We had the good fortune of connecting with Helen Lavette and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Helen, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Highly successful people and people that are held in high regard are usually risk-takers. Risk-taking typically encourages innovation, change, and at times failure. However, failed risks don’t always have to equate to something negative. There’s growth in failure. There’s growth in taking risks. My entire life I’ve been a risk-taker! I always believed in myself and my abilities enough to take those risks and make things happen for myself. I always believed in challenging myself and being tenacious at attempting to do things even when others tell me I can’t or shouldn’t. I wouldn’t be the serial entrepreneur I am today if I didn’t.

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 am a licensed esthetician and run a skincare & beauty studio in Sandy Springs GA. I established my business, Studio Huex, 9 years ago. Initially, I started as a makeup artist and then became interesting in caring for people’s skin after learning how many people suffered from skin issues and used makeup to cover it up. These issues affected their confidence a great deal. Having dealt with skin issues of my own, I wanted to help women overcome these challenges and help them to increase their confidence, so I enrolled in esthetics school. Shortly after I discovered how closely connected the curriculum was to what I studied while obtaining my Biology degree. Not long after finishing esthetics school, I decided to further my knowledge and enrolled in a Master’s degree program in Cosmetic Science at the University of Cincinnati. I’m on track to finish next year.

It’s definitely been different challenges along the way, especially after losing my mother. But I weathered the storms and muscled through the pains, gaining more strength and lessons learned from the experiences. The biggest challenge was trying to figure out how to market properly to gain the clientele I wanted and keep them coming back. After a while, I felt like I was running on a gerbil wheel trying to make things work. So I took a step back and analyzed what was needed. I started to focus on the customer experience, so once I got them in the door they would see the value of my services and continue to come back. I also realized that I couldn’t do everything on my own. The more I can focus on what I love to do, the happier both my customers and I would be. So I began to delegate and contract certain tasks and services out such as marketing.
Soon everything started coming together.

I relocated to Atlanta from Orlando after having my son so my family and I can be closer to relatives. The same practices and lessons I learned to build my clientele in Orlando, I applied them here in Atlanta and so far so good. The process was a lot easier this time. Since COVID, I’ve started focusing on providing more online services such as 1:1 makeup tutorials, virtual skincare consultations and classes. I’ve even started a podcast, The Lipstick Lounge,  to help provide women with valuable information from beauty, wellness, fitness, and fashion professionals.

Many people don’t know this but before I was an esthetician, I was a science teacher. Once, a teacher, always a teacher. so I pride myself on educating my clients on their skin health and providing valuable information that will help them understand the science behind the actions. I love sharing information and seeing those aha moments from clients.

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.
Some of my favorite places in the city are

the Beltline- There are so many dope restaurants and shops along the way
Stone Mountain Park
Breakfast at Barneys
South City Kitchen
The Garden Room
The Black Hair Experience
The Culture Experience

I’d also get them to try a pole dancing class with me. Since moving to Atlanta I’ve gotten into pole fitness and its been such an amazing journey, not to mention incredibly fun.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The success I have attained over the years cannot be attributed to anyone in particular because I have been very blessed to have amazing friends, family, and colleagues in my life. However, if there is a particular group that I’d credit with helping me to become the woman I am today would be all the amazing women in my life. They are the ones that taught me to pray, love, hustle hard and always give my best, even when I am not feeling my best. From my grandmothers, my aunts, my sisters, female cousins, and my best friends. They’ve all poured into me over the years in one way or another, and I am so very thankful for the bond I have with each of these women. I never take any interaction with them for granted.

My ultimate shoutout goes to my mother, the late and amazing Lois S Gray. She was the epitome of beauty, grace, and selflessness. She was an entrepreneur, that believed in uplifting other women around her and giving back to her community. Over the years I’ve learned to celebrate her life vs mourn her death and have come to understand that the same greatness lies within me. I’m grateful for the many lessons and conversations we had. I hold them close and pull from them often.

Website: HelenLavette.com

Instagram: @IamHelenLavette

Linkedin: Helen Lavette

Twitter: @IamHelenLavette

Facebook: @IamHelenLavette

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjdYXkMUeKTHmet8Abmw1DQ

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