ITHACA, N.Y. — Just two days following Serenity Dixon walked the phase at her Ithaca High School graduation, the 2020 graduate logged onto her to start with online lessons at esthetician school.
Now, Dixon, 18, is two months into running Serenity’s Beautique, exactly where she has turned her passion for eyelash extensions and natural beauty into a scorching pink oasis amongst the greys of downtown Ithaca.
Commencing a business from scratch in her hometown has intended anything from navigating COVID mask mandates to understanding how to paint a ceiling. But to Dixon, jumping from significant school to starting to be a full-time company proprietor feels truly worth it.
“I was acquiring off [esthetician] school at 6 p.m., coming right here, portray all those people months,” Dixon explained of opening the boutique. “I started off university in January, and I signed the lease in January. Then I finished university in April and opened the store in May perhaps. Even when I was not technically open, I was often operating on some thing. It was a good deal, but I don’t regret any component of it.”
Due to the fact Dixon opened the boutique, she has developed a practically 200-man or woman customer base, ranging from significant university buddies to those who a short while ago moved to Ithaca experimenting with lash extensions for the initially time.
Although she’s at present the only staff, Dixon designs to lease out booths in her storefront to other beauticians offering nails and facials, developing the boutique into a just one-quit splendor store.
“I get my lashes performed in Syracuse. … My nails, I get these finished someplace else,” Dixon claimed. “I just come to feel like I’m working all around just about everywhere, and it would be wonderful to have a single place to go and get every little thing done.”
Dixon explained she’s normally been interested in beauty and fell in appreciate with performing lashes about two many years ago, 1st learning from YouTube video clips and practising on her pals (“I’m sorry,” she laughed). In higher school, she started out driving to Syracuse each individual two weeks to get lash extensions — in which she mentioned her lash technician taught her every thing.
Now, Dixon explained she thinks she’s the only magnificence place in Ithaca precisely committed to lashes. But beginning the boutique wasn’t some thing she prepared. Immediately after being admitted to Morgan Condition College and Buffalo State University to research business, she in the end enrolled in esthetician school — a determination Dixon mentioned she built in element due to the fact she felt the virus would make a whole college or university working experience nearly not possible.
Among day-to-day commutes to Syracuse for esthetician university right after it transitioned in individual, practicing all the things from waxing to facials, Dixon mentioned deciding to open her own store was a spur of the minute choice.
“While I was at [esthetician] school, randomly one particular day I was like, ‘I believe I wanna open a shop,’” Dixon mentioned. “I generally understood that I preferred to have a enterprise, but it didn’t come to feel like correct then and there I was heading to do it. But it was just the suitable opportunity for me. So I took it.”
At 18, Dixon explained she had been doing the job support jobs because age 15 — from doing work with the conservation corps at the Bigger Ithaca Actions Heart to the concession stand at Cass Park. With these cost savings, and with some help from family, she introduced the boutique in Might.
Dixon reported her family and good friends ended up nervous as she jumped to open a storefront in the middle of the pandemic and when still in school. But she did it anyway — such as the exciting stuff (social media internet marketing, attractiveness treatments) and the not so pleasurable things (installing flooring and constructing partitions).
“It built me additional nervous to open, currently being so young,” Dixon claimed although applying hybrid lash extensions to a client. “A large amount of my customers never know my age until finally we start off conversing. Having social media allows me to present my operate, which will make individuals a lot more open to coming to me.”
As Dixon remodeled her South Cayuga Avenue storefront into a natural beauty boutique with pink partitions and neon indicators, she said she desired the shop to really feel modern-day and high-class — using inspiration from her visits to California, where she inevitably hopes to move and open a different storefront as well as launch a instruction academy.
“I wished this shop to be diverse from Ithaca, like a thing no one’s actually seen listed here prior to,” Dixon explained.
Dixon is now just starting to give herself a crack, open 5 times a 7 days after functioning 50-hour months and providing herself just 1 day off weekly because opening.
Even though Dixon stated she frequently feels on when she’s not at the store, responding to clientele and putting up on social media, she reported she’s wanting forward to earning much more time for herself once more — from traveling to eating places on the Commons (Viva Taqueria’s her preferred) to hiking at Treman State Park as she retains the small business humming along.
“If there’s a thing I want to do and men and women imagine I can not do it, I’m gonna do it,” Dixon said. “I consider if persons seriously want to do some thing, they really should just do it.”