Bay Area native Soo-Jin Yang opened Illumino Lashes to supply the beauty industry with high quality, patent pending, eyelash and hair extension products. In Soo-Jin’s twelve years as a state board licensed professional and eight years as a trainer, she has often questioned the beauty products and information in circulation. With Illumino, she was determined to fill those gaps in the industry with integrity and provide lash and hair artists with products and training they could trust.
Since its start, Illumino has been a self-supported spa service business, and Soo-Jin had never received outside investment until her loan with Main Street Launch. Sensing it was time to shift Illumino away from direct services and increase its product reach, Soo-Jin sought the loan to fund her business’ transition.
Soo-Jin got in contact with Main Street Launch through a referral from the City of Oakland. “The process is time-consuming and requires a lot of paperwork,” she says, “but the staff at Main Street have been very communicative and transparent. Overall, it has been a great experience working with them.”
Reflecting on Illumino’s journey, Soo-Jin offers advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: “Be ready to do everything for your business. It will consume your life, so you need to be sure you love what you do. Money will come but it will come later.”