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Rising Stars: Meet Christy Leigh Gurnari

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christy Leigh Gurnari.

Hi Christy, please kick things off for us with an introduction to yourself and your story.
My lash career sort of fell into my lap. I started in the beauty industry back in 2007 as a cosmetologist, however, I didn’t make a name for myself until I switched from hairstylist to lash artist four years ago. I am a military spouse so we move anywhere from six months to four years. Moving around so often it can be difficult to build a clientele, so I would take on other jobs to help balance things out financially. While we lived in Maryland I managed a retail store that provided products to licensed cosmetologists and barbers.

While working the front a stylist came in with some insane-looking lashes. I remembered being overwhelmed with wanting to fix them. Before she was done shopping I had already looked into Lashing and what it required. Just the fact of knowing how tedious it was made my OCD so happy. Since then I have just been lashing nonstop. My career is my obsession and this industry is amazing! I got to where I am because I simply practiced practiced practiced. Lashing is extremely difficult and tedious. It takes a lot of practice to create that muscle memory in your hands and fingers. It takes someone that is a perfectionist and patient with themselves to do it.

If not, you risk the chance of severally damaging someone’s natural lashes. I’ve unfortunately seen a lot of this. Also, moving and having to start over has definitely benefited me in my business. Each new move I take what works and then what didn’t work I’ll tweak and move forward. Each move has a stronger game plan. This last move I was able to build a full clientele in four and a half months.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
Throughout my career, I’ve only welcomed obstacles and challenges. I never want to be stagnant in something I’m so passionate about. I’ve faced several challenges, The biggest challenge that I’ve gained the most growth from was moving so much. We’ve lived in small towns and big cities. Clientele, if any, is very different. Building a clientele is a difficult period. I’ve had to build mine five times.

Another challenge was, of course, Covid. Covid hit the beauty industry pretty hard. If people were out and about getting services they didn’t necessarily want a service that required someone literally in their face as lashing requires.

During this time my husband was also on a 13-month long deployment and I was balancing everything. Let’s just say I found my backbone and strength and refuse to let anything stand in my way. Growth comes from finding a way over, under, through, and around obstacles.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’m a licensed master cosmetologist but I specialize in eyelash extensions. Lash Extensions are all I do anymore. In any industry, you have to set yourself apart and that’s exactly what I did. I’ve always hated the look of classic sets which is one extension per natural lash. It’s almost stringy looking to me and just doesn’t look full or complete so I changed it up. I’m known for my custom lash look and fine-tuned skills.

My clientele includes actresses, musicians, brides, models, politician’s spouses, judges, Dr.’s, entrepreneurs, etc. I have clients that come from all over for this look. I have a client that travels two and a half hours every three weeks for her lashes. I also travel to do custom lash sets for special occasions. But my other most favorite thing besides lashing is mentoring other lash artists from all over the U.S. I do this by being a guest on different podcasts in the beauty industry or simply mentoring one-on-one.

This I’m most proud of. If someone wants advice, tips, tricks, etc. I’m your girl! I will tell you my techniques, how to build a clientele, the business side, my failures, successes, and anything I know. I’ll be your biggest cheerleader along the way!

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on luck and what role, if any, you feel it’s played for you?
I believe luck does have a very small part to play in life and in business, however, for me personally hardwork and grit get the most credit. You can’t sit back and wait for clients to walk through the door. You have to give them a reason to.

Even if I used a lash photo of my work for marketing and luckily someone happens to scroll their FB and sees it sponsored on their page I still had to put in the years of practice a.k.a hardwork to make that gorgeous set that they saw.

I’m lucky that that person scrolled slow enough to see it and then decided she wanted to give lashes a try but its hardwork and grit allowed me to deliver and keep her coming back as a loyal client.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Crescent & Fable

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