Rebecca used lockdown to take the next steps on her beauty business journey, now she’s training the next generation

By Sam Pither [email protected]

Published: February 6, 2024 | Updated: 13th February 2024

In 2020, while many of us were learning to cook or practising TikTok dances, Rebecca Walton was busy at work on her new lashes and eyebrow salon in Poole: IlluminEye Lashes.

IlluminEye logo

Having decided to venture out as self-employed shortly before lockdowns began and had some savings in the bank, Rebecca was ineligible for help from the government.

“Instead of just resting on the savings I decided to use them to open a shop,” she explained.

“I was talking to a friend about how lockdown was going and mentioned I was looking for premises. It just so happened he was preparing to hand the keys back on a shop in Ashley Cross.

“10 minutes later I was looking around it. I then used the rest of the lockdown to refurbish it and get set up.”

“I think sometimes these things are meant to be.”

Through hard work and graft, Rebecca converted the premises into her salon.

“I did it totally by myself, the only thing someone else did was the floors, because I didn’t know how to lay a floor. But everything else was all me. Thankfully it was quite a nice unit to start with.”

It was a big move for Rebecca, who had been working from home.

“Going out on my own and running the salon was basically sink or swim, I knew I had to make a decision and I decided to go all-in.

“I knew I could either sit back and waste away, or I can do something, because I’m never going to get this time back.”

Of course, opening a premises is one thing, creating and maintaining a loyal customer base is another entirely. Rebecca explained how she differs from the competition.

“A normal salon would typically use massage beds, instead we have luxury recliners. It’s done in a different way and we really aim for a high quality service.

“Because we specialise in lashes and brows we can offer a lot more and know more about a specific thing instead of offering everything.

“We do a consultation with people and we’ll ask questions. People often say ‘no one has ever asked me this before’.

“The problem in our industry is you get a lot of people who have maybe just done an online course, and it’s not done in a professional way so they don’t take the service seriously.”

Rebecca, a qualified teacher, takes these standards seriously. IlluminEye Lashes is an accredited training academy, with all her staff undergoing this training.

“It’s been a good busy three years, we now have a team of four.

“All of them have gone through my training, although one of them had been trained previously. It’s been nice because we have a certain way we like to do things.”

“This year my main focus will probably be teaching because I really enjoy it and it’s nice to see the students flourish after.”

Rebecca explained how it’s the reactions from her clients which bring her the most pride on a day-to-day basis.

“It’s when you have someone come in who has never tried the service before – I don’t know what it is about our lash extensions but when you have them you instantly feel prettier.

“It’s nice to give women confidence and the fact they leave feeling much better.”

“People don’t realise there are so many different techniques, we can literally create any set. I think that’s why we’ve gained such a good reputation in a short amount of time, we want to make sure the clients get exactly what they want.”

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