10 minutes with...

Interview with Karolina Swiderska @karolina.londonlashpro

SHE IS A MANAGER OF LONDON LASH STUDIO IN ST JOHNS WOOD, TRAINER IN LONDON LASH ACADEMY, JUDGE AND SPEAKER AT INTERNATIONAL LASH CONFERENCES, MASTER LASH ARTIST AND MULTIPLE AWARDS WINNER

I came across your story. You started doing nails when you were younger, but at some point you changed to the eyelash extension.  What caused the change? 

I started my journey in the beauty industry 10 years ago as a nail technician. I was working full time in the salon and I was always saying, I will never do lashes. I was too scared and couldn’t imagine keeping sharp tweezers next to someone’s eyes. But as lashes grew on popularity and a lot of my nail clients started demanding eyelashes, I thought: why not? I went for my first training in classic eyelashes, then quite quickly learnt how to do volume. I had a lot of clients to practice on, so very quickly I found lashes more interesting than nails. Plus, nails are a bit dusty job which I hated, so I welcomed the change. There was a time, when I was doing both, nails and lashes, but since I moved to London, I changed to lashes only.

I also know you studied English at Uniwersytet Szczecinski, in Language Department in Poland.  Did you do it because you planned to come to UK at some point of your life? Or maybe after getting to know the beauty industry you realised that this path will suit you best?

Since I was in primary school I was always attending additional English classes. I went to bilingual Junior High School and then continued learning English on an advanced level in high school. I decided to study English, as I always wanted to have a second faculty, ‘just in case’. If beauty industry wasn’t for me, I would continue into languages. I finished MA studies in English, with an additional diploma of teaching a foreign language. Now, I’m very happy that I studied English with a teaching extension, as it helped me both with moving to the UK, and with becoming a lash trainer. 

When did you start working at London Lash and how did everything begin?

I started working at London Lash in 2016. One day we decided with my boyfriend to move to London and when scrolling through my Instagram, I saw that London Lash Pro posted about looking for a lash artist. Without thinking, I sent my application, even though I was still living in Poland and I had over a month left until moving to UK. I have never assumed that someone will get back to me, especially from such a big company. But I got invited to an interview, and on the next day after my arrival to London, I went to London Lash Studio. To my huge surprise, I got the job and that was when my journey started!

What was the most difficult at the beginning of your career? 

I think that the most difficult was to learn new techniques of doing lashes with already working full time. It was kind of walking into the deep water for me, but I also believe that this is what made me really strong and confident, and let me learn everything very quickly.

Please let us know how did you earn your trainer position in London Lash? Was it something you always wanted to do? 

Deep inside me I always dreamt of being a lash trainer for London Lash Pro and put my teaching skills into practice. But I also knew there is a lot for me to learn in the field of eyelashes. I started working at London Lash Studio as Lash Artist, then got promoted to Senior and after few months to Master level. After being in the company for 1,5 years I was asked if I’d like to become a trainer. It was one of my biggest dreams coming true! But before being able to teach, I had to complete NVQ Level 3 in Teaching to be eligible to teach in the UK. Not only you need to have skills in the specific field but also in the teaching, to make sure you offer the best quality trainings for your students.

Tell us something about being a judge at international lash competitions. Is it exciting to meet talented lash artists showing their best work or is it a hard work that will require a lot of your attention and commitment?

It is definitely an amazing opportunity to meet a lot of talented lash artists all over the world, get to know other judges and make connections with different companies. On the other hand, it is a very hard work, as in your hands is the career of fellow lash artists. You need to be focused and very fair to make sure you stay objective all the time. It is difficult to say but there is no room for compassion – there are plenty of lash technicians competing and only the best can win.

 What do you like the most about eyelash extension?

That this a relaxing treatment for both your client and you. And that lashes can really change the whole appearance of your face!

What did you learn as a lash artist?

To listen to people. Clients not only come to you to have beautiful lashes done but also to tell you about their life. You’re not only their lash technician but also best friend and psychologist. 

You recently won a prize: The Lash Artist of the Year 2018 in Lash Lift – Grand Master Category. Tell us how did you achieve that? 

As soon as I finished my first lash lift training, I fell in love with this treatment! Since then I completed few more trainings and one day decided to test my skills at the . I didn’t expect to win, especially in the highest category – I’m really proud of myself! Hard work pays off

I asked what was difficult at the beginning of your career. Today, you are managing a busy London Lash Salon in north-west London with 12 members of staff. What is the most challenging for you now?

The most challenging for me is to make everyone happy – both my staff and clients. When you have a chance to work on the other side of the business, you learn that your perception on certain situations is completely different when you are just a lash artist, and when you manage the business. I’m working hard to always find a way to combine it all together and leave a smile on everyone’s face. 

How do you overcome the obstacles in your career?

I’m a very ambitious person and I hate to give up. I will always try to find a solution, look at the problem from different angles. I also believe that sometimes, it is good to discuss the issue with others, to have a new, fresh look at the situation.

If you could choose your career now would you still do the same?

Yes, I wouldn’t change it If I wasn’t in a relationship, I would consider applying for a flight attendant position as I love travelling but it would be a difficult decision.

How often do you do treatments at the moment? Do you lash at all?

I came to the point in my career, that I had to decide, what I’d like to do. With sadness I had to almost completely quit from providing treatments, due to my schedule being very busy. However, I still get a chance to do few clients per week, and I really enjoy it. Unfortunately, at the moment I do not take any new bookings. But you never know – maybe one day it will change

Your advise to the lash artists all over the world, the beginners and the more advanced?

Hard work pays off! Never take shortcuts towards your goals and don’t take anything for granted. If you’re hard working, the good things will always find you – mostly when you least expect them. 

What do you think will be the direction of eyelash treatments in the future? Are they going to be more popular?

I believe eyelash extension is already very popular, and it will grow even bigger within time. I’m sure it is only a matter of few years, when knew products and tools will be invented to speed up the treatment time. We already have pre-made fans on the market which is just the beginning. But I do hope, that the old school techniques will stay, as this is the most amazing part of the eyelash extension – taking your time to carefully apply extensions on each lash and create beautiful handmade fans. 

What are your dreams and plans for the future?

I would definitely like to finally find time and participate in few more competitions. I do also hope that my work will bring me more travels within next years, giving me a chance to explore the world and spread my love to lashes to more people. I’m also keeping my fingers crossed and working hard for our London Lash Studio to grow even bigger.

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