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Samoan sisters Venna Tohilima and Ama Hemana grew up in Ranui, West Auckland and like many other Pacific families, had little. But surrounded by a loving and encouraging family, they were able to dream big.
Years later, they are the proud owners of successful beauty bar and salon, Lashfix, now based in the affluent suburbs of Port Melbourne. They are also nominees in the Inaugural Samoa Business Network Awards ‘People’s Choice’ category.
The girls celebrated the opening of their plush new Port Melbourne location in July this year surrounded by family and friends.
The launch was a testament to their journey from humble beginnings, working from their home bases, to serving clients in a more upmarket inner-city neighbourhood where residents there have plenty of discretionary income according to the most recent Australian census.
“LashFix is a Polynesian owned beauty salon,” says Tohilima founder and mother of four.
“Our vision is to be role models for other women particularly for our Pacific young girls and mothers. We want them to know that they can be successful Pacific business women too.”
Tohilima started training as an eyelash technician in Auckland and in 2014, she moved to Melbourne and started LashFix at her St Albans home as a sole technician.
By 2015 her business had picked up more new clients so she employed another technician and a hairdresser.
But in just three years, the demand for the LashFix service has meant a move to a bigger premises.
Her little sister Ama, co-founder, recently moved to Melbourne to help run the new shop and is Lashfix’s social media and marketing specialist.
The sister duo say their brand of Pacific hospitality delivers a premium service that enhances their customers inner beauty as they have their eyelash and beauty needs met.
“We believe in enhancing our natural beauty with a few touches, delivering empowerment to women of all walks of life.”
The sisters also believe wholeheartedly that collaborations with other Pacific businesses can strengthen brands and networks.
The entrepreneurs visited Samoa in 2017 to shoot new photos for Lashfix marketing material - material that specifically features Pacific models.
They met up with another sister duo, Kez and Tai Salanoa of Maleilani Skincare (also a nominee in the SBN Awards)
“We had messaged the Maleilani instagram page to organise a time and we flew to Samoa to meet the Salanoa family.
“We discussed our vision of a photo shoot showcasing Samoan natural beauty and just like their products, the whole experience was authentic and organic.
"They shared the same vision as us. We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to meet them and excited to announce we will be stocking Mailelani products in our Port Melbourne salon too. A win-win.”
Family is very important to the sisters and they credit the rapid growth of their business to family support and to the LashFix signature brand of unique Pacific hospitality - creating a customer centric environment for all women to feel empowered, pampered and to feel ‘at home.’
LASHFIX. - Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Phone: +61 413727682
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