Not only does Amazing Lash Studio specialize in extending eyelashes, it’s also extending its reach into Fairfield County. The company is on target to open its first franchise here on Sept. 9 at 2193 Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield, and is in the process of readying a second outlet in the Ridgeway Shopping Center at 2233 Summer St. in Stamford.
And, according to Amazing Lash Regional Developer Elyse Pedersen, up to another 20 outlets will open throughout the state over the next two to four years.
“This is a company whose founder and owner is absolutely passionate,” said Pedersen of Amazing Lash President Edward Le, who since starting his franchising arm in 2013 from his headquarters in Scottsdale, Ariz. has signed 600 franchise licenses in 26 states. “That’s what drew me to it, and what we look for in our franchisors.”
Pedersen was formerly the managing partner for the New York region of Massage Envy, which she helped grow to 30 area clinics; a European Wax Center franchisee; and the owner of an Orange Theory fitness franchise and that company’s Long Island development rights.
“I’m always looking for what’s next,” she said. “I heard about Amazing Lash from a friend in San Diego, did some research, and found out they were looking for a franchisor. My husband Chris and I flew to Dallas and met with Edward Le, and we were sold. From the passion he showed, you just knew that this is his baby. And,” she added with a laugh, “his wife would kill him if it doesn’t do well.”
Targeting Fairfield County was an easy decision, she said. “I was involved with Massage Envy here, and I love the market. The success that that company and European Wax Center have had here proved to me that this was a great opportunity for Amazing Lash.”
In fact, a Massage Envy is just a few doors down from Amazing Lash’s 1,800 square foot space in Fairfield. “Finding locations where there are similar types of stores is important,” she said, noting that an LA Fitness club is a Ridgeway Shopping Center tenant. “Beauty and health businesses are usually complimentary to each other, as long as they’re not in direct competition.”
To the latter point, Pedersen said she is carefully mapping out other Connecticut markets to avoid the “Starbucks-ization” effect of oversaturating a given area. “You don’t want them too close to each other for obvious reasons,” she said, adding that finding the right “team player” franchisees is another key factor. “We’re looking for people who are passionate, sincere and have an entrepreneurial spirit,” she said. “We’re only as strong as our weakest unit.”
Each Amazing Lash outlet will come in at 1,800-2,200 square feet — the Stamford store will be 2,100 square feet — and evoke a “high-end atmosphere,” with clean red-and-white interiors featuring chandeliers and glass doors separating reception from the 12 treatment rooms. Pedersen said each store will be staffed by 25-30 people.
The first set of lashes are offered at an introductory rate of $79.99, with regular prices in the $200-300 range.
“Eyelashes and eyelash extensions are about beauty, but they don’t have to be just about that,” she said. “I saw a woman who was going through cancer treatments [at a Long Island store] who had no eyelashes. We were only able to put 15 or so on her, but she ended up crying, she was so happy. That’s part of the real reward.”
Pedersen said she expects to ultimately open another three Amazing Lash Studios in Fairfield County, with the remainder located around the state.