Inna Valera, a business owner at 24, proves that it’s never too early to turn one’s passion into a career. A professional makeup artist at the tender age of 21, she has been running brow salon Plush Beauty for two years now.
Says Inna, “I’ve always loved making people look and feel beautiful in their own skin.” Even while she was completing her thesis in college, she was already working as a freelance makeup artist.
In 2016, long before microblading was a popular beauty trend, Inna’s cousin taught her how to do this semi-permanent beauty technique. (Microblading enhances eyebrows by scratching pigment onto the eyebrow area using a tool consisting of tiny needles, with the needle strokes imitating hair.)
Inna was determined to leave her mark in this increasingly competitive field. “I want people to be able to distinguish my work and get me to do their brows,” she says. “So I put up Plush Beauty, a brow salon that focuses on semi-permanent makeup and lashes. I found a way to tie [together] two of the things I love: beauty and business.”
Hard work and trusting oneself
Launching a business from scratch is never easy. Inna had the additional “burden” of having just graduated from college—she wavered between opening her own business, or taking the 9-to-6 office route.
“I doubted myself many times,” she says. “But what I realized was that when it came to starting Plush Beauty, I just needed to trust myself and keep doing what I love. So I embraced the risk.”
That was not enough, however. Inna felt she needed to study her craft more, “but I didn’t have enough to be able to study right away,” she says. So Inna saved her earnings as a freelance makeup artist, later scraping together enough to attend the Bangkok Beauty Academy.
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The young entrepreneur
These days, youth is no longer an obstacle to success. Thanks to the Internet and the market’s openness to small businesses, start-ups run by fresh college graduates can and do thrive.
“People at a young age are very lucky now because micro businesses are prevalent,” says Inna. “Being young and surrounded by other young entrepreneur friends help me stay creative with my business ideas.”
Currently, Inna handles all Plush Beauty business herself. That will change this year, as Plush Beauty will hire new staff to handle walk-in clients and expand her services.
Inna will use everything she learned for this new phase in her business: “I learned that it really takes lots of courage, confidence, and mistakes to be able to be a successful entrepreneur,” she tells us. “It’s [also] about doing what you love and prioritizing happiness at the same time.”
For would-be beauty entrepreneurs following in her footsteps, Inna shares four tips:
1. Do some research about your target market first; do not just jump right into opening a business.
2. Have something new to offer customers, something you are very excited about. Your passion will project onto your business and your customers will feel it.
3. Business entails taking risks, but be smart about these risks. Always study and learn about your business.
4. Be consistent and surround yourself with people who support you.
Avida Land develops its properties with the same passion that inspires Inna to pursue her dream. Visit any Avida Land showroom to find your new home.
All photos courtesy of Inna Valera.