Brandi Owner, Nurse
Growing up, I was always immersed in the beauty industry. From the young age of 7 I can remember learning stage make up and hair from the pros at Arie Crown Theater Nutcracker while gearing up for the performance season. Through my adolescence I was on a competitive dance team, where again hair and makeup were crucial, as well as the occasional photo shoot to be all dolled up for. I always did my own hair and make up, partly because I am a perfectionist, and secondly because I had more experience at this point than several people I tried hiring for the occasion, the few times I tried, I cried and went home to do it again before the event began.
After high school, I attended Purdue University for a short time studying pre-med biology. I’ve always loved science, and I felt that was where I belonged. After a year, I wasn’t so sure anymore where I belonged and came home to figure it out.
Fast forward a couple years, I decided to go back to school for a Bachelors of Science in Nursing and while enrolled early on I also received a certificate in Sunless Airbrush Tanning, and later that year a certificate in Classic Lash Extensions. To learn how this all came about is sort of a funny story. I was standing up in a wedding in 2012, and early that spring I decided to give up the tanning bed for good. Partly for a conscious effort to start my anti-aging practices, and well, I just wanted to make a positive change for myself. The out-pour of UV rays causing irreversible damage and skin cancers all over the news was scary enough to make an effort. The summer came and went quickly, and the wedding was approaching. I didn’t have any evidence of a natural tan and our dresses (as a bridesmaid) was the lightest pink possible, washing me out completely without a tan. So I go to get a trial spraytan from a well known tanning salon in the area, of which I had previously had a UV membership to, and I got my first spraytan. I check in, they walk me back, tell me the instructions are on the wall and that they will see you when you come out! “OK, I thought, this is going to be great, it’s three minutes of my time, an instant tan, and no evidence of sun damage or skin cancer, cool!” Well, let’s just say I thought I followed the directions, and I still left with a streaky, green, wet mess on my hands (well, my whole body actually).
So I bought a kit. A spraytan kit of all things.. I learned via paper instruction and DVD video how to use an airbrush HVLP machine and was hoping to wear said spraytan to a wedding, that I was standing up in, where professional photos would have me on blast for years to come. I practiced for months, on my brothers and sister, mom and I tried for my dad but he was too tough. It was a skill I acquired quickly, and my friends thought it was cool, and they wanted one too! Let me remind you, this kit was for me, for the interest in not being pale as an individual, not a business venture. The tan for the wedding turned out great, in fact it quickly evolved into a business, I had calls left and right, I arranged my schedule to accommodate certain cities on certain days, and pretty soon I didn’t have enough days in the week to meet the demand. My days got longer and longer, but suddenly it slowed down. It was getting colder, people were wearing more layers, and the demand just wasn’t there. After speaking to a friend from Canada, she told me about her sister learning lash extensions and I thought what is that! Next thing you know my friend from the US had them in another part of the country and I started researching what it was all about. Less than a month later I flew to Colorado to take a class that was touring the US, and learned another skill that I thought would help supplement and balance my new business. While I was still mobile, I was driving around to anyone that wanted lash extensions, a spraytan or both. It was fun, new to the area, and most of all, it was exciting. I was able to make my own schedule around nursing school, and put a few dollars in my pocket along the way. This went on for about 2.5 years. Mobile Tan & Lash service provider, until school became too demanding to make the traveling work. I was now at this point enrolled in the accelerated program at Valparaiso University.
Eventually I stopped traveling as much and started working out of my basement in Valparaiso, IN. This was the perfect alternative for me. I had time to attend Valparaiso University to finish my bachelors, study in between, and take a client here or there at my home. The demand quickly grew, so I in turn expanded the menu. At some point along the way, inviting people to my house felt unprofessional, and an opportunity of a lifetime aligned perfectly with the end of nursing school. Now with over four years experience, I decided to sign a lease, and give my clients and I a place we could feel safe, and meet their beauty needs all at the same time. I simultaneously sought after a number of certificates to expand my knowledge base and meet the demands and the need for evolving beauty in our area including but not limited to volume and mega volume lash extensions, lash safety, waxing, skincare, advanced organic skincare, microblading, permanent eyeliner, lipstick and 3D areola reconstruction, threading, color theory in skin tones and types, acne correction, and CPR.
I graduating nursing school, was invited to be a member of the Honor’s Society and started graduate school all in 2016. I am currently seeking a doctorate at my alma mater Valparaiso University. I plan to focus on Dermatology, Women’s Health, and Non-Invasive Cosmetics. With this advanced terminal nursing degree I will be advance my skills to treat more patients with concerns of skin correction, bio-identical hormone balance in men and women and anti-aging remedies such as laser treatments, non-invasive cosmetics (neur0-modulators and dermal fillers), and IV nutrition. Stay tuned for more as I am constantly striving for the next skill and newest innovation.