We talked to: Northampton Lashes

We talked to Northampton Lashes

We recently had a wonderful conversation with Hannah Tsutsumi of Northampton Lashes. Check out our interview to see what she had to say and learn more about her business!

How are things going overall for the business in these uncertain times?

Things are going really well, actually. My business is steadily busy and growing quickly, with plenty of repeat business from loyal clientele, consisting of busy people who want to streamline their morning routines and still wake up feeling beautiful. I believe I’m doing well because during this very challenging time, looking good is so connected to feeling good. Feeling confident helps you focus on what you need to get done during the day, and I believe my business is doing well because of that. It’s more than just vanity--what you’re doing for yourself is removing little “hardships”, such as an elaborate morning makeup routine, so you can focus on what you are good at/need to accomplish instead. For example, a mom who is trying to get her kids focused on virtual school or nurses and teachers who are emotionally and physically preparing for the day. My services allow people to streamline their daily routines and thus make their lives a little bit easier while elevating confidence.
In this community, we are all supporting each other, which is wonderful--especially in such a difficult period. It is truly heartwarming to see how people come together to offer kind words and help when necessary.

Do you think people generally feel safe coming into your space?

I do. I’ve been getting a lot of new clients because of my consistency and attention to cleanliness and sanitation. They have discovered me or heard about my space because they are actively seeking out a safe spot. As a business owner, I don’t just feel the stress of these new restrictions, but also a sense of responsibility to not become too relaxed or forgetful. Even though things are opening up more and more, I think it goes back to me having 90-year-old grandparents and want my daily actions to help me move safely forward so I can be with them sooner. Therefore, keeping my space safe--not just for me and my relationships, but also for my clients--is incredibly important. Speaking openly with new clients about guidelines, safety, and any concerns creates a mutual respect and lays the foundation for a solid, ongoing relationship.

Are people adhering to mask-wearing rules regularly, or have you encountered some challenges?

For my space, everyone has been very respectful of mask-wearing rule. I feel lucky, but I also believe it’s because my space is so intimate and small, and I have the one person at a time rule. People have that personal connection with me, and they want a service that will make their lives better in one way or another. So I haven’t gotten any resistance, fortunately, though I know some other businesses have encountered some challenging situations. It was important to me to create a space where people feel safe enough to relax. People have asked me why I was opening as others were closing. And while it seems surprising, I’ve been able to build my business around these new guidelines and figure out how to make my clients feel safe, comfortable, and at ease while they are here. I’ve had people call to ask about precautions and I’m honestly grateful for that because I know they are taking precautions in their daily lives and being responsible, just as I am.

What positive things have you learned during this crazy time?

There have been a lot of positives, even in this crazy time. That sense that we’re all in this together, and I can just look at someone and they can look at me, and we just get it. It feels positive that you can make those connections with people who are struggling with the same things you are. That’s why I really love Northampton--a lot of us are on the same page and it really feels like a strong community. What’s really positive is watching small businesses and people in general get so creative in this time, whether it’s restaurants doing more outdoor seating and offering more elaborate delivery/takeout options, or teachers learning to be more virtual by teaching via a completely different platform. There are just so many ways people are pivoting, and in which businesses are expanding and growing. I hear a lot of people talking about wishing things could go back to normal, but this is a growing period and a chance to change and evolve. Yes, we are challenged to grow in a way we didn’t necessarily expect or want to, but because of this struggle we can’t go back to the way things were. We’re so advanced now, and I feel that’s a real positive. There are so many creative things businesses can continue to incorporate into their daily operations, even once the virus is gone or else better managed with a vaccine.

Is there any other information you’d like to share about your business?

My lash services are carefully researched to achieve the best and safest results. People are overjoyed by the results and are thrilled that they do not have to bother with makeup products on a daily basis, which creates ease and confidence in their lives and routines. When small tasks, like applying mascara are removed from clients’ hectic schedules, they feel a sense of relief--they don't need to put energy into worrying about how they look, and can instead focus on the bigger, more important tasks on their list. Feeling beautiful gives confidence and power, the power that you get when you enter a board meeting to give a presentation, be on TV for a press conference, or even attend a digital parent-teacher conference, and can confidently focus and do what you need to do without worrying what you look like. I love what I do--I’m a complete lash nerd/enthusiast. I also love educating people about what I do, and I am very passionate about how lashes impact the way my clients feel about themselves. Feeling good about how you look can give you the confidence to be great at what you do.

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