Amazing Women: How Jaimie Jolly Started 3 Successful Businesses Before 30!
Entrepreneur and beauty-guru Jaimie Jolly sat down with me last weekend to talk about her business, and how she started 3 successful businesses before the age of 30. I know. Three before thirty. Impressive, right? If you're not already familiar with Jaimie, she is a nationally celebrated permanent makeup artist, famous for her micro-bladed brow make overs, and co-owner of Thistle and Bloom.
(Full disclosure, she's also a dear friend of mine, and a client, so it was a total treat to spend the day chatting with her about her business, even though I've had a front row seat as she's matured into one of the most successful Boss-Babes I know.)
Jamie's one of those entrepreneurs who makes it all look easy, and I constantly forget how young she is – a good decade younger than myself and the majority of entrepreneurs I work with. Jaimie's too modest to say it, but I will: this woman has arrived.
As one of the first-wave millennials finishing up high school just as the economy was bottoming out, Jaimie recognized the importance of choosing an education and career path that would allow her to study without accruing an insane amount of debt, and get herself into the workforce asap. She chose college over university, and worked hard.
“I chose make up artistry because I've always loved make up and beauty,” Jaimie tells me, as we sip on Iced Capps (her favourite) in my living room. Our kids are playing upstairs, except for Jaimie's youngest, Ophelia, who wanders around Jamie, tugging at her nicely polished toes. “I wanted to be doing something I loved. I figured, even if it didn't end up becoming my career, at least I was developing skills that I could use for myself.”
But it did turn into her career. She's now been in the beauty industry for over a decade, and is one of the most up-and-coming permanent make up artists in the country. Looking back at her path from here, everything seems perfectly laid out, but of course it didn't seem that way at the time. She had no idea how things would play out, but knew she had to follow her gut. Straight out of college Jaimie began a small mobile aesthetics and make-up artistry business, and worked at a few spas to gain experience. She took her first management position in 2009, as the cosmetics manager at Shoppers Drugmart.
“That was a big deal,” she laughs. “I mean now, it doesn't feel like a big deal, but at the time it was. I was super nervous on my first day.” She was barely 20, in her first management role, managing several people that were older and more experienced than her. She got married and had her first child around the same time, and the job at Shoppers allowed her to have a steady income and qualify for maternity leave. But she craved the independence and autonomy of being an entrepreneur.
From there Jamie continued to grow her make-up artistry business, doing wedding makeup nearly every weekend, and theatrical make-up for several shows. (This is actually how we met – I was an actress in one of those shows!) She had another child. Then things really took off. Jaimie fell in love with the Arbonne skin care and cosmetic line. Incase you've never heard of it, Arbonne is a multi-level-marketing (or mlm) company, and Jaimie realized becoming an Arbonne consultant was the obvious next step for her business. It fit in perfectly with what she was already doing, added value to her existing clients, and opened the doors to her meeting tons of new business contacts. Within a year she was Area Manager, leading her own team and helping other women find success.
But of course she didn't stop there. By now she had enough experience and cash-flow to expand, and in 2013 she opened her very own spa, named True Scarlette, after her 2 children. This was all before the age of 25. Amazing, right? Did I mention she and her husband also lived in a yurt and built their own off grid home during this time? Well, they did. You can read that amazing story here.
HOW DID SHE DO IT?
I'm eager to get into the 'how the heck did she do it?' part of this blog post, but I just want to quickly finish bringing you up to speed first. After starting True Scarlette, Jaimie (in her own words) “hustled like crazy.” This was her first time having her own storefront, her own employees, affiliates, marketing, complicated taxes, large capital expenditures... And she ate it up like candy. In fact, it was while she was running True Scarlette that she began to think about getting trained in microblading.
“One thing I've learned, is that you can't stay still,” she says, her usual playfully expression replaced for a moment with seriousness. “You always have to be evolving, and learning, and staying relevant. Otherwise you get bored, burnt out, or stagnant.”
Jaimie sold the spa to one of her employees, and had another baby. (She says it's her last, but time will tell...) She took it a little easy for the first few months after the birth of her daughter, but then traded off with her hubby, and jumped back into work, and began training to do permanent make-up.
“I'm so grateful that he's happy being a stay-at-home-dad sometimes,” Jaimie says of her perfectly-bearded husband, McKenzie. “It's allowed me to have the flexibility and freedom to chase my dreams. I know not all husbands would do that for their wives, and I'm so glad that McKenzie has picked up more of the home responsibilities so I can do my thing.”
And it's a good thing too, because the microblading aspect of her business took off, in ways that Jaimie never could have predicted.
“I thought it would just be one more service I offer. One more thing to offer value to my clients,” she admits, “but it ended up being in such high demand that it's now a huge portion of my business.”
Even before she became an accomplished microblader, Jaimie was already celebrated for her amazing brow work. She had been waxing, shaping, penciling and perfecting eyebrow arches for ten years already. So it makes sense that her permanent eye brows would be amazing, too. And they are. As a result, in 2016, Jaimie found herself flying all over the country to make guest appearances in high end spas. She was microblading eyebrows in Ontario one day, and then Manitoba the next, and then she'd be in BC by the weekend.
“It was amazing,” gushes Jaimie, as her 2 year old climbs into her lap. “I got married and started my business young, so I didn't think I would ever have had the chance to travel. It was crazy! And I loved it. I loved meeting new people so much. And I loved that people were loving their brows and giving me these incredible reviews, but I also missed my family.”
So in 2017, Jaimie made the decision to continue to travel, but less often, and to open a new storefront in partnership with some other female entrepreneurs that she had admired and befriended. It allowed her to narrow her focus and reduce the amount of hustle, while still doing what she loves. Thistle and Bloom opened its doors in July 2017, in Bancroft, Ontario. Jaimie offers permanent make-up, make-up application, beauty consultations, and aesthetics there, along with hair stylist Kelly White, Lash Extension Artist and Photographer Talia Switzer, and Cosmetic Doctor (botox and fillers) Dr. Ashley White. Thistle and Bloom is just across the lane from True Scarlette, and the two businesses support and market each other. It's as if Bancroft has its own beauty district, and the reining rule is collaboration.
“We all build each other up, for sure,” says Jamie, as she snuggles Ophelia, and wipes the toddler's nose. “I'm not about being competitive. There were lots of people who helped me succeed, and I want to do that for others.”
These days, Jaimie is helping lots of women take the leap. She is now a certified microblading educator, and teaching a couple day a week at Permanent Beauty in Peterborough. She is also still active in Arbonne, leading a tight-knit team of men and women throughout Canada, the US, and even parts of Europe.
Okay, so how? How did she do all this?
According to Jaimie it's all about pushing through.
“Growing a business is like raising a child. You doubt yourself all the time,” she admits. “All the time. Is this the right decision? Is there a better way I could have handled that? Am I managing my time properly? Am I nuts for wanting to do this again? And no-one sees it. They see the version of you that's on facebook. All shiny. They see the success. But they don't see all the hours that went into it. They don't see the hustle. They don't see the anxiety. But it's there. And the trick is mind over matter. You have to have the confidence and just push through. You have to tell yourself, I can do this. Over and over and over again. And then you can.”
It also helps to have a supportive partner, supportive friends, and realistic expectations, she says. That's part of the reason Jaimie loves operating her business in a small town in Hastings County. People look out for each other, businesses support one another, and her cost of living and cost of doing business is much less expensive than it would be in a large city.
“Now I'm in this new reality, where I'm an influencer. It just sort of snuck up on me. People are coming to me to ask advice. About MLM, or starting a mobile business, or running a spa, or microblading, or just business in general. They've heard of me. And they're looking up to me, the same way that I looked up to my mentors in the beginning. It's humbling, but it also feels great because I know I've built this brand, that has some recognition, and it's inspiring others! That feels incredible! And now I get to watch the successes of the other entrepreneurs that I've inspired and coached. I don't think there are many things more rewarding than that.”
Ophelia knocks my Iced Capp on the floor. My dog is licking it up, my son is running around without pants. Jaimie's phone is beeping and the baby is hungry. This interview is done. But we still have so much more to talk about. As coats and boots are put on, we both get excited at the prospect of possibly collaborating over a podcast with another Boss-Babe we both adore. We pull our iphones out and schedule our next business meeting, as well as our next social gathering. And then she's out the door. She's got a hubby to pick up, and a trip to get ready for. She's got emails to answer and bookings to confirm. She's got dreams to chase, and people to inspire. Go lady-friend, go. Keep on rocking your biz!
For more info about Jaimie Jolly, visit JAIMIEJOLLY.com, and be sure to follow Jaimie on Facebook and Instagram, and check out the below video about microblading.