We had the good fortune of connecting with Briona Phonhrath and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Briona, what role has risk played in your life or career?
While taking risks was not my cup of tea, it’s what I had to do for me, my business, family, and loving clients. Taking risks is full of uncertainty, but nothing life-changing comes without a risk. I consider that real change happens through instances where we dare to be bold. Taking risks play a significant role in my career. A huge risk that I decided to take was moving out of my family’s home and quitting my job in 2020. Many times I have thought to myself, ” It is risky to quit my job and start my own venture because I will lack stability, money, and I may not end up successful.” I have built my business from scratch with very little time and money. Do I regret it? Absolutely not. As a licensed cosmetologist for over a year now, working for myself has allowed me to value myself, form relationships with incredible clients, and grow socially as a person. Along the way, I have acknowledged that becoming successful does not mean taking one risk and then you finally have everything you ever wanted. Reaching your goals comes with taking several risks, failing numerous times, and getting up to try again.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
While many would think that my art is only applying lash extensions, it is way more than that. My art is an escape from any stress in either my life or my client’s. When my clients enter my suite, they are welcomed with a safe and relaxed ambiance. Whatever happens in the lash room stays in the lash room. What sets me apart from others is my customer service. I enjoy speaking on all types of levels with my clients, and I am proud. Entering my room is similar to entering a therapy session. I am patient, I listen, I understand, and I care. No judgment is allowed in my lash environment. In regards to answering how I got to where I am today professionally, and whether it was easy or not, I would say that it was more difficult than ever easy. Customer service is what got me to where I am today. I believe that although one can be very good at lashing, that doesn’t mean they can dismiss the way they treat their customers. We are all human. In order to run a successful business, it is important to make your clients feel comfortable and not as if they are ever a burden. A lesson I have learned as a business owner is the importance of standing your ground. I have given a countless amount of discounts because I felt obligated to when I first started out. Doing that only allowed for others to not take my business as seriously or respect the prices I had to offer. Now that I stand my ground, my business has been the best it has ever been! I would like the world to know that I value my clients in every single way. I strive to make everyone look and feel beautiful. If my services aren’t for them, I still always wish and want the best for them.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First, I would take them to Seafood Connection (@seafoodconnection on instagram.) I am a seafood lover, and this is currently my favorite spot in Houston! For dessert, I would love to show them a great ice cream place, Flower & Cream. For another day, we would have a picnic at Sabine Park. In my opinion, this park offers the best downtown view. It is so therapeutic to sit down and look at the view. I would also like to show them a cute coffee shop, Brass Tacks. This shop is very aesthetic, the vibe is nice, and it is owned by women.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There have been many supporters along the journey of creating my business. I would love to dedicate this shoutout to a wonderful friend of mine, Natalie. She has been an amazing mentor to me by encouraging me to start my business, teaching me all the basics I needed to know for running a business, and being mentally/physically there for me at all times. She also does beautiful lash extensions and is my go-to girl (her Instagram page is @Nsvartistry.) I would also like to dedicate this shoutout to my lover, Denys, for always believing in me. He has always given me tips on what I could do to help my business succeed, sending friends to support my work, and pep-talking me to never give up. He is also a HTX creator, his clothing brand Instagram is @sovereignexhibit and his photography page is @thirdcoastvisuals. Lastly, I would like to dedicate this special shoutout to two of my family members who have gone out of their way to support me: my mother and sister. Although they do get free lashes, they always comment, like, and repost my work for others to see.
Facebook: The Beautology Lounge