Miami-based LashMakers educates over 400 women each year in the art of the eyelash, training them to become eyelash professionals. However, founder and owner Elena Asher does not want her students leaving with perfect lash extension skills but nothing else. “In LashMakers we approach this industry as a million dollar business. The goal is to show others it’s possible. We educate on both – eyelash art and the business aspect.”
Asher’s two-pronged focus is part of her effort to combine both beauty and women’s empowerment. The creativity and artistry that go into designing and maintaining the perfect lashes for each client is vital to her success, but she also knows that, without good business training her students will not be able to succeed. And it is their success that she wants, knowing from her own experience that financial independence is the major key to becoming a strong woman.
Asher came to the United States without anything close to financial freedom. Born in Soviet Siberia, Asher first emigrated to Israel and then, at the age of 21, to America, arriving practically penniless and with little knowledge of English. It took grit and effort to learn the language and find clients for her eyelash extension business, which she ran out of her living room. Her business skills were learned the hard way, and she vowed to help other women figure out how to succeed without having to climb over so many hurdles. She doesn’t mind challenges, saying that they “never really stop. Once you develop as an artist and a business person to a certain point there’s always a new level that opens up and it will come with its own challenges, and new things to learn.” Barriers, on the other hand, are a different matter, and she is passionate about tearing them down to give other women the chance to be successful and to find financial freedom.
LashMakers also produces 118 different products related to eyelashes, which are sold in 57 countries around the world, so Asher has the credentials to teach others about what it takes to find success. Indeed, in a very real sense, her story acts as an inspiration for her students, who get to see first hand how someone can work hard to achieve dreams that might seem too daunting to be possible. If Asher can do it, however, they know that they can too, and that a million dollar business is not out of their reach.