Lauren Prats – P.O.W.E.R.ful Women
Owner, HiBrow Beauty Experience
Q: How would you describe your company?
The New Orleans area premiere destination for natural beauty through brow artistry, lash lifts, facials and more. We have perfected “Brow Shaping.” Our estheticians shape your eyebrows with realistic expectations while achieving a look for your needs and lifestyle.
Q: When did you launch?
2014 inside of my friend’s hair salon called Glow!
Q: How were you inspired to start your business?
I just wanted to spend more time on the brown than what I was allowed in my former position after 10 years. I knew women wanted more also! I felt like I put my time in and was ready to move on to the next phase of my career. I honestly never knew just how many women needed my help until I just kept growing and having to hire more estheticians. I keep laughing because this all started over an eyebrow wax. I knew that it would instantly change someones mood and I have seen so many women walk out with this sense of confidence!
Q: What were the biggest obstacles and how were they overcome?
I did not go to college (well, I quit after my first semester). I had no idea the responsibility that would come along with a growing business. It was never a dream of mine to own a business because I love being the service provider. So, having to take a step back and teach myself how to run a business was very overwhelming. I had a two-year-old and a three-year-old at the time, both boys, and a husband that had just lost his medical sales job. I had to make it work because I had no other choice! I have learned to love the business side and appreciate the late nights working on my first email or overthinking how I would respond to an unhappy client. I am so thankful that most of the girls have grown with me and been a part of the process. I feel like they trust my decisions and I also ask for their opinion, because I couldn’t have done it without them.
Q: What local resources have you used?
I love that I have made many relationships because of HiBrow. I feel like any opportunities that come up to network or team up together is always effective. I advertising in the very beginning in the Gambit, but felt like it was really hard to relay what we are in a small square.
Q: What is your big focus right now?
My main focus is always the same – retaining our clients and offering new and innovative services at a great price. I feel like right now I’m looking for a large influx of new clients that have not been clients before. We have such a loyal following, but I have some new girls I want to get some new clients! The year 2020 is going to be focused on offering newsletters with skincare, health, wellness and more! I feel like our clients are ready for more. I have started a small skincare line called Meraki Society, so I am starting to scale online, which has been exciting!
Q: What is the best advice you ever received?
The best advice I’ve ever received came from my dad. “Do you want to be a little fish in a big pond or a big fish in a little pond?” That has always sat with me. I have turned down franchise opportunities and I have turned down offers to be bought out. I have a vision for something special for HiBrow and I don’t know what that is yet, but I feel like we are moving in the right direction! We have definitely made a name for ourselves, but I know that there are many women and men that haven’t heard about us!
Q: What success have you had in the last year?
This has been our best year yet! My girls have worked extremely hard and they are in a good rhythm. I am like a proud mo when I see them take off for vacation, buy houses or cars, expand their family because of the financial stability they have now! I am personally ready to scale online with the new skincare line Meraki Society. Our clients love it already and I can’t wait to get behind the chair again! I have been waiting for the sweet spot in our business and I think we are there!
Q: What has been the biggest benefit of being a POWER member?
I love the community of women it provides! I feel like that is something very unique. I love to see other successful stories supported by a group of women who are cheering them on!
Q: What does POWER mean to you?
I knot that the word power has been misused so many times. I also feel like women have misused that word in business to feel equal to men and prove they can have a seat at the table. I have seen others used the word to make themselves feel they are above women and better than because of their list of titles! Power is not used to get what you want, demand authority or status. I would like to see the words leader, supporter and/or ambassador used more! I have nothing to prove to anyone but myself. I know that I can’t be on the same level as a Fortune 500 company, because they are in a whole different category than my business, and that’s ok! I feel most successful when I meet a goal, watch a new service to really well or help one of my girls achieve a new goal! If I have unhappy employees, what am I doing? If I see them being successful then I have done my job. I have taught well and have the ability to back off! I am naturally a cheerleader and work best when we are winning as a team.