"Lash Tribe has changed my life", legendary group founder Julia Mann saysPosted on Jul 28, 2018
Hello, hello, our super amazing lash people! Today for the interview we have the one and only Julia Mann, the founder of fantastic Lash Tribe, a holder of Academy of the Year award and a Facebook sensation.
You may not believe it but about 8 years ago before getting that lash fame, Julia Mann was confused about her professional future.
With tons of experience in beauty therapy, hair dressing and make-up she seemed to know everything about beauty business.
And still she felt she was going astray. Her business recorded losses. She was uneasy about where to go, what to do.
Julia Mann transformed herself from a jack-of-all-trades into a marketing queen and an enlightened teacher.
Julia has inspired Lashlandia team, and we are sure her story will inspire everyone of you too.
-Let‘s start from the very beginning. Julia, how did your career start? Why lashes and what was before lashes?
I have been in beauty therapy for fifteen years. I actually moved from Germany to come over here and started beauty therapy.
Then I started hair dressing and make up – like all of the things in beauty.
And I think in 2009 lashes came to Australia, around that time.. So I wanted to try them out myself, and I did a lot of research: went online, watched some videos and so on.
I had a really, really, good look at, because I was in beauty, I needed to know how is it done properly.
So I then chose a salon, and they glued my eyes shut. I tried to open my eyes – and I couldn‘t. So I had to pry them apart, and a lot of them fell off.
Lucky it was not that completely smothered in glue, it was just some parts were glued together. It looked like long spider legs on my lashes. But because I did my research, I knew : that is not how it supposed to look.
So I decided then and there : that is not right, I am going to learn how to do that. And two weeks later I did my classic course. That is how I got into lashes. 2010 that was actually.
-And how this idea of creating the „Lash Tribe“ arrived to you, how long have you been preparing everything?
About a day. I have been preparing „Lash Tribe“ for about a day. Maybe an hour, because it was a spur of the moment decision.
I was in beauty, I had a home salon – I did so many things. I had it like : one-stop shop. And I was really good at a lot of things.
I was actually talking about that to someone last night, I was good at a lot of things but I never felt that I was getting anywhere, because I had my hands in so many pots.
I am always saying : Australia was, or anywhere in the world I think, they say : „jack of all trades“. I called myself : „a jackass of all trades“ (laughs).
Because I was never really great at just one thing. And I thought : what the heck am I going to do with my life? Like I can't just play business the whole time.
I was pretty much failing a business, I was not making any money. So my husband sat me down one night and said: Julia, you got to look at your books, you have to know what „in“ and „outs“ you have and how much money do you make?
And it turned out I was making a loss for two years straight.
,,And I burned out very quickly after two months, I was just like : Oh my God, what did I do?!“
-That is a great observation, I think he just opened your eyes.
Yes. I was working a lot of late nights, I had kids at that stage as well, and thought: wow, why I am not making any money?
And figured out after I took some coaching courses and I did online classes – that I needed to get out of everything and just concentrate on one thing.
So I actually messaged, because I did not know what I wanted to be, I messaged a lot of people : my friends and family, ten of them, and I said : what do you think I am really good at?
Because sometimes you do not know yourself and you need other people to tell you, because they know you sometimes better than you know yourself.
-I agree with you, you made a right decision, for sure.
And everybody throughout the bulk came back – you are really good at teaching and explaining things and you are fantastic at lashes.
So from one day to the other, I decided I just focus on lashes.
I think about a week later, it was that I went online into another lash group , and I asked : What cleanser do you use? What is good at the moment, what would you recommend?.
And one answer, that is literally the turning point for me when I opened up “Lash Tribe”, one person said : ,,I am not sharing that information with you. It is my business, that’s none of your business“.
And I thought : Are you serious? That can‘t be how this industry is. So I opened up „Lash Tribe“, I think within that moment I realized that there is not enough information out there.
I wanted to grow my lash business, but how could I do that without anyone willing to share anything..
Because Australia is always a little bit behind everybody else, it is much better today, but back then, like three years ago, it was not much information out there.
So I opened up „Lash Tribe“, and I literally went into three other lash groups. You know it was a bit catty and a bit bitchy and all of bullying happening.
And I said : I am opening up a lash group and I am going to share everything that I know, if you are willing to share what you know - so we can grow together. And I think within two weeks we had two thousand people in there.
-Did you expect it to grow so fast?
Not at all (laughs). It was growing too fast. And I burned out very quickly after two months, I was just like : Oh my God, what did I do?! Because I was working „for free“.
Like, I gave all my information out for free. Then it turned out to be my best marketing decision in my life. But I did not know it at that stage .
So I think within a month or six weeks, I actually took on a virtual assistant who helped me : approving people into the group, because I wanted them to be in beauty and not just random people, and to delete spam and block people.
There was a lot people going in straight way because I did not know how to run a group. I had it open and so everybody added themselves and I was like : Oh my God, what is happening?.
So I closed the group, I know better today. And, my admins then kind of weeded out the good and the bad, and we deleted a lot, we blocked a lot of people in the last two years. Lots of people.
-I think you had to, because you wanted to create something special and not the same thing that already was.
Yes, that‘s it. It needed to be safe space.
,,I had a really bad relationship but if I did not have that bad relationship, I would not be where I am today“
-Could you say it was a business plan or just the idea of making the lash world more friendly?
Yeah, well initially it was just the idea, because I found that the industry was very secretive, and I needed information and I did not know how to get that. Unless I was creating a worldwide group. How else would I reach people?
Like yourself, or people in the US or Canada where we are at the moment. So that was initially the idea and then it turned out to be an amazingly smart business idea as well in the end, cause that‘s how I got into training and teaching.
-So, I believe that we can say, that sometimes when we are creating something, initially, you have just an idea that can grow into a business.
-But you have to do it, at the beginning you have to go with the idea. Not only just to make money.
No, you are right. I went with my gut, cause I did not plan. This one little person that did not want to share her lash cleanser with me made me open up „Lash tribe“.
-Even today you are able to say to her „thank you, because of you..“
Thank you! I do not know your name but thank you, you know who you are!
-Who was the first person you employed at the „Lash Tribe“?
My first proper employee is probably my full time virtual assistant: Desiree, I love you girl, if you are reading this! She is in the Philippines and she has all of my email, of my payment things.
I do not see it, cause it depresses me if credit card fails and it just like : I do not want to deal with that sort of stuff.
And she is a support, like she approves everybody into the payed groups, she just double-checks everything, puts the orders in the system and sends them to me, like she does all of the admin stuff.
And she was recently on holidays while we were here for five days, and I almost died! I appreciate you a lot. And then I have also another couple of people who helps me.
-What does your team look like now?
I do not have a very big team to be quick on this, I have Desiree who helps full time. I have very part-time tech person who helps sometimes with website and landing pages and if Infusionsoft.. which I am not going to get into, cause it is very confusing.
And then I have Valmae, who helps a lot with answering the lash related questions, because Desiree is not a lash artist it's just does all the admin stuff.
And then I have got Hannah, who is now on a sales team. Well I call out her client happiness manager.
She talks to the girls that want to grow their business and helps them to make the right decision whether they want to go with the “Lash Tribe” business courses or not, on the phone.
-Right, that is very good. So, if you could turn time backwards, what would you do differently? I mean, are there any mistakes that you would avoid if given a second try?
No, I think everything, sounds like cliché, but everything happens for reason. I came to Australia, I had a really bad relationship but if I did not have that bad relationship, I would not be where I am today.
Like everything kind of falls into place. The people that you meet, they joined ventures that you have.
You know people only grow from their mistakes, like how do you know have you grow if you do not make those mistakes first. And you can only fail if you give up and you do not try again.
And it’s not failing, it is just you know thousand times as it saying, I can't really think of it now exactly but, if you fail thousand times, it just needs the one time that you successful.
It is all trying, trying, trying not failing, failing, failing. And anything, and everything that I have done so far has worked out fine.
And sure, I could have been done easier, but then I don’t know if I tried to short cut it, maybe I would not have then met that person…or that person..
-Julia so what are your plans for the next year?
Oh, well, 2018 or 2019, I do not know?
-2019 I would say, or you can manage 2018 and 2019.
Ok, well I have a lot of travels still this year, which I am not looking for to the actual travelling but the actual being there part I am looking for to.
I have my own event -“Lash Bash” on the Gold Coast and we have “Lash Bash” Hamilton Island – google it if you do not know what that is, because it is amazing.
It is a beautiful holiday island of the east coast of Queensland in Australia.
Then I am flying to the States another two times and I’m doing lots of business speaking – has nothing to do with lashes, because trough this I have realized how much I love sales and marketing.
So I’m speaking on stage in south Africa in front of 1.500 people in August to talk business , and the same in November in Los Angeles there is going to be 2,500 people and I am ”shitting my pants”. But it will be Ok.
,,Outsource the stuff that does not bring in the money...“
-Do not worry, you will be great.
And then, when that is all over, I really want to open up academy.. And I am looking for space at the moment but it just probably not going to happen until 2019, just because of the all travelling.
I am going to open up a big academy, so that I could do my face to face training which I really enjoy.
But also for other lash artists from all over the world, to just come and have that space. And have that, like, communal made up like a worldwide “Lash Tribe” academy.
-That is an amazing idea and that’s an amazing plan to do. I wish you all the best, good luck!
-And now, one more question. Julia, let’s talk about time management. What is the problem for you?
The problem for me is that I have two small kids and a husband.. and feeling guilty…
Being away and travelling a lot, so I need to make sure I plan ahead of what I can actually take on and what I can't.
But I just want to tell your viewers, I know that a lot of us feeling guilty, whether we travel or not, you work a lot of late nights, I think it is important that you get help.
Outsource the stuff that does not bring in the money, for example : start up with a cleaner – how much does a cleaner cost you an hour? 25-30 dollars maybe? How much does your time worth now? Hopefully more than that.. otherwise – why would you be in business? So outsource all the stuff.
,,...If you are doing a competition – you have to be a perfectionist“
What is your highest and best use of your time – think about that. And are you just too proud to get someone in, to clean your house.. Why wouldn’t you?
The cleaner is the first thing that I started with, when you talk about time management, which freed up at least 4 hours a week for me.
And now while I am away, I have a nanny / house keeper , who only just started a month ago, who picks up the kids, drives them to school, does all the swimming and gymnastics , you know, all this stuff that you can not do. When I am not there, but you still got pay for it.
And that really, really, helps and it takes a lot of pressure off my husband too, so yeah, whatever you can do to help grow your business.
-Could you call it a family business ?
Hmm… I think the whole family is involved. Yeah, to a certain point. I mean my husband helps packing orders while I am not there, so the “Lash Tribe” store still works.
But that is a first time we are doing this. I was, like, “ do not be too proud to ask for help”.
I think, up until few months ago I was like: “no, I am just trying to do all on my own”.. but it's just does not work… you going to burn out, you need to plan, you need to outsource, OUTSOURCE THAT STUFF. Outsource all of the things that you can outsource!
-Julia, what would you wish for Lashlandia Tv viewers?
Oh, what I wish… I wish that you keep being awesome and inspired. Not just by others, also by yourself, and do not be too hard on yourself.
And I think one of the things that is really a big down fall in industry, is to look too much at what other people are doing and not really concentrating on your own journey and trying to be a perfectionist in business.
I mean if you are doing a competition – you have to be a perfectionist.
-Yes, that's true.
But do not be a perfectionist with everything in life, because you going to get really anxious about everything and just let go a little bit and take help if people offer you help .. take it !
You know, you are not alone and make sure that you are in a great community where you help each other and you are just not on your own, and just keep going with your education.
Always, always educate yourself, cause industry changes so quick.
Like tomorrow there is something else happening and so much over the last weekend. For example allergies and things like that.. So always look for the best training.