Suzanne Egan of Suzanne Egan Academy takes us along her journey to finding the job she loves as a Lash & Brow Educator. Although it wasn’t the straightest path, she got there in the end and is loving what she does.
“I always knew from a young age that I wanted a career in the beauty industry. But my path to the industry only started when I was 37. I had an interview set up with one of Dublin’s leading beauty school when I left school in 1991 but my father intervened and convinced me to work in the family hospitality business.
Fast forward and many years of complaining to my husband that I should have followed my dream and studied beauty, he arrived home one evening to tell me he enrolled me on a beauty course. To which I replied, “Am I not too old to study?”.
From then I commenced the course for 2 nights each week while still working full time and with a young child. I quickly realised it was the best decision I had made. I immediately ‘found my home’ and from there I set myself a goal to do as many courses as I could that year.
There was an emerging trend in the beauty industry back then, with one course catching my attention called “lash extensions”. This was all very new to Ireland and very few people provided this service. So I completed the course and left with a certificate after less than 6 hours.
I had not put a single lash on my model. I was very disappointed when I got home and felt disheartened. To practice I got together with another student from my class and we ended up sticking each other eyes together. It was a disaster,! But it didn’t put me off as I was determined and wanted to learn more.
So, from then I started to research other lash artists around the world and ended up driving to Cork City to complete a 1:1 course with a well-known lash artist and from there my passion for lashes started.
The confidence I got from that experience spurned me on further and then helped me make the decision to leave the family business and pursue my dream once and for all, which turned out to be one of the hardest but best decision I have ever made.
From there I decided to set up a home-based salon and grew my client base through word of mouth a number of these clients are still loyal and with me today and I now consider them as friends.
I later then was offered a job in the beauty salon of one of Dublin’s leading beauty schools doing lash extensions and to say this was like a dream come through for me I an understatement. After some time, there I was offered an administration role in the office and then I was asked to teach some courses.
Although the idea of speaking to a classroom of strangers was daunting and scary, I quickly realised this was exactly where I wanted to be within the industry and immediately found my lifelong vocation in education.
My next move took me to Bronwyn Conroy, where I again I realised a personal ambition to work at the most prestigious and well-known private beauty college in Ireland. The college principal Anna Keely allowed me to bring in and develop various lash & brow related courses to the school under her guidance.
In such a fast-paced industry where trends change and techniques move on all the time, I am committed to staying at the forefront on the Lash & Brow revolution. I believe that CPD is vital in the ever trend changing world of beauty, so to date I have completed additional courses with some of the worlds most renowned lash and brow companies.
A logical move into launching my own fully accredited ‘Suzanne Egan Training Academy’ is my next step where I will offer teaching and mentoring services to beginners – to people looking to upskill refresh or even help people change their career path and help them fulfil their dreams.
I spend all my free time keeping up to date with the latest Lash & Brow trends both nationally and globally, continually learning from my fellow artists to perfect my craft even further. I am self-proclaimed perfectionist, who has a standard of excellence that is unrivalled, a natural flair for teaching and the determination to get the absolute best from my students.
It is imperative that my students leave my classroom with the two most important elements to ensure a successful career – a solid foundation of the skill itself and an understanding of the steps necessary to become a professional and successful lash & brow stylist.
So, if like me you are considering a change of career or just want to take the first step into beauty and are not sure where to start, I would suggest doing as much research as possible ask as many questions as you can and find a niche and try to specialise in one area.
The opportunities in this industry are varied, you can work in a salon, rent, or share a space or work from the comfort of your own home at your own time to suit yourself. I would suggest if you got some real world understanding in the salon environment, this will give you the confidence and experience to decide if you want to open your own business.
This career path takes hard work and untold hours of practice and patience. But as Steve jobs said “the only way to do great work is to love what you do. Don’t settle [for less]”
I can honestly say I love my job and even though it took me 23 years to get there it was worth the wait. I am excited to see where my next 10 years take me”.
You can contact Suzanne at firstname.lastname@example.org
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