Today we’d like to introduce you to Kristin Dagilis.
Kristin, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
After graduating from UMass Amherst with a business degree in marketing, I set off to Catherine Hinds Institute of Esthetics in Woburn for their 1200-hour program. I had the idea of opening a day spa in college but realized I needed some serious experience and had to come up with a way to create a niche for myself. Over the next several years, I gained experience working at a large day spa and under a plastic surgeon. During that time, I developed a menu that was more streamlined and included services that were not available in the Worcester area at the time-mainly lash extensions. From there, I shaped my business around the menu which included services which were more specialized in nature, and designed to maximize profits without sacrificing client results. I was proud to be the first person in Worcester to offer some of our most popular services, lash extensions in 2005 and eventually eyebrow microblading in 2016.
To grow the business where it is today, I went through a number of growing pains. I had to learn a lot on the fly and had to get out of my comfort zone-often!. Learning the best pay structure, how to retain a motivated staff, and how to keep up with growing tends where fads come and go quickly was very crucial. I honestly lucked out around 3 years ago. I had just had my first child and my mother, who had over 24 years of management experience, was laid off from her job. I hired her to help me manage so I could leverage my time. With her help, I could get some much-needed perspective and we “cleaned house” so to speak.
She helped me become more efficient with my numbers across the board, hire loyal, motivated, talented, and set ourselves up for better growth and opportunity, while still allowing me the time I desperately wanted to be home. I currently have 9 employees-3 of which is my mother, two are my sisters. It has been a wonderful experience to work with my family. Without their support, I may have “hung up my tweezers” a while back. We have a lot of ideas for expanding our brand or opening a sister business. I am so excited for what is to come in 2018.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I think one of the biggest struggles I initially faced where two-fold. First were the start-up costs of building out a space that looks professional. Financially, I was lucky to get a small business loan from a local bank as well as my father who was very supportive of my venture. Equipment in my field can be quite costly, so if you are setting up more than just a room in a salon, you will need some funds! We are already in our second location and each time started from scratch in an old mill building that needed everything! I have learned a lot about negotiating leases, permits, inspections, insurance and I have to say, these were all topics that really overwhelmed me when I first wanted to open a business. To anyone starting out, I would say, don’t let the details discourage you. It can be overwhelming to make sure everything is done correctly, but you will learn a lot during the process and if it’s your dream, it will be worth all your time and energy in the end.
The second biggest obstacle I had to learn was how to let go of some of the control in my business in order to grow. This was really hard for me! Once I gave room to my manager and employees to shine and grow, our business has grown leaps and bounds. It’s true no one is going to do things the exact way that I do them, but it only helped my business- not hurt it. Allowing my employees to shine in their own way added more dimension and depth to what we offer, and it helped me leverage my time. A total win-win.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Gobare story. Tell us more about the business.
We are a small esthetics only business that focuses on providing our customers with the best waxing, lashes, clinical style skincare, makeup, airbrush tanning, and eyebrow microblading in our area. We are especially known for our impeccable eyelash extension work, eyebrow shaping, Brazilian waxing, and eyebrow microblading. Over the past year since I became a microblading artist, this field has grown significantly. I am proud to say that we are only getting busier in this field because we only use the highest end products for the service, and we are FULLY licensed and insured. A lot of clients skip checking credentials when they want a service done, but they shouldn’t skip it here! Gobare is also honored to be a Borboeta Beauty Brand Ambassador for Lash Extensions. They are the highest quality extensions on the market and offer amazing training. Our stylists never jeopardize our clients lash health and use only the best quality products for the application. Our clients can feel and see the difference!
One of the things that I am really proud of is that we have developed a way for our stylists to grow! We try our best to foster an environment where our employees are set up to develop the skills that they want to and we encourage and support their goals. We want our employees to genuinely feel like they are part of a family that cares about them and their future. We have had some employees even open their own businesses or go back to school to further their skill set, and when they approached us with their goals, we helped work with their schedule and answer business related questions to help set them up for success. It’s nice to support other women in business to help them grow. Another aspect of our business that I am proud of is we try to give back to our community whenever possible. We have been fundraising for different local charities over the years, and we just started offering 1 FREE microblading per month (or more) to clients who have lost hair due to illness. It feels really good to impact our community in such a positive way!
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t really know if luck has anything to do with it. I do know that keeping a positive mind set and your eyes open for opportunity are probably the two things I practice that have helped with Gobare’s success. Having incredibly supportive people around you that support your vision is also invaluable. The support of both my parents, husband, entire family, as well as my loyal clients has meant the world!
- Address: 14A East Worcester Street
STE 120 Worcester, MA 01604
- Website: www.gobare.us
- Phone: 508-799-8833
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/gobarestudio
- Facebook: @gobarefanpage
- Twitter: @gobarestudio
- Other: www.vagaro.com/gobare
Melissa MacGrory, Robert Hare