“No, Kaye, we’re not interested.”
“No Kaye, that idea is too far off and the clientele is not ready for that.”
“No thank you, we’ll let you know if we have a need for that soon.”
Kaye Garino, one of Mindanao’s pioneers in semi-permanent makeup and other beauty procedures, has eaten a lot of “no”s for breakfast since 2009. Armed with her nursing license and a truckload of grit, she went fulltime into the beauty industry and continues to make waves there.
“I saw the boom before others.. when microblading and other semi-permanent makeup procedures came to the country, I immediately envisioned myself to be bringing this kind of unique services first to different parts of the Philippines.”
One of the things that set Kaye apart from her contemporaries is her vision. She was always looking ahead, always finding the next big opportunity to push her business forward. While she was serving clients and making them look gorgeous like they “woke up like that”, she was also taking classes, workshops, seeking mentorship, reading books, and training her team.
It may look like it’s all child’s play, but Kaye didn’t always ride smooth waves.
There was a time when she really knew she had to expand but her current resources didn’t make it possible at that time.
She also felt like she could not just run to anyone…her records didn’t show enough for her to get a loan, and her personal savings just could not cover it, and even some of her relatives and her friend didn’t support her enough.
However, her vision was so clear in her head that even when she was getting so many rejections, she kept going.
She went to known clinics, spas, and beauty centers to offer her services as a trainer. She spent hours of explaining, legwork, and her own money, to pitch it in person, only to receive rejection at least three times a day! To top that off, most people looked down on her because they didn’t know or recognize her so oftentimes she was just dismissed like a lowly hustler.
This went on for weeks, and her self-doubt started creeping in. She started to question every thing she did, she started to rethink if she should still push it through. Her vision started getting blurry. But Kaye kept going, turned on her “fighter instinct” and decided she just needed to be more creative and hustle.
After serving a few happy clients for semi-permanent make-up on the side, people started talking about her work. Eventually, some beauty professionals started to sought her out for training.
“For each student I had, I made sure to overdeliver. I gave it my all, and more,” she shared. Soon enough, she started getting positive feedback, and gained the trust of more prospects. Then word-of-mouth did its magic and she slowly became known as the “Most Trusted International Semi-permanent Makeup Specialist” in town.
Fast forward to now, and a few years later, semi-permanent makeup is the newest city buzz. There are at least a dozen trainers in Mindanao but Kaye remains unfazed. When asked why, she shares that even when people believe she’s an industry leader because she was a pioneer, she believes that the real reason behind her success is being known for a good experience rather than price.
“I always outdo myself, and make my clients feel good—beautiful, relaxed, comfortable, etc. My clients leave my hands not just with better looking eyebrows, a new skill, or a refreshed set of lashes, they’re walking away feeling pampered and like a VIP! Human beings decide by emotion, so aside from skill, I’m 100% confident that I give the best service out there, I would never compete by price, but I’ll always beat everyone by experience,” Kaye muses.
Here are Kaye’s 3 TIPS for those who are starting out their business, and how to succeed even after the face of repeated rejection.
- FOCUS, FOCUS, FOCUS
Decide on your niche. Niche down, to scale up! You don’t want to expand your services too much because you will not be remembered for anything. Focus on 2-3 signature products/ services, be the best in it, and focus on serving your customers better, not your competitors.
- AIM TO BE THE BEST (AND NOT THE BIGGEST, YET)
Excellence is always a must. Strive to always be better, and then give your customers the best experience. Think about expansion later. Think about shiny ads, or new promos, or unbelievable sales later. Your clients will be your defacto marketing team and more sales will eventually follow; just trust the process and stay faithful to your craft.
- BE OPEN FOR FEEDBACK
Aside from studying an MBA or another paid program, one very good way to receive “coaching” from your clients is to listen to feedback, good or bad! Remember, you cannot please everyone so take a negative feedback to heart and see which strategies can help your business grow. Always be on the hunt for innovation and improvement, and one day, you will catch up to it.
Today, Kaye manages her beauty center “Kayesthetics”, has multiple international partners for her trainings, is always fully booked for high quality semi-permanent makeup trainings, appears in multiple media channels (blogs, newspapers, TV shows) and is widely admired for her great work on ladies’ eyebrows, lashes, and other facial procedures.
On the side, she teaches, speaks, travels, learns, and sees the world…through her beautifully curled lashes.
Who knew rejection could be so beautiful? ☺
- 6 Great Women Behind Innovative Pet Businesses - July 25, 2019
- Inspiring Social Change, One Poem at A Time: The Story of Brad Gilmore - May 21, 2019
- Of Beauty and Rejections: The Kaye Garino Story - April 20, 2019