Before JB Lashes became a force in the eyelash industry, the company was a business school project meant to simulate the process of pitching to potential investors. “In my final year of business school, we had to create and present a business model to angel investors and venture capitalists,” recalls JB Lashes cofounder and chief creative officer Faith Kim. At the time, Korea’s emerging eyelash extension industry was about to take off, and Kim thought the market made perfect sense for her presentation—a serendipitous decision, it turns out. “The [school] judges were keen on investing, and their decision was a good affirmation to turn my school project into a business!”
In 2004, Kim joined with her mother Jane to launch JB Cosmetics, one of the first companies to introduce the art of eyelash extensions into the American spa market. In the beginning, the company focused on private labeling and manufacturing pharmaceutical-grade treatment cosmetics and eyelash treatments, but eventually moved its efforts into building up JB Lashes, its professional lash extensions division, as a brand. One of JB Lashes’ points of pride: It’s made in the USA. “Because JB Lashes is factory direct, we hand-make all our lashes and formulate our adhesives in the USA,” Kim notes. For lash artists looking for quality assurances in product production, this detail matters. The company also aims to elevate “girl bosses” on all levels in the industry. “We strongly believe in empowering women all over the world and across all touch points of our brand, beginning with our supply chain down to the end consumer who ends up receiving the service,” Kim shares. To wit: Umbrella company JB Cosmetics supports and employs women in developing countries with above minimum wage pay.
While an extensive product roster that includes everything from tools for working smarter to the iLashCare aftercare line makes JB Lashes a one-stop shop for extensionists, Kim stresses that products are just one slice of the brand’s success; bolstering lash artists to be the very best at their craft is another. “We listen to our lash stylists and believe that communication should be a two-way street. We don’t approach customers as salespeople, but rather as business partners,” Kim says. “Everything we do, from product development to education to support, is with the success of our lash stylists in mind.” To that end, JB Lashes offers a multitude of eyelash extension certification courses throughout the United States; has marketing materials at the ready to help lash shops build their businesses; invites lash artists to become JB Lashes franchisees; extends ambassadorship programs for social media partnerships; and is working on expanding the iLashCare aftercare product portfolio to boost lash artists’ retail sales. Adding to this laundry list of benefits for extensionists, the company is debuting a loyalty program this summer. “We’re launching a page on our website dedicated to our top tier members to promote them as our top ‘Lash Artist,’” Kim says. After all, she says, “We make lash goals happen.”
Success Secret -
For Kim, the secret to success is simple: “Be nice, be ambitious, be flexible.”
Primo Products -
1) While bestseller HD Volume Mink Lashes is tops with extensionists, the iLashCare aftercare line sells like hotcakes as well.
2) “The Nano Lash Curing Mister cures lashes instantly to fortify lash adhesion,” says Kim.
3) “And the Longer Life Coating Sealer works to extend the lifetime of the lash extension.”
—by Karie L. Frost