Today we’d like to introduce you to Adrienne Marshall.
Hi Adrienne, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My name is Adrienne Marshall and I am the owner of Blink & Browz located on East Shelby Dr in Memphis, TN. I am 42 years old and a mother of three. I came into the beauty industry about five years ago when I developed an interest in doing eyelash extensions.
The interest came because I wanted to do something different outside of my current occupation which was bail bonding. My lash artist turned friend, suggested that I try doing lash extensions and explained all the benefits that came with being a lash artist.
I contemplated really hard out of fear of venturing into the unknown and she finally convinced me to take a lash extension course. I spent $800 on the course where I received a basic certification in eyelash extension applications.
I started my business as Lashing Out in a small two-room suite that I shared with my cousin located in the Apple Tree Center. Not having much knowledge about the beauty industry and the requirements at the time just thought I can create an EIN for my business and just make some money doing something that I enjoyed. After a few months of servicing clients, I began to really love the art so I began to research more about different techniques, etc.
The craft that I was enjoying so much came to a halt after discovering that the service was regulated and that you had to be a licensed esthetician by TN Board of Cosmetology to be able to perform it. After getting that information I took a pause from taking clients for fear of being fined by the cosmetology board. At the time school wasn’t on my radar. I’m thinking to myself I am a single parent of three and barely have time to do everything I needed to do in a day’s time there was no way I could go back to school.
During that time, I was trying to figure things out and I began researching permanent makeup because the microblading industry was becoming major it was something that caught my attention and I just knew that even though the procedure looked difficult to perform that I would be good at it. I then started on my journey to further my knowledge and this time I understood to find out what the state regulations were before I began to invest in it.
Getting started did require you to be a licensed tattoo artist so I approached a close friend of mine who was a licensed artist and had his own tattoo shop about apprenticing me. I was under his apprenticeship for one year. During that year’s time frame, I took a private course to learn the fundamentals of microblading and shading and I began to practice in my spare time. The only problem was the suite that I was in was not equipped to perform that service. I needed to find a space to pass inspection from the health department and the cosmetology board that was suitable for me to do brows.
The idea of Blink & Browz is born but I didn’t know where to start to even began to look for spacing suitable enough. Just literally woke up one morning and researched spaces and literally the first space that I looked up met everything that I wanted. After looking at the space I signed the lease. Still working my regular job by day and in my new shop prepping painting and getting it set up by night. I had to put in a lot of work to make it acceptable for me to open the door. So March 2019, I opened the doors of Blink & Browz. I had a 1500 sq ft brick and mortar with 3 nice size rooms and a nice open from the area and no clue what to do with it.
I started enlisted people that I knew that were in the beauty industry to come and work with me charging them booth rent. So I began to be able to offer a plethora of services. I got my salon license and I was on my way. After watching the estheticians that worked with me I decided to make the sacrifice and go to esthetics school. That was I could perform every service that I offered in my shop. I bit the bullet and I enrolled at The Ivy Institute of Esthetics in June 2020.
Pushing through school full time and still working and running the business I was well on my way Covid wasn’t even able to stop my flow. Just as I got closer to the finish line and was set to graduate at the end of December my life was flipped upside when I abruptly lost my 21-year-old son on November 16, 2020.
That put a halt to everything and pushed back my graduation date from the course. Then, I started to feel overwhelmed and didn’t want to go back. After giving myself a few months’ breaks, I went back to school but I struggled really bad because it was so hard for me to retain information because I would get so lost in my thoughts. My support system throughout was amazing and my esthetics instructor Mrs. Rawls really pushed me to finish, graduate, and pass the two-part state board exam on the very first try.
Now, I am back in my business full time along with being able to perform every service that I offer but my main focuses are eyelash extensions and permanent make-up brows, and a little bit of waxing and I love what I do. My clients are amazing to work with and I love everyone that has walked through my doors and blessed my business by choosing me.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
When I got into the industry, I knew absolutely nothing about it.
I knew nothing about starting and running a business and didn’t have many people around me that could point me in the right direction. Everything I did I learned on my own. And you could say, I hustled backward so to speak because I didn’t have the proper licenses, etc. when I got started.
I knew nothing about incorporating my business, business bank accounts, or business credit. So filtering my way through the process of going to school and grieving all the same time was definitely hard for me.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
Blink & Browz is a number one premium studio for beauty enhancements specializing in permanent makeup, eyelash extensions, full body waxing, facials, and makeup services.
We are a one-stop-shop for everything about the face offering a clean nice peaceful environment to come in and relax and leave feeling great. We use premium products and we care about the experience that our clients get when they come and see us for any service.
Do you have any memories from childhood that you can share with us?
I have so many but I knew early that I wanted to be an entrepreneur just didn’t know what field. I was a self-taught braider and braided hair in my mom’s kitchen to make money and that’s what got me through high school.
I became a mom at 17 so I was always destined to not be the typical teen mom statistic. I wanted to be able to provide for my children without assistance from others.
- Permanent Makeup Brows $550
- Eyelash Extension Classic $150
- Eyelash Extension Volume $200
- Brow Thread/Brow Wax $10
- Brazilian Wax $45
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://instagram.com/blinknbrowz
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blinknbrowz
Josiah Roberto Photography