Stylist of the Month – Dwanna Hudson
Lash Styling, the art of applying eyelash extensions, is truly a skill. It doesn’t come instantly and for many, it doesn’t come easily. For those that consider themselves perfectionists, like Stafford, VA’s Dwanna Hudson, the journey can be a struggle but the rewards are well worth the effort.
Dwanna was working as a Medical Assistant in 2009 when an injury forced her to take a sabbatical from the office. The excess of free time led her to seek an outlet for her energy and she found one through an article in Time Magazine. The article, a focus on the tough economic times, discussed how women were still paying for luxuries like beauty services despite the downturn and specifically mentioned the growing success of eyelash extensions.
Dwanna took to the internet for an investigation and found the eyelash extension training classes offered by Xtreme Lashes. “I called right away and was surprised, but impressed, when they requested my health service credentials before they would even discuss training me,” she says. She successfully completed the Level 1 training course in May 2009 and laughs now as she talks about lashing anyone she could get her hands on over the next several weeks – gathering friends, family and even strangers off the street to put her training to the test.
“One thing that I can really say – you can’t come from Xtreme Lashes class lashing – it takes practice – a lot of practice. But the fundamentals taught to you help you develop those skills at home or in your salon/studio,” she says. Dwanna’s perfectionist tendencies caused her to doubt herself in those initial weeks applying eyelash extensions but she never gave up. She credits numerous calls to Xtreme Lashes customer service and the support of her mentor, fellow Virginia Lash Stylist Latoya Turner, with helping her maintain a determination to succeed. “She kept me motivated when I was saying I can’t do this.”
Within six months of her new career as a Lash Stylist, Dwanna was completely at ease with her skills, had built up a solid client base and had been approved for Certification with Xtreme Lashes. In October of 2010 she returned to class to be evaluated for the Xtreme Lashes Directory and passed with flying colors. “I have fallen in love with lashes,” she says. “I’m in love with the transformation that takes place…”
Dwanna now works seven days a week out of her home based studio, Lady’D Lash Studio. She is her own boss, allowing her the ability to schedule clients around her family and personal needs. She’s able to take the time to drop her son off at school each morning, take a break in the late afternoon to pick him up and coordinate dinner for the family, and see additional clients in the evening when she chooses. “After lashing for myself – being able to be there for my family – I don’t think I could go back to work for someone else,” she says.
To those who wish to follow in her footsteps, Dwanna has this advice: “I beat myself up and made it harder than it really was. Go easy on yourself and give yourself time to get it right. It does take practice but if you pursue it with passion and don’t give up, you will get there.”
Having strived for perfection with her skills, Dwanna has undoubtedly achieved a high level of excellence in this industry. An active participant in the beauty circles of social media, it’s apparent to all that her peers respect her, newcomers look up to her and clients are awed by her talents.
Dwanna says her goal is “to give each client my best work every time.” Judging by their responses, she exceeds her own expectations and theirs:
“Lady D, I want you to know how much I love and appreciate the work that you do for me on these lashes. My Mister noticed them and said that they were gorgeous. Thanks for always taking your time with me (which is hard to find these days) and giving me the look that I want every single time. May you blessed more & more each day in all that you do! We love you!!!”
– C. Dixson
“I have been going to Dwanna for almost a year and honestly, I feel like there is no one else that can do a better job. I receive many compliments on how natural they appear and how they do not even resemble eyelash extensions. That is Dwanna’s secret weapon in my opinion – that extra boost of beauty she provides that no one can pinpoint.”
– Y. Joseph