23 Year Old Aliyah Lawren is the Powerhouse behind the brand Elite by Aliyah Lawren. She is the go-to Lash Technician in Philadelphia and the co-owner of Studio 8. The Studio has a reputation for offering the best in lashes, facials, makeup, and waxing services to the up and coming!
HMM: What was life like growing up for you? What kind of family did you grow up in?
AL: Growing up, life was anything but average. My mom and dad always instilled in me that I wasn’t average. They exposed me to things that my peers were not necessarily exposed to, like traveling and fine dining. I was spoiled, but I worked very hard for everything. The school was the focal point of my childhood. All I had to do was excel in school, and the world could be mine.
HMM: How old were you when you knew this was your calling and what you were going to do for the rest of your life?
AL: I knew I wanted to do something within the beauty industry since I was a young girl. I cannot recall the age. But I can’t remember when I wasn’t trying to makeover my barbies or doing my cousins’ and friends’ hair. I am an entrepreneur at heart, and lashes will always be my first passion. I don’t want to limit myself by saying this is what I’m going to do for the rest of my life because life has so much more to offer me.
HMM: How hard was it breaking into the business? We hear stories all the time of people who try for years and never make it, and then other stories of overnight “in the right place at the right time” sensations.
AL: It wasn’t that hard breaking into the business for me. When I first started doing lashes, I was a senior in college. At that time, I was the only student on Penn State’s main campus offering lash extensions.
In my situation, I think I was just “in the right place at the right time.” I was already known on campus because of my socialite status.
I utilized my friends and counselors to hand out flyers and recommend students and professors to try my services. I knew once I had them on my lash bed, they were going to come back! I think there is more “opportunity meeting preparation.”
HMM:How do you maintain your integrity in an otherwise very competitive and sometimes unscrupulous industry, as a business at times can be cutthroat?
AL: I don’t feel like I have to fight to maintain my integrity with my business at all. My brand, Elite by Aliyah Lawren LLC, is me. There is not another Aliyah Lawren. My clients aren’t just my clients because they love the way I do lashes. They’re my clients because of how comfortable I make them feel. All of my clients think they’re my girlfriends. All in all, the business can be cutthroat, but when your brand is authentic, and the service is elite, is there any competition?
Passion equals energy, so whatever you’re passionate about, your life will always match it. Know that there are many sacrifices, and it may feel like you’re at a brick wall sometimes, but if you stay consistent and motivated, you will be where you want to be in due time.
HMM: What is it about this that makes you do what you do?
AL: The freedom to control my own life and make it work for me. However, with that freedom comes a lot of responsibility that a lot of people don’t realize.
HMM: How difficult is it to maintain a work-life balance? What measures do you take to ensure that you have that?
AL: Work-life balance is HARD! I still have not mastered it, and I don’t know if I ever will because I forget that I’m a human and not a robot when I’m in work mode. However, I love to travel, so I try to make sure that a vacation or quick getaway will be followed if I’m working hard.
HMM: Would you consider yourself a driven person? What makes you a powerhouse? What is the source of your strength?
AL: Yes, I consider myself a driven person. My confidence, determination, dominance, and self-discipline is what makes me a powerhouse. My source of strength comes from my awareness of my worth. I know what I deserve from life, and I won’t settle for anything else.
HMM: What is your definition of peace? What is your definition of success?
AL: Peace for me is when I’m able to unwind and be vulnerable. Success can be a lot of things for a lot of different people. For me, success is anything that makes me happy, brings me inner peace, and fills me with knowledge.
HMM: What is the one thing you want people to remember most about you and your work?
AL: I want people to remember me as a person who never settled for anything, a person who kept their word, a person who had a great aura, a person who doesn’t follow the norms just because it is “the norm,” fearless, a leader, A BOSS. What I want people to remember about my work is quality. Everything that went into their experience with me was well thought out, and all products used were exceptional and high quality.
HMM: What type of legacy do you wish to leave?
AL: I plan on leaving a legacy of being the first millionaire at 25 in my family. I am creating generational wealth that will assist my great, great, great-grandchildren.
HMM: What is the one dream for yourself you most look forward to having come true?
AL: I look forward to having a family of my own. That’s one of my dreams I look forward to the most because regardless of how successful I become if you don’t have anybody to share it with, are you successful?
HMM: If there’s one thing you could change about your past, what would it be?
AL: There’s nothing I would change about my past. Every win, every loss, every heartache, just everything that has ever happened to me, happened for a reason. And if I never got to experience those things, good or bad, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.
HMM: If there’s one thing you could change about the world, what would it be?
AL: One thing I would change about the world we live in is hate. People have so much hate in their hearts for themselves, for other people, for movements, etc., especially now.
HMM: What advice do you have for the young ladies (teens to young adult age) who are growing up in today’s world with so much influence in music that is not always supportive of their best interests? What advice would you give to the young men?
AL: It is tough to maintain positive relationships. Jealousy is an ugly trait that rears its head in some of the relationships I have with women. We all have the same 24hrs in a day. What you choose to do with yours is up to you. I strive to work hard, make money, travel to exotic locations, and enjoy the finer things in life. Keeping people that I trust and value around me is vital. I only have a small circle of good friends who keep me grounded. With family relationships, it hurts when my family only wants to get free services but never support the brand by posting a picture, sharing a flyer, or giving a shout out.
HMM: Are you single?
AL: Yes, I’m single.
HMM: How difficult is or was dating in your profession?
AL: Dating is very hard these days in general for my generation, but specifically, in my profession, it’s hard because of the long hours I put in. I feel like men are used to women being dependent and calling/texting regularly, but because I work long hours and running a business, I don’t have the time to do all of that. I am independent to a fault.
HMM: In your opinion, why are relationships failing today, and if you could remedy them, what would you do?
AL: Relationships are failing these days because people lack commitment. Everybody wants that love that lasts forever, but they aren’t willing to put in the work or commit. If you have somebody you love, you should fight for them. Don’t give up because things are too hard.
HMM: What are you looking for/from a relationship?
AL: I am looking for a life partner and husband. Someone I can grow and learn with. A person who makes me want to be better each day and who can love me unconditionally because I know I’m not the most comfortable person to deal with.
HMM:Who’s been the greatest influence in your life? Who do you most admire and why?
AL: I have many people that influence my life in different ways. My dad is the most significant influence on relationships because he’s the first man I’ve ever loved. He taught me how a lady should be treated and what should be expected from a good man and father.
HMM: What advice do you have for others who have THE dream?
AL: My advice to anybody who has THE DREAM is to stay focused and find what you’re passionate about.