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Meet Kristi Bates

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristi Bates.

Alright, so thank you so much for sharing your story and insight with our readers. To kick things off, can you tell us a bit about how you got started?
I’m originally from Los Angeles, CA. I moved to St Louis back in 2011 for love. My passion for the beauty industry started as a young girl. I created a fashion magazine in fifth grade and sold them to kids on the playground for a quarter, one dollar would get you a yearly subscription. My excitement came from sharing my own passion with others through this magazine.

However, the principle told me I was no longer allowed to sell magazines at school because of the “What’s Hot/Not” section. At the time, I didn’t realize how much of an entrepreneurial mind it took to start something like that but now I’m seeing how it plays into what I do today. Now fast forward to when I first arrived in St Louis, MO. I enrolled myself in an esthetician program and was learning so much! I became fascinated with the idea of opening my own business one day but still wasn’t sure what that looked like. After I graduated esthetic school (top of my class) I decided to move back to California. I was homesick and no longer in a serious relationship. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to move back right away. I had to wait until I received reciprocity from California for my Missouri state license. This took another year or so. In that time, I met my fiancé. He was very supportive of my decision to move back to Los Angeles so I could pursue my dreams. While I was there, I was introduced to the world of microblading and permanent makeup. I practiced everyday, learning from the greats. Unfortunately, I did not have a lot of money so my education was limited in the beginning.

However, this did not stop me from growing. I practiced vigorously, always wanting to learn more. Not just about the art itself but how to build a business. This is when I started my own business, Boss Brows LA. After being back in California for two years, my fiancé (boyfriend at the time) and I decided it was time to move forward with our relationship. Since I was just starting out as a new business owner and he was working a new position in St Louis, the move back to St Louis, MO was the best decision. Now it’s been almost four years since I opened my doors in Clayton, MO. I have built an amazing following of loyal clients. I also built a training program for other individuals who wanted to get started in this amazing art of microblading. Then covid hit. Like many others, I was forced to shut my doors. However, I learned that I needed to pivot. I had no idea when I would be able to start working on clients again or train students in person again. Therefore, I spent the entire quarantine working! I started a YouTube channel to share my experience, tips and tricks with other artists. I also built an entire online training program for microblading artists. This way no one had to feel like the world was ending. Anyone could still perfect their craft even in a scary time like a pandemic.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I would say the biggest obstacle came in the beginning of my career. I was so excited to learn microblading and start my own business that I don’t think I spent enough time researching a good academy. My very first microblading class was supposed to be a private class. I was thrilled bc I thought I would get so much more education with it being a one on one class. Unfortunately, the woman who was “supposed” to train me– ended up stealing my money. This was hard but taught me to never give up. I was forced to teach myself this extremely difficult art. I practiced and practiced and made lots of mistakes in the beginning. This was in part to my “lack of training” but the important lesson is how I learned from every mistake I made. I saved up more money and took more classes. This time doing tons of research on any new endeavor. I have been trained by the World’s Best Microblader (… yes, that’s an actual title…lol) a few times, as well as other great educators in this industry. I think my biggest challenge now is constantly trying to grow, which is a lot harder when you have little free time.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
My specialty is eyebrows. I have been mastering the art of microblading and permanent makeup to enhance one of the most important things on a person’s face. The eyebrows are what frame the eyes and as we all know, the eyes are the window to the soul. I start with a thorough consultation with my clients. What do their brows look like naturally (with no makeup), how do they wear their brow makeup (if any), how often do they groom? Do they suffer from hair loss, like alopecia? There are many reasons why men and women want to enhance or perfect their eyebrows. My goal is to give them exactly what they want. I work with the natural hairline and bone structure when creating an eyebrow shape. Once my client has approved the shape we’ve created, we discuss different methods of permanent makeup (i.e., microblading strokes, combo brow, ombre brow, etc.). A lot goes into deciding which service will be best for my client; skin type, skin sensitivity, personality, etc. Once a color is chosen and the client has been properly numbed I work my magic!

The crisis has affected us all in different ways. How has it affected you and any important lessons or epiphanies you can share with us?
Always learn to pivot. I never expected to be out of work for two months. It was stressful but I decided that I can only control what I do next. This is when I decided to create more online content for my students. I filmed 24 YouTube videos in two months and developed an online training course that anyone from around the world could enroll in. So far, I have found it to be quite successful. I have students from Hawaii, Australia, India and all over the country. It has been a huge blessing and I’m just grateful to have found a way to help others continue their craft during such a horrible time.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Boss Brows LA, LLC

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