5 years ago, I was 37 years old and on maternity leave after the birth of our third child. At the time, I was still employed by a Croatian retail chain and hated every second of it. Low pay, even poorer working conditions and terrible working hours. With three kids at home and the cost of living high up to the sky (no luxury just surviving every day) with my husband's salary, my maternity wage, and credits! I remember my husband and I were sitting at a desk with the last 5€ in our pocket and a bunch of days left till our paycheck. ‘So what now? I knew that I needed some kind of work to help manage our budget.
A friend of mine told me that I should do lashes. Honestly, I thought she was crazy! Me? Me sitting and gluing some hairs for hours? Well, it won't go! And of course, education was so expensive, I thought I could never afford it. But I borrowed some money and booked my appointment because I was determined to make some changes in life.
I remember, on the training day, I was scared, excited, happy...all kinds of feelings went through my mind. It was hard for me to accept the fact that after 37 years I’m going to change my career. But I had great support from my husband and I decided to give it a go…
What a disaster! The girl that held the training...well... I would call her a teacher, but she definitely was not one. I came to the salon and she said: ‘Good afternoon, you just sit here and let the model lie down. This is a tweezer for isolation here’ (like I knew what it meant!) ‘and with this tweezer, you should put an extension on a natural lash. Here is a drop of glue. When it becomes rubbery, you can use another drop.’ (Great!) ‘Now this is how you separate the natural lashes and put an extension on the natural lashes.’ She points to me STANDING beside me: ‘I'll come to check you out a few times and when you're done, you're done.'
After 35 minutes of trying to isolate one lash, I lost my nerve! I was calmed by my model, so I somehow "completed" this agony. But my teacher came back from another room where she had her own treatments (it was a working day after all, right) and decided that it was enough becausenow she needed that room to move on. Do I have to say that she printed my diploma at a nearby bookstore? Do I have to say that I gave the last money out of my house for this disaster? Even worse, it was borrowed money!
Do I have to say that I was, in the first place, satisfied with the result? My model even said: ‘Tina! Take a good look at what you did and tell me if that's right!’ I went home devastated and crying but now even more determined that I will learn this. I practiced on my friends and husband (yes it’s true!). I was collecting clients on the street giving them leaflets. One time I even almost got beat up because I tried to give flyers to some senior high school girls! Totally reckless I know!
Months and months went by, my work was improving, I started a business and slowly started raising money for a real education! I was happy as a little kid when I went to someone who knew what she was doing, controlled my every move and taught me properly. I knew then that I would become an educator because no one deserves to have a bad education and go through the horror that I went through.
From the first steps, borrowed money for something someone gave herself the right to call education, the first beauty fair where I went with €20 to buy a box of eyelashes, the first cases where photos of my work and my posts were stolen when my FB profile was reported from my competition for ‘suspicious actions’ (here is where I knew I was on the right track!) winning international competitions, my first judging, conference speeches... to now. Now I can proudly call myself a Lash trainer. The one that puts all my efforts into my students and their knowledge. Now I am proud to present to my students the best quality materials and training kits at every training.
Being a trainer is a very responsible job. We are not just here to teach people. We are here to help them change their lives to a better one. And the best thing! I learned so much about myself too. I am a more positive person now because I know that you can accomplish everything if you just believe in yourself and your dreams.