If the eyes are the windows to the soul then eyebrows are the window frames! In recent years, eyebrows and eyebrow makeup have become of such importance in the beauty and cosmetics industry. Permanent skin inking, such as tattoos, have been around for many years, but the specific technique of microblading (also known as micro-feathering, microstroking or embroidering) has surfaced in the last few years as a new solution for brow hair problems. Some people, unfortunately, lose their eyebrow hairs due to alopecia or from chemotherapy, and some fell victim to the over-plucked/thin eyebrow trend of the last decade, and their brows have not grown back the same. No matter the reason, microblading has provided natural looking results in a semi-permanent/permanent way.
Giovanna Minenna, founder and CEO of Brows by G, believes that eyebrows are an important aspect of any makeup look. Giovanna is an award-winning microblading and micropigmentation specialist, brow stylist, makeup artist and has worked previously for international companies MAC and Lancôme. The experience she has gained over the years, her education at the College of Makeup Art and Design (CMU) in Toronto and in the master’s program in microblading in both Canada and Europe has given her a clear perspective on the beauty industry and how businesses operate within it. She paired up with Scott Russell, CFO of Brows by G and a certified Chartered Professional Accountant, to help bring microblading to the Winnipeg region. With over 10 years of experience in international business development, project management and financial management, “Scott is responsible for all aspects of financial management, contract administration and legal matters. He is also very involved in the growth and financial success of BBG, through business development, strategic planning and content creation”, said Giovanna.
Winnipeg is not known to be a hot spot for the beauty industry but Giovanna’s success has proven that the city’s market was ready for it. “After completing my makeup education and doing film and celebrity makeup in Toronto, I realized that eyebrows were the key for excellent makeup and had the most impact on shaping the face”, Giovanna said. “I also knew that I wanted to return home to Winnipeg and eventually start my own business. I was fortunate to see the innovations happening in the industry with semi-permanent and permanent makeup, and knew that I could use these new methods to really impact people’s lives in a positive way.”
Giovanna and Scott have been able to accomplish a lot since the launch of Brows by G. Not only have her and her team helped many men and women achieve better brows, but they have also worked with a local cancer association to bring the power of microblading to an individual who has fought hard for their lives. “Many of our clients get emotional when they see themselves after a procedure, and it makes us emotional too”, they said. “It’s the reason we put so much of ourselves into our work.”
Brows by G is one of many businesses that have been supported by Futurpreneur Canada through their financing and mentorship program. “Futurpreneur does a good job of finding a mentor in a complementary industry so that they can provide some good context and guidance. We were matched with Christine Thiessen of Winnipeg’s Creative Studio”, they said. “Mentorship is critical, not just for aspiring entrepreneurs, but for established ones as well. It’s so important to have people that you trust with varying experience and backgrounds to use as a sounding board for ideas and learn from. If you work in a vacuum, and don’t have people challenging your ideas, you have blinders on.”
We asked our entrepreneurs what their advice was for current and aspiring entrepreneurs and this is what they had to say:
“Understand the market you want to be in and where you plan to fit into it. Every market is saturated so having a clear vision of what your company is and the value it provides your clients/customers is critical. Who are you and what do you do better or differently? Don’t tie your identity or heart to the first concept of your business. Things will change as you progress and grow. Not only can you not be afraid to pivot, you will inevitably need to. Be consistent, transparent and professional. Be honest with your clients, suppliers, employees, investors etc. If you say you are going to do something, do it. Start a company doing something you love. You need to love it to put in the hours needed to make it successful.”
To any entrepreneur out there that is looking to start their own business, click here.
Written by: Sara Pivato, Social Media and Content Intern, Futurpreneur Canada