How can I market microblading

Hello Ms. Labes, please introduce yourself and your company to WOWbrows!

Hello, WOWbrows is a provider of services, products and training in the cosmetic field. More precisely, we specialize in the microblading method, a minimally invasive manual technique for natural permanent make-up on the eyebrows. Our customers come from all over Europe and appreciate us as a reliable partner who delivers everything from a single source. From the know-how to all the necessary products that you need, we are the first provider worldwide.

Does that mean the WOWbrows concept did not come from your own pen?

Yes, of course! The concept comes from me personally.

Let's start from the beginning: I took parental leave as a commercial clerk in 2011 and during that time I thought that I wouldn't want to go back to the office. An apprenticeship as a pigmentation specialist with subsequent cosmetics training laid the foundation. In 2012 I started doing the first treatments for clients in my mother-in-law's salon. I worked part-time in my office job. In 2013 my passion for the beauty industry increased and I came across the "microblading" method while researching the Internet. The results of this treatment were an enlightenment for me and I immediately attended a workshop to learn this technique. More workshops followed in 2014 and I decided to specialize in this technique. As one of the first pigmenters in Germany, it was initially a niche market. However, I firmly believed that it was only a matter of time before this changed. My assumption that microblading would soon be a very popular beauty application was spot on. I published pictures of the treatment in a before and after comparison and it sparked a wave of enthusiasm. As early as June 2014, I received the first inquiries about training opportunities. So the demand was created. Now all that was needed was a well thought-out concept such as a didactically prepared training script and the programming of a dedicated web shop for product sales. I did the programming myself together with my husband. We moved into our first warehouse through various channels and in September 2014 after numerous tests we decided to launch the shop and quit my office job. Even before the official launch, we had orders from the UK and Switzerland. My first training in October 2014 in Nuremberg with around 17 participants was a complete success. The demand didn't stop and so we continued. Today we send around 300 orders a month across Europe, have 3 employees and 2 freelance lecturers for various locations in Germany and Switzerland. We have trained around 400 graduates since our inception and have a steady growth rate.

Wow! An impressive development that you can show with WOWbrows. What have been the biggest challenges you have had to face as an entrepreneur so far?

There are quite a few challenges. Being successful is nice, but you also pay a high price. Anyone who becomes successful overnight has worked a lot during the day. Burnout is a luxury that I couldn't afford. My private life suffers a lot, precisely because I still have a daughter who is 4 years old. In terms of business, the biggest challenges are to be always innovative and not let competitors catch up with you. We have the competitive advantage of being the first on the market and we have to defend it. The pressure on me as an entrepreneur is immense. As beautiful and exciting as this industry is, there is a lot of resentment and envy among competitors. Personally, I first had to deal with public hostility and grow a thick skin. From month to month I grow with my tasks and thanks to the addition of my team, I am able to enjoy free time again.

True words, Mrs. Labes. Did you have a specific strategy in order to maintain the competitive advantage? What methods do you use to stay innovative and not miss trends?

There are many strategies. On the one hand, we study the world market through various social networks. This is the only way to find out what the market actually wants. There is a lot of important information out there for us directly from the user. He names a problem and we solve it. With a certain product or our know-how. At the same time, this way we stay in contact with pigmenters worldwide and can spread our offer accordingly in targeted channels. But we have already rejected a lot. I think that's part of it. If you strive for a certain quality standard on a professional level, you cannot meet every request. Otherwise I could have traveled the world with my training courses. Unfortunately, that doesn't fit into my life situation at all.

How do you draw attention to your company? Which marketing method is the most important for you?

Definitely Facebook! We are also an exhibitor at trade fairs or advertise in trade magazines. Soon there will also be photo series in the Gala and Vogue Germany, which we will get through a PR agency. Facebook or Instagram are still the best platform for us to reach a lot of people quickly and without great effort. For us, a lot goes through pictures in the before / after effect. We regularly do photo or video shoots from which new material is created. We even recently shot a cinema ad to gain more regional awareness among end consumers.

What does it mean to you to be your own boss? And is there a certain philosophy that you follow as an entrepreneur?

A good question. I have often dealt with this question myself. As an employee, you always think that if you are your own boss, you can use your free time more freely. Or at least divide up the work according to your own standards. Yes, of course, but the tasks still have to be done. And I keep finding that it doesn't matter how much I get done. Whether until 2am or on the weekend. I will never finish. It just never ends. The company keeps you busy around the clock. When meeting friends, playing with the child, on vacation or at the cinema. Nothing distracts you enough not to think about business. That can be very stressful. If there is a free weekend coming up and I don't have to keep any appointments, I have resolved not to read any more emails or open letters on Friday. There are things that can wait until Monday. I now pay even more attention to a good work-life balance.

There is no particular philosophy with me. The role of the entrepreneur is also very new to me. Therefore there are also some wrong decisions. But afterwards you are always smarter. I like to act according to the following quotes: "Find your calling and you won't have to work a day." Or also: "Do it with love and the money will come by itself." And last but not least, my motto in life: "Courage is rewarded with luck".

Nice words, Mrs Labes. Do you get external support for business tasks or do you use special advisory services?

No, I do not use any advice. A good friend who works in the top level management of a large corporation advised me at the beginning. That was a lot of great advice, but in the end no one out there could prepare me for what I am currently experiencing. From time to time I leafed through specialist magazines for the self-employed. But that was mostly not tailored to my company. E-commerce is not discussed that often, and certainly not in the cosmetics sector. Now that I know how everything works, I could open a second pillar in management consulting. My tax advisor actually reaches her limits in her advisory role and is more involved in administrative work. But what obligations a corporation has and how to invoice an intra-Community export delivery, I learned beforehand in the office. You should have a certain basic understanding of business administration. However, I would have liked to have someone at the beginning who would tell me what to write in my business registration, how to fill out the tax registration form or which activities I have to register with the Chamber of Crafts. Those from the office are only executives and usually have no idea themselves what effects a cross in the wrong place can have.

One last question: What are the 3 most important tips that you would like to share with other companies?

Oh, I would have more than 3 tips. In addition to the usual phrases that you hear everywhere, such as believing in your idea and working hard for it, the following factors play a role:

  1. Study the market in order to assess both competitors and the target group.
  2. Never stand still and keep developing in order to always have a competitive advantage and thus remain in the market in the long term.
  3. Be quick, but without making hasty decisions. Everything has to be well thought out. It is better to let opportunities slip by before you start with an immature product or idea.

Thank you, Ms. Labes, for the really interesting interview. We will continue to monitor the progress of WOWbrows and wish you every success.

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