Welcome to my page!! As you can guess from the title this blog will be based around my life, lashes and my little girls. I will first introduce myself, so you know that there is in fact a real person behind this page. My name is Robynne and I am a mom of two little girls, a toddler 2.5 years old and a 4-month-old infant. If you do the math, I in fact had a baby during the pandemic, a coronial as they call it, but that experience will be for another day and another entry as that deserves more than just a short paragraph in my introductory. I am the owner of Devy Laine Lashes and have been a lash tech for 7.5 years and am obsessed with the industry. I love everything about it from supplies to education to the techniques and skill and creativity that is involved in creating the most eye catching beautiful sets. I started this page to teach and talk all things lashes, tell funny stories and have discussions around motherhood and all that it entails from the good, bad to the down right tantrum infused ugliness, (yes although always grateful for these two little souls to love some days are just hard) and to combine all things that make up every day life into one place. I am an introvert through and through and have always loved to write, I always find it much easier to express my thoughts and feelings through the written word than speaking so here I am! I have been happily married for 5 years and been with my husband for 12 years this year. He is incredibly supportive and although he jokes about my constant indecisiveness (libra baby over here) he backs me up 100% with any plan I have had for my business and our lives and I could not have asked for a better life partner.
So as I mentioned, I am both a mom and a lash technician and educator. I named my business after my first daughter (before I had my second....oops). I joked when I got pregnant the second time that I would not have to worry about changing the name again (i used to be lashing impressions and had just officially changed it Jan 2020) as I was for sure having a boy. I swore up and down that I was having a boy this time around as my pregnancy was opposite to my first one and my "mother's intuition" and all the "old wives tales" told me so. Well, uhm.....apparently I do not have that mother's intuition thing locked down because to say I was shocked when my husband announced that she was a girl, is a huge understatement. I obviously always knew there was a possibility that she would be a girl as we decided not to find out what we were having but I did not actually put much thought into the reality of it. But here she is a beautiful, healthy baby girl. A house full of females to make my husbands life even more interesting is what was meant for our life plan. Now I try not to think there is a correlation, however his ps4 playing has increased ten fold in the last 2.5 years!
About my career and about Devy Laine Lashes. Owning a business is both a blessing and a curse sometimes. Entrepreneurship is not for everyone and if you asked me 10 years ago if it was something I envisioned for myself I would have laughed at you, however I am so glad it is apart of my world now. Being your own boss is both incredibly rewarding but also super stressful. It can be very risky and unstable and there is no one there to take care of you financially when things are put on hold, you are unable to work or something does not go as planned. All financial investing and risk falls on you and that can be very scary especially while having a family. I will touch on this more in the next entry.
A little background story of becoming a business owner and then becoming a mom, I will go into more depth on certain aspects as time goes on but wanted to give you a brief little introduction as to how I go here.
When I had found out I was pregnant with my first daughter in Feb 2018, I had just begun to pick up steam in my business. I was laid off from my oil and gas job in 2017 and instead of looking for another job in the industry I decided to pursue lashing full time. I had been a part time lash tech for almost 4 years at this point and always dreamed about running my business full time, being my own boss, working on my own schedule and charging what I felt I deserved. Although at first, I was surprised when I was laid off however it was a HUGE blessing in disguise for me. It was something I had wanted so desperately for years but as too scared to leave my job on my own accord as it was stable, comfortable and paid well with good benefits.
It did not take me long to decide to go full time, I was laid off May 31 and by July 1 I had secured a salon space, had my AHS approval and business license approved and had my insurance ready to go. I did not waste any time, I needed to dot my I's and T's and prove to myself that this was the right choice. At this point however I did not have a huge client base, but I was determined to learn proper marketing (I still have so much to learn and with the ever changing algorithms of social media platforms it is a ongoing thing) and by the end of summer my books were 80% filled. I was gloriously happy with where my business was going and the potential it had to give me the lifestyle and freedom that I dreamed of. It was at this point that I wanted to challenge myself a bit more and I opened my training academy.
In Feb 2018 I learned I was pregnant and I instantly became anxious of what would happen to my business, how would I stay afloat financially as I was not eligible for a maternity leave and could I balance both motherhood and running a business that was still in the early stages of development. Although becoming pregnant was something my husband and I had eagerly been waiting for after a loss the prior year, I wasn't expecting the shift in hormones, the reality of being pregnant and this one thriving and all the anxiety that would come along with it that my anxiety did skyrocket quickly. I won't lie, I had some feelings of jealousy for all my girlfriends who got to spend an entire year off work with their little ones while still having some money coming in. I would not get that luxury and I knew that. Now I totally understand the concept of being self employed and how I was not paying into Employment insurance so why would I get a paid mat leave right? I made the choice to be self employed. Makes sense, however I also had paid into EI my whole working life and never once made a clain, even when I had lost my job and was eligible I chose to jump into lashing full time and did not use any of the EI I was entitled to at that point. Anyhoo, I digress. Fast forward to November 2018 when my baby was born. Being a planner and someone who suffers from anxiety as I mentioned previously I had spent the last 9 months of my pregnancy preparing for this time off by paying off my car early so that I did not have any payments coming out of my account, busting my butt financially to save every penny that I could so that I could have some time off and some resemblance of a maternity leave without stressing about finances. That was a great plan, however that plan did not include one thing......my business.
So how was I going to balance both? Would one thing suffer? Obviously if one thing was going to take a back seat it would be my business over my family and it always will be. My family, my children will always come first before my business, but with that said I knew that I did not want to just throw in the towel because I became a mom. I needed to find a way to make things work, I had to. The entrepreneur fire inside of me had been lit and there was no way to dull it now. I tried to enjoy my leave and I did, I loved every minute of being home with my daughter, watching her grow and learn new things each day, but I cannot say that I sat there for a whole year and did not think about my business. I did, it was always in the back of my mind, the voice was loud and could not be quieted. I ended up going back to work at 5.5 weeks, it was right before Christmas and to me it seemed like the perfect time to jump back in. Now my circumstance is not unique as is familiar to many of my self employed mama friends. I do not regret for one minute going back to work so quickly after I had her. I learned however that I did need to find a balance. I started by taking 1-2 clients every evening but ended up transitioning to working Tuesdays evenings and Sundays instead. This balance was perfect for myself and for my family as it gave me two days to work and gave my husband two days to take care of our daughter on his own and to bond with her. We sustained this balance until March of 2020 when Covid hit and everything was shut down.
During this time I really relished in the extra time home with my daughter, she was 1.5 years old at this time and was so much fun. She was talking and interactive and the four months of the first closure was such a happy time for me personally. I learned how to budget our family finances better by relying on my husband's income and working around that. I found a new appreciation for cooking and even started to take more pride in keeping my house organized and clean. I was feeling great, although worried about the state of the world outside of my front door, inside I felt content, satisfied and fulfilled with my life. I know many people were not as fortunate to have found some positives from the shut down and many experienced very traumatic situations, but I was grateful and lucky to have had alot of positives come from the first lockdown.
April 2020 I found out I was pregnant again! Yay! this is something I always dreamed about, obviously I never envisioned being pregnant during a pandemic, but I always wanted to have my children close in age if possible. My girls are 26 months apart and I would not change that for the world. Although busy and hectic at times this age difference is exactly what I always envisioned for my family. Circling back, two pink lines.....enter the dreaded pregnancy anxiety again. Now not only was I sitting here wonder how I would afford to stay home with two kids, but I also had no idea when we would be going back to work and how much I would be able to save this time around in order to take some time off. Although 5.5 weeks with my first seemed like the right time to go back to work I just knew in my heart of hearts that I wanted to take off longer this time around. As any business owner knows, there is a fine line between taking time off and being able to pick your business back up no problem and taking time off and having to start all over again. So, the question was, which road did I want to travel down this time??
Fast forward to December 2020, we were able to return to work in June so I was excited because I could dig in and work my butt off for the next 6ish months and then take some time off for baby. I thought I had it all figured out. Baby was due Jan 2, I would work up until Christmas (if she stayed inside that long), but nope.....the Covid world had other plans. The busiest time of the year for the beauty industry and we were forced to close AGAIN. I would only be able to work 2 days in December before the next shut down. So, at this point I just sat back, enjoyed my last month with my oldest as an only child and soaked up all the excitement of Christmas and put the financial/business side of my world to rest for a bit. Baby ended up being born early morning on boxing day. It was an amazing way to end of such a weird, complicated year. However as happy as I was to be a mom to two amazing little girls, that work voice in the back of my mind continued to speak to me. An entrepreneurs mind never stops, it never quiets, it never takes a break even when they have a newborn, a toddler and a pandemic to work with. It was during this time that the Devy Laine brand expanded!! more details to come!
Check out the next entry where I dig into the small business dilemma us Mama's face when it comes to raising babies and running our businesses in more depth and detail. Where I dig deep into the real mom guilt feelings that plague us and the exhaustion that comes with trying to balance everything. I hope you follow along with my journey and thank you for taking the time to read my first entry!