We had the good fortune of connecting with Bianca Martinez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bianca, why did you pursue a creative career?
I’ve always loved the arts, and I found myself able to flourish under creative environments from an early age. I always had a feeling that I would end up doing something artistic and out of the norm, and after years of working retail, I finally took the leap and ran with it. I knew I never really wanted to work for someone else my whole life, it was a dream to be able to jump and create something that was my own, that ignited a passion for my work and what I do each and every day.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I own a small salon business located in Lakewood, CO. I mainly do lash extension and brow services. Late this year I just obtained my retail license and am now also a very small store front, I mostly sell items from other small women owned businesses and local artists. Oh gosh, you know I first got the overwhelming inspiration and sense of longing to open my own business after watching Practical Magic, as a young girl. I love that movie and it has become a yearly fall ritual for me to watch it. I just loved the strong independence and unity/inclusion of all women that was deep set into the story line. I think I’ve taken quite a bit from the movie. Being a lash artist gives you many hats to fill, therapist, friend, stress reliever, etc. I try to include as many small, woman owned businesses in what I do as possible, and always refer out to other local owned companies for products and services you can’t find at my salon. I guess I really love inclusion, and I also really love the interactions and bonds I make with clients. I am also a huge animal lover and advocate. Earlier this year I ran a fundraiser for CLAWA animal rescue and was able to donate all of the proceeds to them. We (My awesome clients and I) raised quite a bit for them and I was so happy to be able to do so! Animals have always been something I was passionate about and love, so I am so excited to be able to use my business to do things for them! One of my clients actually just recently adopted a small foster dog from me. I am currently most excited about the small retail section I’ve just opened up, and overall I am the most excited/ proud of my growth in such little time. I was able to go from knowing absolutely nothing about the industry to now being 100% involved and, running my very own salon business! It definitely wasn’t easy getting to where I am today, I had to figure out how to save up a lot, be comfortable enough to quit my job, go to/afford a cosmetology or esthetics school and really be at peace with the major risk in what I would lose if it failed. That takes a lot of resilience, a lot of stressing out, and a whole lot of pep talks from friends and family to get through. I think the hardest mountain to climb is always the one you put in front of yourself. It’s always going to be that voice in your head reading out a list of what ifs. I just had to buckle down, manifest and speak my goals and dreams into existence and truly get to a place where I could believe in myself to be able to take the leap. I would love for the world to know that a young, minority woman, who grew up in a minority neighborhood with little to no access to resources and funds was able to make a dream a reality, was able to make the decision to make a better life for myself and my family, and was able to start and run her own business. I want that out there so I can maybe give just a little hope to the girls out there with their own passions. Believe in yourself, surround yourself with people that believe in you, and know that you can make it happen.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Best friend visiting the Lakewood area! Okay so first off, we would of course stop by Share Tea, in Belmar where I’m located. Grab some boba from there, then we would go across the way to the French Press for breakfast, stop inside The Gift House, a local mom and pop shop right next door and look at all of their goodies. Then I would do a bomb set of lashes or a brow tint/henna on them inside my salon of course. For lunch we would drive a little ways up 6th Avenue to eat at The Cow in Morrison. Burgers, of course. From there we would have to stop at all of the little boutiques along the road in downtown Morrison! Then we would come back down to Belmar, and catch a movie at the movie theater. For dinner we would do a nice little traditional Mexican restaraunt, Tacos Azteca, off of Florida Ave. Then from there, we would have to take a nice long evening walk around Kendrick Lake park off of Jewell and Wadsworth. End the night with friends at my house, and then of course, before they go, I would send them home in a hoodie from my friends small clothing company, District 4. That would be one of the days, then of course we would have to see a concert at the Grizzly rose, and red rocks. Visit the Santa Fe art walk and talk/mingle with all of the wonderful local artists. Send them home with prints and art pieces to hang up. See the mariachis play at Mariscos El Rey and have a mango rita. Take them to Evergreen Lake to walk around. Grab coffee from Morrison Jo as much as possible! Oh and we’d definitely have to do Korean BBQ at some point, maybe stop at Seoul BBQ, or funny plus for some late night eats (the corn cheese is to die for).
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Wow, this is a hard one, only because I’ve come across so many inspirational and creative people in my life so far. Definitely my mentors, friends and family. My mother has definitely taught me to have drive to succeed, and to be thoughtful in my process. My father is an artist, so my creativity is definitely owed to him. He has always been a risk taker and never let anyone stop him from following his passions. My husband for sure, he was the one that gave me the final push and helped me through school, he always told me that he wanted me to have a career that makes me happy, and he was always so supportive and willing to go above and beyond to make that a reality for me. My mentor through this whole beauty industry and the person I owe to inspiring me to even go to school and become an esthetician in the first place is Kimberly Martinez. She was my lash artist and she always told me that I would be great at it! I really started believing in myself thanks to her. She has definitely been there for me 100% of the way and walked me through each and every step to owning my own business. My beautiful friends as well. They are all so creative and artistic in their own ways, I get inspired by them daily.