Have you ever wondered how Eye Design’s founder and Master Technician started her business and maintains a world-class beauty studio in the world’s most competitive city? Come 2020, she will be sharing her secrets with anyone who wants to learn!
Design founder and Master Technician Nadia Afanaseva is known throughout the beauty industry as a leader and innovator. Since launching in 2014, more than 5,000 students have participated in her professional training programs through Eye Design University and our alumni have been extremely successful themselves!
In addition to her role as an artist at our Fifth Avenue studio, Nadia is Eye Design’s CEO. She was studying economics at a university in her native Russia approximately 10 years ago when she was introduced to a new beauty technique: eyelash extensions! She always had a passion for beauty but completely fell in love with lashes.
After enrolling in a lash class right away, Nadia practiced around the clock. Eight months later, she found herself at the first-ever Russian lash competition. She took home two second-place wins for volume extensions and a third-place win for creativity–and set a goal to become the best next time!
Passion for her craft and desire to be at the top led Nadia to a Moscow lash competition in 2013. Nadia won first place in volume extensions after many months of hard work and dedication! She believes this is the moment that she found her mission to make women feel beautiful through achieving the confidence she once lacked. Then, she set a larger goal to become the best in the entire industry. Six months later, she moved to New York!
Directly following her move, Nadia was invited to the first lash conference in the United States. Companies from the United Kingdom and Ukraine who organized the event knew Nadia from competitions in Russia. More than 70 international beauty professionals gathered in Chicago, where the conference took place. Nadia was incredibly honored to be one of the conference speakers.
Nadia showcased the volume extensions technique invented in Russia. No one in the U.S. had used it yet, so the audience was very interested. However, Nadia still felt like she had to make a life and a name for herself in a new country.
It was difficult for Nadia, a Russian immigrant, to learn English. Additionally, it is also very difficult to rent a salon in Manhattan; for a person who does not know English or has no credit history, it is virtually impossible. Nadia managed to rent a very small massage room for two days each week and worked non-stop to take all of her clients.
Because Nadia always chooses the best lash style for each client as an individual, she has an arsenal of tools and materials. In the beginning, she kept everything in a huge, heavy suitcase that was not allowed to stay in the room. Every morning, she hauled it from Brooklyn to Manhattan on the subway.
Following the conference in Chicago, Nadia’s one-of-a-kind techniques caught the attention of local artists. They discussed them on social media and word soon got around. Nadia was invited to Las Vegas to be a judge at the first U.S. lash contest and the next year, she was invited to be a judge at another in New York.
Beauty professionals asked Nadia to teach them her techniques. First, she gave individual training sessions, then started running workshops. Nadia realized that she could make even more women happy if she shared my skills with other artists. By then, she had her own studio and a team of four people.
If long, full lashes can enhance a woman’s natural beauty, Nadia realized that sparse, too-light eyebrows are also a real concern for many others. She was the first in the U.S. to offer brow extension services. Eyebrow extensions were later replaced by microblading, a simple and more efficient solution that originated in Asia.
Exactly three years after moving to the U.S., Nadia opened the Eye Design studio on “Billionaires’ Row,” her dream location. Today, Nadia has a team of eight lash and brow professionals. Her clients include celebrities:
- Sandra Oh (actress)
- Sonja Morgan (reality television star)
- Michelle Williams (actress)
- Carla Pennington (television producer)
- Christie Dickinson (mother of YouTube star James Charles)
- Simone I. Smith (wife to LL Cool J)
- Magic Johnson’s family
- Others, whose identities are kept confidential under NDA.
Nadia has Eye Design University where she trains beauty professionals in advanced techniques and industry-wide trends. Recently, she launched online programs so that anyone, anywhere in the world can learn and improve their skills.
While you may be familiar with Nadia’s lash, brow and permanent makeup courses, have you ever wondered how she started a successful beauty business?
Eye Design University will proudly offer Nadia’s business training for beauty professionals in 2020. Stay tuned!
In the meantime, click here to learn more about our current class offerings.