I Started An Eyelash Extension Brand That Took 30+ Iterations To Develop

Published: May 29th, 2023
Haley Chipman
Founder, Pro Lash
Pro Lash
from Vineyard, UT, USA
started March 2022
Discover what tools Haley recommends to grow your business!
customer service
web hosting
social media
Discover what books Haley recommends to grow your business!
Want more updates on Pro Lash? Check out these stories:

My name is Haley Chipman and I founded Pro Lash, the at-home eyelash extension brand that offers professional results at a fraction of the cost.

My background is in nursing and to get through school I became a Lash Artist. I quickly noticed a lot of gaps in the industry and started my first company Bella Lash in 2011 with my husband. My husband's engineering background helped us create and innovate so many new products for the industry together.

Bella Lash sells to professionals and is for professional lash application. As a busy working mom of three, I got frustrated because I had a hard time keeping my lashes up, even with all my resources. We set out to make them faster and have been prototyping solutions for years.

We have an engineering team for Bella Lash and employees that would test our innovations. They all helped us make Pro Lash into what it is today and I am so grateful for them.

I have always been very product focused and I couldn't be more proud of Pro Lash. It is a whole new category in the beauty industry. Lashes that are easy to apply, in the comfort of your own home, that last 10+ days. It is a unicorn product and I use it every day.

Pro Lash went through over 30 iterations on my eyes until I was finally satisfied. I could not be more proud of the finished product.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

Growing up, I always knew that I wanted to be a nurse because I loved helping people. When I began studying nursing at Brigham Young University, I started doing lashes on the side to help pay for school.

As a lash tech, I grew frustrated by the lack of educational resources and the quality of products in my industry, and I knew that I could do better. With the help of my husband, Zach, who has a background in mechanical engineering, we scraped together our savings to create Bella Lash in 2011.

From there, we received product patents and founded Bella Lash Academy, which helps students all over the world become professional lash artists. Once COVID-19 struck, we started to see massive changes in the professional lash industry. With the world in lockdown, clients stopped booking lash appointments, and at-home lash application was expensive and time-consuming.

Realizing the need for a solution, I came up with the idea for Pro Lash – a way for consumers to get affordable professional quality lashes from the comfort of their own homes.

Take us through the process of building the first version of your product.

Building the first version of Pro Lash was not easy, and our initial prototypes were a disaster. I was the main product tester and they were so uncomfortable!

I remember wanting to take them off immediately but we did not even know how to do that. Our engineering team made all the samples by hand, with the resources we had from our professional brand @bellalash. When I would feel like we were close to a prototype we would make more samples for our employees and friends and family to test to get honest feedback so we could continue improving.

We had a lot of negative feedback. We got feedback that the lashes were uncomfortable and irritating. We heard that the lashes didn’t look good and didn’t suit people’s eyes well. We had a hard time making the adhesives last as long as we wanted. But, one day after spending almost all of our savings and exhausting all of our options, we had a product that everyone was loving.

Creating Pro Lash was one of the hardest challenges I have ever had to overcome. We wanted our lash extensions to check all the boxes - easy application, comfort, longevity, and appearance. Working closely with our team of 6 engineers, I took every mistake and compiled every bit of feedback to perfect our technology and create what Pro Lash is today.

No one believed we could do it, that is until they had our final prototype in their hands.

Create a product that is different, because then it won’t have any trouble standing out amongst the crowd.

Describe the process of launching the business.

Launching a business, especially amid a pandemic, was intimidating. However, I was confident in my vision and the product I had created, and I remained focused on that during the tougher times.

During the development, we went through lots of trial and error with product testing and lost many members of our executive and engineering teams, so getting to the launch was not the easiest.

Pro Lash went through over 30 iterations on my eyes until I was finally satisfied. I could not be more proud of the finished product.

Amidst all the chaos, we continued pouring our energy into creating Pro Lash, and by the time we launched in March 2022, we had a product that we were proud of, strong brand messaging, and a powerful team backing us.

Since we had been so successful with Bella Lash we were lucky to have all the resources in place to create the website and get the content needed to get the business off the ground. My husband and I took on the brunt of the work and we have bootstrapped our companies ourselves.

I truly believe that if you are product focused and solve real issues, your product will sell itself. Pro Lash has been one of the easiest products to sell. Once you try them, you are hooked.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

Since our launch last year, we’ve remained focused on ensuring that our product is phenomenal. I’m a believer that if your product is truly innovative, attracting and retaining customers comes naturally. Our customer return rate is high. Once people realize how gorgeous, easy to apply, and convenient our lashes are, they always come back.

We are constantly working to improve our product, from making sure that our lashes fit all eye shapes and sizes to re-designing our tweezers for easier application. Our key to attracting and retaining customers is to make sure we never lose sight of what sets Pro Lash apart from other brands, which is the quality of our product.

How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

After one year in business, we are doing amazing! We are growing over 20%, MoM. The growth has been hard to keep up with and we are always hiring for more help. The future for Pro Lash is very bright, and we are constantly working on new ways to grow the brand and improve the product.

We’re constantly releasing new styles and we’re currently finalizing our next launch, which will allow our customers to customize their lashes to achieve their preferred look.

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

As a Registered Nurse, I have no formal business training or background, so starting Pro Lash has taught me so much about what it takes to run a successful business. One huge lesson I’ve learned is to know your strengths and weaknesses.

When I first started the brand, I initially tried to do everything myself, but I quickly became burned out and realized I needed to hire help. Zeroing in on my strengths and allowing others to step in and take over in the areas that I have less knowledge in has been essential to Pro Lash’s growth.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

One tool that we use is Shopify, which has been immensely helpful in managing the business and ensuring that customers have a seamless experience. I love the Adobe Suite as well. I learned how to use Adobe Illustrator when we first started over 10 years ago and it has been so valuable in marketing and packaging design.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

I love “The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael E. Gerber. It teaches you how to scale your business and I think every business owner must read. I recommend it to everyone and buy extra copies to hand out to others.

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

My advice for other entrepreneurs who are just getting started would be to identify an issue that needs to be solved and find a gap that hasn’t already been filled.

Create a product that is different, because then it won’t have any trouble standing out amongst the crowd. Rather than basing your idea on other successful companies, find your niche and offer a unique product that will get people excited.

Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

YES! We are looking for help with inventory management. We use an amazing software called Finale that helps manage our inventory but we still need someone on the logistical side to order products and help with inventory forecasting, especially since we are growing internationally right now.

Where can we go to learn more?

You can find us at ProLash, on Instagram, and on TikTok.

If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!