Firstly, for those that don’t know me (I’m a little camera shy!), I’m Julie Sandy and run Salon25 Lash and Brow Academy. I joined the industry in 2009 when Classic lashes were about the only treatment option; J or C curl was the ‘go to’ and the Wispy look wasn’t on the treatment menu. Lash support groups were few and far between; we certainly didn’t have Tik-Tok, Instagram and endless tutorials on YouTube, and teaching was mainly in class.
In 2013, I had the incredible opportunity to attend Lash Art University in Ukraine, to learn Handmade Russian Volume. For me, that was the biggest turning point in my career: it is what led me from pure lash artist, to becoming a trainer. There are many reasons why people choose certain paths of progression or change career direction, and for me, it was about passion and sharing my knowledge.
After learning this revolutionary new technique and knowing the exciting opportunities it could bring, I attended more courses and workshops to expand my knowledge. I practised for hours, weeks, even months and embarked on my teaching qualification - alongside running my busy lash salon.
At this point, I realised I’d found my ‘why’. The passion and drive I felt to pass this incredible new technique on, with the years of knowledge from being a lash artist, made me want to teach the next generation of budding lash artists, as well as inspire existing ones.
Since 2014, I’ve trained hundreds of students from all over the UK in eyelash treatments and in 2021 won ‘LashBase Academy of the year’ – Best Solo Trainer. Voted for by former students. This was one of my proudest moments.
What is involved in becoming a successful lash trainer?
I hear lots of lash artists asking ‘How do I become a trainer’? Is it automatically the next natural step if you are an existing lash artist? Does being able to produce a fabulous set of lashes, really equip you for teaching? I regularly hear these questions asked, but rarely answered and I want to help people understand, what is truly involved in pursuing a career in training.
As well as the formal requirements, like gaining the right teaching qualification, writing and accrediting your courses and manuals, and deciding where you want to specialise, there is so much more to being a lash trainer than people realise. It requires a very different skillset to being a lash artist. If you’re thinking of becoming a trainer, ask yourself if you are doing it for the right reasons. If it’s purely motivated by finances and extra money, the following lesser known aspects may enlighten and help you decide. A few things to consider:-
Are you genuinely passionate about inspiring students to gain their knowledge, through your guidance?
Do you have confidence in your own knowledge and understand in detail what it is that you are teaching or trying to get across? Can you back this up with great examples from your own experience?
Are you able to tailor your teaching, depending on the type of learners in your class? People all learn at different paces and often with a different approach - patience is key!
Can you offer tactful, constructive feedback, if students are really struggling and just aren’t grasping it. Are you prepared to invite students back free of charge, if they don’t feel confident on the day?
Are you prepared to be contacted by students 24/7, with the same questions over and over and can you do it all with a smile on your face?
Is your existing lash business well managed and within your control and are you prepared for all the extra admin? Most people don’t realise the amount of organisation involved in being a trainer – advertising, social networking, arranging bookings, payments, invoices, case studies, arranging models etc etc, so this is something to really factor in. If you’re a sole trader, this can be overwhelming.
Do you feel strongly that something is missing from teaching standards within the lash training industry and that you can provide the answer and make a difference?
Lastly, ask yourself if you really want to be a trainer, or are you doing it because you feel it’s the natural ‘next step’?
What makes a good trainer?
There are so many important elements that make a good trainer - think about the courses you have attended, the impression they left on you and why.
Ongoing support - providing support and advice to your students after they have completed their course. Offering detailed feedback, together with positive encouragement, as they master their confidence and skills.
Patience and empathy – mastering the art of lashing takes time, lots of practice and not everyone picks it up straight away. You need to have the ability to understand others and how their feeling.
Passion – You need to be genuinely passionate about what you do, with the desire to help your students become successful.
Inspiring – you want your students to be excited about their newly acquired knowledge and skills, so they can’t wait to get started.
A desire to progress and keep learning – in this fast paced, ever-changing industry, you need a commitment to keeping your skills and knowledge up to date, by continuing to learn yourself, through ongoing education.
Admin and organisational skills – being a trainer requires putting in place a lot of structure, so you’ll need to be super organised when it comes to admin, both paper and digital.
To summarise, seeing students flourish from complete beginners into highly skilled lash artists can be one of the most rewarding steps you will take, and if you answered yes to most of the questions above, then you are already on the right track to becoming a successful trainer.
If you found this blog post helpful and would like to learn more about Julie Sandy and the training she provides, follower her Instagram page salon25lashes_training