Fulfilling the Lash Dream with London Lash Pro Trainer, Mariia Kotova
Mariia Kotova is a Multi-Certified Lash Artist, Trainer with the London Lash Pro Academy, and Owner of The Lash Pro Studio & Store. She was among the first members of the National Association of Lash Artists (NALA) and in 2017, she was nominated by London Lash Pro as a Top 100 Lash Artist. With many years of experience under her belt, combined with the highest quality of lash supplies. Mariia is fulfilling all her clients’ lash dreams.
So, what does a typical work day look like for Mariia? It starts when she arrives at the studio, 80% of her working time is spent on clients or teaching if it’s a training day. 10% is spent answering messages and emails, while the last 10% is spent researching the latest industry news or discovering ways to refine her craft. She is dedicated to using each day to better her business and ensuring that clients receive the best service possible.
Passion Project Turned Career
Lashing first started as a hobby for Mariia while she was working as a Collection Officer in Vancouver, BC. She was really miserable at her workplace and soon realized that her life lacked a hobby. Reading books and watching movies didn’t take the pressure off of her work life. The only way for her to relax was going for beauty services.
Mariia figured that there were probably other women that felt the same way as her, so she decided she wanted to do something rewarding - something that would bring a smile to women of all ages and instantly lift their mood. “I knew for sure that I didn’t have the passion for hair or nails, however, eyelash extensions seemed to be very interesting,” she says. “So without a doubt in my mind, I took a class and here I am now–totally and forever in love with the industry.”
Since pursuing this career path, Mariia has become a much happier person. She loves what she does and rarely uses the word “work” when talking about lashes. “It’s such a rewarding field to be in–being able to train others, share my knowledge and watching them succeed,” she says. “It’s also an enjoyment seeing the smiles on clients’ faces when they look in the mirror.” It makes her feel fulfilled, something she never felt at her previous job.
Running a business has been Mariia’s hobby since the beginning and she has so much fun while working. She doesn’t believe that she had to give up anything to get where she is today because she has gained so much from it. “There was always a choice of whether or not I wanted to do or have something. I am where I am now because of my choices and my own will, not because I had to give something up,” she says.
Being her own boss has also allowed her to gain rationality and become a better decision-maker to do what’s best for her and her clients. Being self-employed for quite some time and having to
make very important decisions has helped her mature and grow in both a personal and professional manner.
Creating a Path for Success
As an educator, Mariia gets to train and work with many individuals in the industry. She has seen many people with a variety of different skills and amazing personalities but the one common trait between all of them is a great passion and desire to become the best. The lash industry is still so new, so as a child, no one was dreaming of becoming a lash artist when growing up.
“We all enter the industry with curiosity and passion to find something that is going to feel right.”
“The most successful people in the lash world have this incredible passion to grow and become a better technician, trainer, brand owner, business owner, mom, or whatever your title entails.”
At the beginning of Mariia’s lash career, she thought that success meant being popular on Instagram or in the lash community. Over time, she started to think that success meant being financially independent. However now after years of experience, she believes that success means to be in tune with your soul, having enough time to spend with the most important people in your life, and not having to worry about the future. She isn’t there yet, but she is consistently working on getting there!
Finding Your Support System
If you are interested in becoming a lash artist, Mariia recommends individuals to take their time in researching academies, course curriculums, and making sure the academy or trainer you’ve chosen is providing ongoing support. As a beginner artist, you’re going to need solid support from someone who will guide you when you have questions. “This person will need to point out mistakes you may have, help to correct them and cheer you up along the way,” she says.
Mariia believes that it’s very important to communicate your feelings and to have someone around to help you get over the frustration, whether that’s from your trainer, friends, or family. For Mariia, she has an incredible support team and her husband is her first responder to all her frustration and negative thoughts.
Her second family is with London Lash Pro, a team of talented trainers that inspire her each day. “Our trainers are always somewhere teaching, participating in competitions, giving master classes, judging, speaking at conferences, and receiving awards,” she says. “It’s very inspiring to see all these amazing accomplishments and it always gives me the courage to help get myself together.”
While parents may not think that doing lashes is a career, it’s the same as being a writer or a dancer. Mariia explains that lashing is artistry, which requires a lot of work. “I believe that parents want to see their children successful and happy,” she says. “The eyelash industry is a big segment of the beauty industry in general, so maybe there’s no career ladder to climb per se, but lash artists do become very successful business owners. For example, take a look at Hanna Putjato, Loreta Jasilionyte, Elena Asher, and Trina Dial.”
Mariia takes great pride in her work and finding ways to educate the lash community with the goal is to become the main hub for all beauty needs. To learn more about her business, you can visit her website and check her out on Instagram!