Uncover the strategies that propelled Kimberly’s salon to the forefront of the lash industry.

An Interview with Kimberly Beckley of Simplifying Beauty

In our continuing series of interviews with business owners in the Metro East area, Karen and I had the great pleasure of sitting down with Kimberly Beckley owner of Simplifying Beauty. Karen and I had a delightful conversation with Kimberly.

I must admit I was just a little nervous asking about eyelash extensions. As a guy, that’s not something I would normally be interested in. However, with Karen there and Kimberly’s warm and relaxed manner, it was a good environment for conversation.

The direction the conversation took was surprising. Kimberly is more than just an eyelash aesthetician, but I’ll let you read the article and see what you think. Spoiler alert, she’s good, but read on as I share the story from a guy’s point of view.

Can you share a bit about your background and what inspired you to start your business?

Let me tell you about Kimberly, she’s someone with a heart full of dreams and hands skilled in the art of beauty. Not so long ago, she embarked on a journey, stepping into the realm of cosmetology. It was a path chosen not just for passion, but for the love of her kin, to be nearer to her children as they grew.

In the year 2010, whispers of lash extensions reached her ears, and questions from family on opposite sides of the country piqued her interest.  And so, with the spirit of an explorer, she ventured into this new land of lash artistry. Upon trying these extensions herself, a love blossomed within her, as pure and as wondrous as a new day.

Fast forward in time, and you’ll find Kimberly, no longer just a learner, but a master of her craft, solely dedicated to the art of lashes. And in November 2022, she opened her haven, a salon named Simplifying Beauty, not just as a place of business, but as a home for nurturing skills and elevating the beauty within us all.

What sets Simplifying Beauty apart from other beauty salons offering similar services?

Now, let me speak of Simplifying Beauty, a place not just of service, but of personal touch and care. In this cozy nook, each lash extension is a tale in itself, woven uniquely for each soul that steps through its doors. You see it’s not about grandeur or flamboyance, but about enhancing the natural beauty that already resides within each person.

The artistry here listens to the whispers of each face, the tales of each eye, crafting a look that’s as unique as the individual. When one walks out of Simplifying Beauty, they carry with them not just the elegance of well-done lashes, but a subtle charm that speaks of their inner self, noticed but not declared, like a secret shared between dear friends.

Comfort is a treasure here. It’s as if you’re stepping into a warm embrace, with a treatment table as soft as clouds, and the gentle scent of aromatherapy filling the air. It’s a place where one is not just a client, but a cherished guest, returning to a familiar and comforting abode.

What are some of the biggest challenges you faced when establishing simplifying beauty and how did you overcome them?

Let me recount the trials Kimberly faced, as she navigated the seas of business. You see, the path of beauty is taught well in schools of cosmetology, but the path of commerce is a road less traveled. Opening Simplifying Beauty was not just about skill, but about mastering the art of business – a realm full of its mysteries and challenges.

Since the year 2008, when she first got her license, Kimberly has been like a sailor learning to navigate under new stars. She taught herself the ways of budgets, the language of costs and profits, and the intricate dance of managing a business.

It was a transformation, from a skilled artisan to a wise businesswoman, understanding that her craft was not just about the beauty she created, but also about the legacy she was building.

How can you ensure a unique and satisfying experience for each of your clients?

Now let us talk about how Kimberly ensures each soul that enters Simplifying Beauty feels valued and cherished. It’s not merely about the lashes, but about the human connection, the warmth of recognizing and remembering each face, each story.

When her clients return, it’s like a gathering of old friends. ‘How was your journey?’ she asks, or ‘How are your kids?’ There’s a trust there, a bond formed not just over beauty services, but over shared tales and moments of life.

In this sanctuary, trust is the foundation. With each gentle touch, with eyes closed and hearts open, a bond is formed, woven with care and understanding. In a world rushing by, Simplifying Beauty stands as a haven of tranquility, where each person is not just seen, but known and celebrated.

Can you discuss any advanced technology or innovative techniques that you use in your service?

This is an interesting point that Kimberly shared about the art of lash extensions, a craft that is intricate and evolving. Lash artistry is relatively young in the grand timeline of beauty, having graced our world for merely a quarter of a century. Yet, it holds secrets and wonders, ever-growing and changing.

Kimberly, in her quest for mastery, has delved deep into the very essence of her art – the science of adhesives. In her sanctuary, you’ll find not just tools of beauty, but instruments of learning. Humidifiers, maybe up to three of them, humming softly, a testament to her dedication to perfection. These are not just devices; they are her companions in understanding the delicate balance of lash artistry.

The real advanced technique, as Kimberly sees it, lies not in flashy methods or tools, but in a profound understanding of the materials she works with. It’s about knowing the dance of humidity and temperature, the rhythm of the environment, and how it plays with the adhesive. As the seasons shift, bringing changes in the air, Kimberly adapts, ever attentive to the subtle shifts that could affect her craft.

To her, lash artistry is more than just the creative mapping of lashes. It’s a dance with science, an embrace of understanding beyond the surface. It’s about seeing beyond the lashes themselves, to the very air that surrounds them, and knowing how to make everything work in harmony.

This wisdom, this dedication to understanding the unseen aspects of her art, is what sets Kimberly and her work apart. It’s a journey not just of beauty, but of continuous learning and adapting.

It sounds like it’s a lot more technical than I would have expected. You really have to understand the technical side of adhesives to give the client satisfaction.

Kimberly dove deeper into the art she has crafted and performs with each lash extension, a blend of luxury and technical mastery. To the untrained eye, it may seem like mere beautification, but to those who know, like Kimberly, it’s a craft steeped in science and precision.

Eyelash extensions, as Kimberly views them, are not just a mere service, but a luxurious experience, a treat that clients choose to indulge in. And such indulgences, though not necessary, are deeply cherished. Clients come to her, spending their hard-earned dollars, not just for the lashes themselves, but for the promise of beauty that endures.

It’s about retention, making those lashes last from one visit to the next, through days and nights, through smiles and tears. Kimberly embarked on a journey of discovery – was it the adhesive, her technique, or something more? She delved into the heart of the matter, the science of adhesives, and the whimsy of humidity.

In this blend of luxury and technical knowledge, Kimberly finds her success, keeping her clients not just satisfied, but delighted. It’s a testament to her dedication, not just to the art of beauty but to the science that underpins it, much like a master alchemist turning simple materials into gold.

How does simplifying beauty engage in any local community events or initiatives in O’Fallon?

As seen through the eyes of Kimberly and her cherished endeavor, Simplifying Beauty. In the heart of O’Fallon, community outreach holds a special place, much like the gatherings in village squares, where every individual’s contribution weaved a stronger tapestry of togetherness.

Kimberly, standing at the helm of Simplifying Beauty, though a sole proprietor, understands the power of unity. She is part of a noble gathering, a women’s organization named Little Black Book, a fellowship of women in business, where one of the guiding stars is community outreach. In this circle, strength is found not in solitude, but in numbers, in the shared purpose of uplifting those around them.

Just the other night they hosted a mix-and-mingle event, a modern-day gathering of minds and hearts. To participate, members of the community were invited not just to share in conversation, but to bring a token of care – diapers, wipes, or a cash donation, all in support of the Metro East Diaper Bank. It’s a gesture as old as time, giving from what one has to those in need.

Simplifying Beauty, in its current form, may not have the resources to embark on grand acts of giving. Yet, Kimberly finds her way to contribute through these collaborative efforts. As a leader in the local chapter of Little Black Book, she lends her voice, her energy, and her spirit to these initiatives.

It’s a tale not of grandeur, but of heartfelt contributions, where even small acts, when woven together, create a fabric of support and care within the community. Kimberly, through Simplifying Beauty and her alliance with Little Black Book, embodies the spirit of communal care, much like the wise elders of old who understood that the strength of the community lies in the unity of its members.

What do you believe is the most significant benefit your business brings to your clients?

In her realm of beauty and lashes, she sees beyond the mere reflection in the mirror. To her, and to those who seek her artistry, beauty is not a look; it’s a feeling, a sensation that stirs deep within.

When a client, perhaps new to the world of lash extensions, first gazes upon their reflection after Kimberly’s work, their reaction is not just about what they see. It’s about what they feel. “Oh, I feel so pretty,” they exclaim, a simple phrase, yet profound. It’s a moment of awakening, a realization that beauty is an emotion, a state of being.

Kimberly believes her greatest gift to her clients is not just the enhancement of their lashes, but the kindling of confidence within them. It’s a confidence that comes from embracing who they are, from feeling comfortable in their skin. She dispels the myths of eyelash extensions – they need not be overly long, heavy, or ostentatious. Instead, they should empower the wearer, and enable them to face the world with assurance and grace.

In our world, where societal pressures often dictate how one should appear, Kimberly stands as a beacon of wisdom. She helps busy women enhance their natural beauty, not to conform to trends, but to feel more themselves. It’s about easing the daily worries of appearance, allowing them to present their true selves to the world.

The adage “When you look good, you feel good; when you feel good, you do good” resonates deeply in her philosophy. It’s not about the external alone but about the harmony of inner and outer beauty. When one is at peace with their appearance, unburdened by concerns of hair or makeup, they can fully embrace life’s challenges, show up wholly for their loved ones, and live authentically.

Kimberly’s work is more than lash extensions; it’s a journey to self-acceptance, confidence, and the true essence of beauty – feeling like oneself, unswayed by the tides of trends. In her wise hands, beauty becomes a bridge to self-empowerment and genuine fulfillment.

How does client feedback shape the services and environment of simplifying beauty?

Kimberly shapes the soul of Simplifying Beauty through the voices of those she serves. It’s a tale not just of providing a service, but of listening, understanding, and nurturing.

Kimberly has cultivated an understanding of the type of client she wishes to serve. These are busy souls, whether they be mothers or professionals, often both, whose lives are a whirlwind of tasks and responsibilities. Time, for them, is a precious jewel, often given away generously to others, leaving little for themselves.

Through the echoes of feedback, Kimberly learned that her clients seek more than just beauty when they step into Simplifying Beauty. It’s their sanctuary, a rare moment of calm in the storm of daily life. Lying there, with lashes being tenderly adorned, they find a haven. Some find rest, a much-needed nap amid chaos; others find a quiet space for their thoughts, away from the constant calls of ‘Mom’ or the never-ending queries of the world.

Kimberly listened, and she heard the unspoken needs. Her clients didn’t just anticipate the beauty service; they yearned for this time, this ‘me time’. It was a realization, a revelation that what she offered was more than a service – it was a gift of time, of peace.

In this understanding, Kimberly shaped Simplifying Beauty not just as a place for lash extensions, but as a refuge, a place where busy women could find a moment of tranquility, a slice of time for themselves. It’s a testament to her empathy and her ability to adapt her services to the deeper needs of her clients, much like a wise elder who understands that sometimes the greatest gift one can offer is a listening ear and a peaceful moment.

Looking ahead, what are your long-term goals for Simplifying Beauty and how do you envision its growth and evolution?

Through the eyes of Kimberly and her grand vision for Simplifying Beauty. Her tale is one of growth, not just in size but in purpose and impact, much like trees that start as saplings but grow to shelter entire forests.

Kimberly’s heart beats not just for her clients, but for the industry itself, a vast and varied landscape of skills and talents. Opening Simplifying Beauty was never about amassing wealth or fame. It was about nurturing a team, a gathering of minds and hands, to elevate the entire realm of beauty services.

She observed a gap, a missing piece in the tapestry of her industry. Many artisans, hairstylists, lash artists, or nail technicians, embark on their journey equipped with skill but lacking in the art of business. This gap often leads them down a path of scarcity and hustle, chasing after the wind to pay bills, but not knowing how to manage their craft as a sustainable business.

Kimberly dreams of a ripple effect, starting from Simplifying Beauty, and reaching out into the wider world of beauty services. Her goal is to instill a sense of professionalism and to teach the art of business as well as the craft itself. She envisions a world where these talented individuals are not just artists but savvy business owners, respected and valued for their work.

Having once danced in the hustle mindset herself, Kimberly knows the shadows it casts, both professionally and personally. Her journey towards understanding the business aspect of her craft has not only grown Simplifying Beauty but also brought peace and security to her life. Now, she can choose her time, and spend moments with her husband and children without the pressing weight of uncertainty.

Her long-term vision is to see this peace, this balance, spread through her industry. By building a team, sharing knowledge, and fostering professionalism, she hopes to transform the landscape of beauty services. It’s a vision not just of a thriving business, but of an industry reimagined, where every artist can stand tall, not just as a skilled craftsman but as a confident, successful business owner. It’s a dream of change, of growth, and of a future where the beauty industry is revered and respected known not just for their skill, but for their wisdom and stability.

Normally this would have been the end of the interview, but Karen, as the massage therapist, and Kimberly began to talk about their business efforts. So, I just sat back and listened to their conversation.  

The conversation between Karen and Kimberly weaves a tale of industry challenges and aspirations, a narrative rich with experience and the hope of transformation. So here’s what the guy heard them say😊.

Karen’s key points

– Stresses the importance of quality clients and the value of education in business.

– Discusses her extensive business program experience, emphasizing the importance of understanding business fundamentals.

– Highlights the challenge of balancing making clients happy with recognizing one’s value.

– Suggests the potential for Kimberly to create educational courses for industry professionals.

– Notes the importance of starting small in education and mentoring.

– Reflects on the competitive nature of the industry and the need for mutual support and collaboration.

Kimberly’s comments

With a gaze that has seen the depths of her industry’s challenges, Kimberly speaks with a voice resonating with both wisdom and concern. She reflects on the beauty schools, the so-called gateways to dreams, and how they often set forth a misleading path. These institutions, driven by the allure of profit, sketch grand visions of success and independence. Yet, the reality is starkly different. They offer dreams without the tools to build them, promising wealth and autonomy but failing to impart the essential knowledge of business management and sustainability.

Her insights reveal a troubling statistic, a mere 5% success rate within the industry. This figure is not just a number; it speaks of dreams unfulfilled, of potential untapped. Kimberly sees the repercussions of this not just in the lives of aspiring beauty professionals but in the broader community, where the lack of skilled and knowledgeable practitioners leads to a decline in service quality.

As Kimberly delves deeper into her vision for the future, she speaks of her aspirations to elevate her industry beyond the confines of her salon. She imagines a world where beauty professionals are not just skilled artisans but savvy businesspeople, equipped with the knowledge and acumen to thrive in their endeavors. This dream, however grand, is not without its obstacles. Scaling such an initiative requires resources, and Kimberly is acutely aware of the balance between pursuing her professional goals and maintaining her personal and family commitments.

Her journey towards industry improvement is marked by both achievements and learning. She recalls her experience at Lashcon, where she was recognized for her excellence in training, a moment of validation for her efforts. Yet, she also speaks of the challenges, such as the hiring process, which sometimes led to mismatches, reminding her that the path to improvement is a continuous learning process.

The resistance to change within the beauty community is a significant hurdle in Kimberly’s journey. She observes a prevalent culture of self-taught professionals, a culture that, while admirable in its resourcefulness, often breeds a sense of isolation and competitiveness.

This environment, she notes, hinders the possibility of collaboration and shared growth. Kimberly stands as a beacon of change in this landscape, advocating for a community where ideas and experiences are exchanged freely, and where professionals can learn from each other and grow together.

Her narrative also sheds light on systemic issues within the industry – salon owners who lack essential business knowledge, stylists navigating exploitative work environments, and a competitive mindset that stifles collective progress. She dreams of an industry revolution, where traditional practices are challenged, and new, more equitable, and sustainable ways of working are embraced.

In her reflections, Kimberly envisions an industry that respects and values its professionals, where collaboration triumphs over competition, and where continuous learning and professional growth are not just encouraged but celebrated.

Her story is one of hope and relentless passion, a vision for an industry not just surviving, but thriving, united in its pursuit of excellence, professionalism, and mutual support.

In closing

This was a great insight into a business that I would normally have never gone into. No eyelash extensions are not in my future. However, I learned that there’s more to it than I ever thought. It is a way to build confidence. Simplifying Beauty is a sanctuary of peace and calm in an ever-crazy world.

Kimberly is also a leader in the beauty industry. She’s not there just to make in buck. She’s concerned about the beauty industry and how she can elevate it to bring technicians together for their benefit and create an environment to build community through positive business practices.

Kimberly is a leading force in the community and will guide it to success, Her example of leadership and concern for the community is a model for others to follow. I highly recommend Kimberly in her efforts to improve the world around us.

Your website and blog will help with improving our marketing and exposure. It will expose us to different types of clients and people. I appreciate the work you do.

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