Beauty trend creates business opportunity for CSUEB student

Sierra Perales,

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Beauty, brains and business all in one

The beauty scene continues to evolve and, almost always, celebrities are the first to experiment with the daily trends that arise before they turn mainstream.

Jennifer Lopez, Kim Kardashian and Katy Perry are all known to use eyelash extensions, another semi-permanent alternative to strip lashes.

Depending on what style you prefer and where you go to get eyelash extensions, the procedure can cost as little as $80 to as high as $300, not including the price of refills that are usually required every three to four weeks.

Over the last few years, this trend has gained momentum and many women who have fallen in love with the look of lash extensions created their own businesses by becoming certified lash technicians.

Jen Onia, 23, is a business administration major with a focus on entrepreneurship at Cal State East Bay and plans to graduate next year. Onia became aware of the eyelash business in 2015 when she saw Kylie Jenner flaunting long and full lashes. Since the trend hadn’t gone mainstream quite yet, she struggled to find someone in the Bay Area who was able to give her that same look at an affordable price.

She took matters into her own hands and decided to take a short break from school to become a certified eyelash technician. In order to become a licensed esthetician, Onia began at Katie Skills Center then continued on to take an eyelash extension class to become certified.

After six months of doing eyelash extensions out of her home, her business, Jen’s Beauty Lashes, continued to grow and she eventually quit her part-time job to make it a career. Onia said she used to see about 15 to 20 clients a week — and in just one year — built her clientele to 35 to 40 clients a week.

Though her business gained momentum quickly, Onia faced trouble and criticism while trying to start her business.

“I remember only having $5 in my bank account and asked my mom for a loan to pursue it,” Onia said. “My friends and family questioned my motive and I ignored their comments.”

With the support of her sorority sisters, Onia shut the negativity out and continued to pursue her newfound dream.

Being a business major with a focus on entrepreneurship has been beneficial, since she knew how to trademark a logo for her business and even find a manufacturer to create her brand of eyelash extensions to sell and use on her own clients.  

While her current goal is to open up a few eyelash salons across the East Bay over the next five years, the young entrepreneur’s dreams does not stop at being an eyelash technician.

“After five more years of being in the real estate business and eyelash industry, my long term goal is to have my own investment firm,” Onia said. “I hope to have my own investment firm before I am 40 years old.”

Onia is available for booking online: @jennnoniaaa via