: Wink Lash Art

Resiliency of ALX: Wink Lash Art

By Bianca Briscan, Owner

I opened Wink Lash Art two years ago in March 2019, just one year after moving to the United States with my active duty Air Force husband. You could say that becoming an entrepreneur was my way of chasing The American Dream.

Wink Lash Art, which focuses on natural beauty through eyelash extensions, lash lifts and natural brow styling for men and women, was brought to its knees by COVID-19. The mandate to close all salons forced us to halt all growth and development. Shock, fear and desperation entered our hearts.

While under closure, we realized early that we needed to rely on the support of our local community more than ever. With the long-term needs of our clients in mind, we began the near-impossible search for PPE and effective disinfectants and quickly began developing beauty packages as the waiting game continued. The safety of our clients and ourselves remained our top priority.

'Fear can be paralyzing, even for the best entrepreneurs, but now is the time to act. Critical times are opportunities for those who are brave enough to take calculated chances.'

As the pandemic raged on, we were fortunate to be a part of a business community that was so eager to share resources and advice on best practices. But in May 2020 when we reopened with new deep cleaning processes, a surplus of disposable products, newly installed air purifiers and so much more, our service margins were still too low. We knew that we had something to offer; the ability to provide a small slice of normalcy to the steadfast working men and women, independent moms and strong, beautiful young women who had come to rely on us for a confidence boost. We knew had to do something.

With the help of local, social media influencers and digital ads, we launched a promotional campaign that brought new and established clients back into our salon sanctuary.

If the pandemic and mask mandate have taught us anything, it is that our eyes say everything. When we are well-groomed, we feel better and healthier. Once we showed the community that Wink could be a safe and relaxing place to regain their pre-COVID sense of confidence, things began to change for the better.

There were times during the pandemic when we thought that growth was out of the question. We were simply trying to survive. But today, our team consists of three full-time stylists and we are seeking a fourth. In the coming year, we are making plans to expand even more; seeking a larger space and adding to the team.

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VIP Alexandria Magazine is proud to present The Resiliency Issue. Featuring small business COVID-19 success stories, as told by the owners who lived in it, learned to pivot + survived.

You can read all of our Resiliency Stories in our digital issue HERE.

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