My Career: I am always aiming for perfection in my job

We feature Andreea Ghigheci founder of Royalash Studio and Academy in Cork City in our My Career
My Career: I am always aiming for perfection in my job

Andreea Ghigheci of ROYALASH Studio & Academy in Cork city

Name: Andreea Ghigheci

Age: 31 

Lives: I live in Waterford, but travel to Cork every day for work.

Job title: Owner / Trainer / Managing Director / Eyelash and Eyebrows stylist at ROYALASH Studio & Academy in Cork city.

Salary bracket: This past year was a tough one, although we are trying to keep the same numbers as previous years, I believe it only requires perseverance. Our staff are determined and knowledgeable, and we’re looking forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as the restrictions will be eased up.

Education background: I’ve been asked this question a fair few times, and no, I haven’t completed a Beauty College course. I’m originally from Romania, where I studied Mechanical Engineering and then moved on to University where I took the advice of one of my best friends at that time and followed a path into Journalism and Public Relations. Later on, by chance, I took a makeup course and started to work for Oriflame Romania part-time. From here, things have taken a different route for me and I ended up in beautiful Ireland, where dreams do happen if you believe in them. Ultimately you have to know what you really want in life!

Hobbies: When I’m not in work, creating beautiful masterpieces for my clients or teaching the art of lashes or eyebrows, I’m in nature. 

I’m a big fan of long walks, spending time with my lovely puppy and my fantastic partner.

Describe yourself in five words: Perfectionist (My personality is pretty much, everything must be done to perfection or try harder. I can’t settle for less than that. That’s why I still make sure that we’re in line with the hottest trends and fashions when it comes to eyes and brows. I believe anyone who wants to work with brows needs to be a perfectionist).

Meticulous / Detail orientated. (Our job is to ensure that each client has a peaceful experience when they walk through our doors, because some of the treatments require an extended period to have it successfully finished, we want to assure that comfort is also one of them along with the quality), Honest and transparent, a workaholic, funny and intuitive.

Describe your job in five words: Precise (Your brows and lashes define your face, and require immense precision to make them work) Exciting (Every face is different. What we do can totally transform a face, and we take immense pride in that) Challenging at times (We are not fans of the one style suits all approach, which means sometimes our work can be challenging at times. Our goal is to create a unique look suitable for our individual clients, so it can be stressful at times - no need to lie, but when you get the perfect result, it's all worth it!), Development (I have completed more than 25 courses over a period of 4-5 years, and I can say that I’m still hungry for knowledge. This is why, at least once or twice a year I still attend courses with trainers from all around the world, such as Russia, Ukraine, UK, Ireland and Spain, the list goes on) and last but not least, having a VISION, I believe in thinking outside of the box and always aiming for the highest standards, will make you stand out. 

This is what I tell my students: BELIEVE in yourself, have a VISION and you will be UNSTOPPABLE).

Personality needed for this kind of work?: Creative, open to learning everyday (the process of learning is never over after your first course, and bare in mind that is only the beginning of something magical.)

How long are you doing this job?: Hmmm, let’s see. It feels like forever, haha! Five years and still counting...

How did you get this job? Well I arrived in Ireland in September 2014 and worked as a Sales Advisor in Dublin and an Au Pair in Waterford. In June 2015 I started working for a salon in Cork as an Eyelash and Eyebrow stylist. Over these two years I wanted to learn so much, so that at the end, I would be able to talk with confidence in a foreign language - English. When I arrived in Ireland my English was very poor, so this was my first goal, I can safely say I’ve come a long way. Later on in 2017 I decided to take a break for a few months and this helped me decide what I want to do, so in February, I officially opened my own business in a room the size of box, 2 meters x 3 meters and since then I have learned how to do things on my own because people are not always that keen when it comes to sharing, but that made me even more ambitious! I had great support from good friends and family that always pushed me beyond my comfort zone and believed in me even when I couldn’t - I would like to thank you all for that, cheers to them! So from a Mechanical Engineering degree in college, Journalism and Public Relations, then working in Telecommunications for several internet providers in Romania, I ended up being a Trainer in Beauty and Treatment specialist in Eyelash and Eyebrows after arriving in Ireland with little or no English. One piece of advice I would like to offer is to never stop learning, you will never know where you’ll be in a few years from now. If I was able to succeed, you can too!

Do you need particular qualifications or experience? If you dream of becoming an eyelash or eyebrows artist, or maybe both, then I would like to spare you from the errors made by some. You don’t need any specific qualification to attend any of these courses, as a matter of fact the only thing you will need is WILL and DETERMINATION, to always wanting to become better. It is not an easy path, but I can guarantee you from my own experience that failure made me the person I am today. I fell, picked myself back up, brushed myself off and started again, and again, and again, because I had a dream and couldn’t settle for anything less. 

We have students that come from various job backgrounds, including: students in college that haven't found their dream job yet, teachers, lab scientists, Garda, nurses, or mums who want to make their time a bit more meaningful while at home. It is such an opportunity for anyone, in fact, a good friend in Romania is a Lash Artist and he’s a man. Anyone can do it!

Describe a day at work: Ok, let’s see! It starts firstly with driving about 1h 40mins to 2 hours depending on the traffic, from Waterford to Cork on N25. I usually get to work about 30 minutes before opening, so I can sanitize, disinfect the surfaces, fill the salon with some relaxing music, check the list of customers I have that day, check the missed calls and messages from the day before or overnight and aim to reply to everyone before the day officially starts. My girls help me a lot too - Sasha and Niamh. We share the workload and we communicate so well. I’m blessed to have such great girls with me everyday, because it helps the day run smoothly. Then I see each client, depending on the treatment they have booked, it could be anything from 15 minutes up to three hours if we are talking about a volume set of eyelash extensions. In between each client we allocate a 15 minute break where we can prepare the room and surfaces to be touched safely by the next customer. Our salon is filled with sanitising stations and we ask each client to visit the restroom to wash their hands before they enter the salon. How many hours do you work a week?: Well if you mean actually in the salon, It really depends on the appointments, although I’m working 24/7 - Admin, Management, Staff hours, Supply, Online presence, Bookings, Creating manuals, Researching products , etc the list goes on.

What do you wear to work? We have a standard uniform that all staff wear, we get ours from a really lovely place in Ireland - Diamond Designs, as I always prefer to support Irish businesses. It is really pretty and versatile, ideal to match our branding colours.

Is your industry male or female dominated? I would say definitely female, but recently we have discovered that even men have an interest in eyelash extensions. That is only because they are tailored to each person’s needs and features. A male type of lashes would not have so much curl as to the ones a female would tend to wear. The big advantage with it is that it frames the eyes naturally, and no one will guess you wearing them. They could match the same colour of hair or you can go for a chocolate brown or even black. It all depends on you!

Is your job stressful? How? Rate it on a scale of 1-10: I wouldn’t call it stressful, I would better say demanding. There is always something to do, and I do find myself bringing my work home, because I’m such a perfectionist, I need to make sure everything is in place. 

Since we went into lockdown, I feel like I focused more on family and I tried to have people helping me with the workload.

We should always ask for help when we need it, I have learned this the hard way. You don’t need to go alone on the battlefield! Probably 5-6.

Do you work with others or on your own?: I started on my own, and at present I have two wonderful girls working with me, Sasha and Niamh. Each member of staff is thoroughly trained before they start and throughout their career at ROYALASH they learn something new everyday. It’s so important to have staff that you know you can trust and have the same level of dedication to their art as you do.

When do you plan to retire or give up working? I haven’t really thought about that, but when the time will come, it will surely happen, but until then I will be there to greet and meet you, along with my girls.

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