Constantly evolve — If you’re not evolving, your competitors will gain ground on you and eventually you will be replaced. You always have to be up on the trends and technology of the industry in order to stay ahead of your competition.
I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Dionne Phillips.
Dionne Phillips has been dubbed the premier authority in celebrity eyelash extensions and faux lashes. She began her career servicing clients such as Victoria Beckham, Naomi Campbell, Renee Zellweger, Lindsay Lohan, Mary J. Blige and a host of others while working at a well-known, prestigious salon. After several successful years of providing LA’s most beautiful and durable eyelashes, Dionne decided to strike out on her own, launching D’Lashes in 2005.
Tucked away in a private, serene studio space in Beverly Hills, D’Lashes approaches lash design with a feminine, modern point of view. Dionne’s goal is to create eyelashes that embrace fashion with an effortless elegance and confidence. D’Lashes encapsulates a fresh take on glamour, while Dionne’s technique and meticulous attention to detail give women a “new lash on life.”
Dionne has garnered editorial acclaim for both her lash styles and expert advice for celebrities. A Louis Vuitton City Guide favorite, she has made numerous broadcast appearances as an eyelash expert having covered pre-Oscar and Emmy fashion segments for Extra TV, Access Hollywood and Good Morning America. She has also been featured on The Doctors and Style Network. Leading Hollywood ladies and fashion tastemakers such as Jenna Dewan Tatum, Rachel Zoe, Serena Williams, Christina Ricci, Sharon Stone and Christina Milian, among others, flock to Dionne for her services, while her work has appeared in top publications such as Allure, Redbook, Town & Country and Vogue.
In 2012, Dionne launched her own luxury product line including her signature eyelash kits, which provide her clients with the tools to get her signature red carpet-ready looks at home. Dionne continues to work and live in Los Angeles where she passionately helps women look and feel more glamorous one lash at a time.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
What brought me to this career was wanting to be “cute” for myself. I laugh because it was out of a necessity of looking better for my modeling polaroid’s back in the day. Eventually, I started to “solve” a problem for so many wanting beautiful eyes. This led me into this niche business of Eyelashes and Eyelash Extensions. I was solving a problem for my clients seeking more confidence within their daily lives.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
One of the most interesting stories that I will never forget from the early days was when I was flown out to Spain to lash out a big A-list celeb wedding for 3 days. I was so tired from jet lag that during the dinners I kept stabbing myself with a fork underneath the table to stay awake for the festivities. I couldn’t wait to get back home to sleep but I was in the middle of construction for my salon and didn’t have a chance to relax when I got back because I didn’t have all the fancy assistants and help. I was running my business by myself so I had to make sure nothing was missed.
Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
When I first started lashing out, I used to apply thick long lashes to everyone, I wanted everyone to be glamorous. However, it wasn’t until my clients started to complain that their lashes kept hitting their eye glasses or sunglasses that I realized I had to make changes. I learned quickly that everyone doesn’t want or can’t walk into important board rooms with long lashes. I learned so many different styles of eyelashes and what made a look of different from person to person. I learned special effects makeup, which helped me determine the look of real lashes. I studied newborn and baby eyelashes to help determine the types of curl patterns needed to create a fresh lash look that many seek. As the famous quote goes, “Beauty is in the Eye of the beholder” and I wanted to make sure my work amplified that for each person in every way.
Can you share three reasons with our readers about why it’s really important for a business to have a diverse executive team?
It’s very important to have a diverse executive team to understand the cultural dynamics of the world. It’s important to understand “Diversity versus “inclusive”.
1.To have diversity as part of your executive team means more knowledge about other races and cultural experiences.
2. It means to be aware of institutional racism.
3. It means having different points of views.
More broadly can you describe how this can have an effect on our culture?
This affects our culture because it opens the door to opportunities that many have never had. Some of us still feel like we don’t have these opportunities due to the institutional racism, which has always been around us. We need to see ourselves in other successful black people, because a successful black woman breeds other successful black women. We need to be disruptive with our success because we usually don’t have a “Seat at the table”.
Can you recommend three things the community/society/the industry can do help address the root of the diversity issues in executive leadership?
- Awareness of Diversity issues
- Admission of lack of Diversity
The Quadruple effect is what I call it. You must have these in place to make changes in executive leadership. All in order!!
How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?
My definition of leadership is leading by example. How can I lead if I’m not authentic in my actions? For Example: If my Lash team see’s that I’m not following proper systems and protocols, how can I expect them to follow the proper systems and protocols. For example, we have to be on time for each and every client. Some clients have planes to catch (pre-pandemic), kids to pick up from school, and events to make. We have to be on time for everything, timing is crucial.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.
1) Freedom –You don’t have much freedom because you’re always servicing clients, while running the creative side and behind the scene work on a daily basis.
2) Know your numbers — You have to know the cost of goods, time, and expenses otherwise you’ll be lost.
3) Work-Life balance — Find time to stop working each day and make time for yourself. Do the things that are important to you for your health, family and spirit.
4) Constantly evolve — If you’re not evolving, your competitors will gain ground on you and eventually you will be replaced. You always have to be up on the trends and technology of the industry in order to stay ahead of your competition.
5) Information — There is so much information out there that you really need to be focused and not get distracted about how to run your business. Plan, Plot, Strategize and Execute is what I like to say. Execution is the key, if you don’t execute your plan then you have to ask yourself, “What am I doing here?”
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would have more women in leadership roles!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“Be disruptive or in beast Mode in about whatever you’re doing.” We have one life and, in that life, tomorrow is not promised. I make the most out of everything I do and every day I have.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂
I would love to have brunch at the fabulous Four Seasons in Beverly Hills with Gary Vaynerchuk, because I feel like his energy matches mine. I’m sure that he’d be able to share some much-needed insight on how having immigrant parents drove him with his business. I’m sure there’d be many takeaways from our brunch!
How can our readers follow you on social media?
@DLashes on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook
This was very meaningful, thank you so much!