BUSINESS

Jackson natives starts Oxford lash extension business

Imani Hines carefully placing lashes on a customer

Kassidy Biss
Oxford Stories
knbiss@go.olemiss.edu

One Ole Miss student is helping the women of Oxford look their best for special occasions and most importantly, for themselves.

Mani Minks Lash Services serves Ole Miss students, University-Oxford residents, and beyond if they are willing to make the drive.

Jackson native Imani Hines, a junior exercise science and nursing major, started her own eyelash extension service because she wanted a flexible job while in college.

“At the time when I was looking for a trade, I made an eyelash appointment for my mom and me,” she said. “During the appointment, I was really nervous about getting them done because it was my very first time. So to calm me down, the lash technician kept conversation going.”

When the lash technician shared how she became involved in the business, something clicked with Hines.

“That’s when she told me she did lash training bootcamp, and I started asking all this information, and after my appointment was over, I watched YouTube videos, and just started getting more information. I decided to step out on a limb and take her lash training class.”

Hines gluing lashes

Hines usually sees three to four customers a week for her three-hour lash extension sessions and offers discounts on Monday called #MinkMonday for her Instagram audience. Instagram is where most of her business comes from.

“As far as school, it personally hasn’t interfered as much,” she said. “I just try scheduling my appointments spaced out and around tests/quizzes and personal time.”

The studio Hines works from, which is also her home in Oxford

Mani Minks offers three sets of lashes – Vintage, Gatsby, and Aphrodite lash sets, respectively.

The Vintage set is the application of  “cute yet classy” eyelash extensions applied to natural lashes for $40. The Gatsby set is “classy yet glam” eyelash extensions for $45. The Aphrodite lash set is “glam yet volume” eyelash extensions for $50. For customers who want a dramatic look, Hines also has bottom eyelash extensions for only $10 extra.

Hines charges a $15 deposit for any set/fill in, and the deposits are final, non-refundable and non-transferable. “No service will be confirmed until the deposit is paid,” Hines said.

Hines has found business success, but not without hard work. “Starting my own business, took a huge leap of faith,” she said. “Without the tremendous support from my friends and family, I would have been scared to do it.

“It gets frustrating at times because everyone’s lashes are different and react different to lash extensions, and just a few weeks ago, I felt like giving it up. But I had to realize that this business is who I am now, and giving up on it would be like giving up on myself.”

Deriel Hardiman, a communication sciences and disorders major who recently visited, said, “Imani is the GOAT (greatest of all time) at lashes. Along with always being very satisfied with the look of my lashes, Imani makes me feel very comfortable during the process, and she is very friendly and easy to hold conversation with.”

Hines proudly displays her certification

Starkville native Ravyn Hampton said her lashes were comfortable.

“Next time, I may do a full dramatic look and get Aphrodite,” she said.

Hines said the business has helped her financially and personally.

“It has become such a blessing in my life and showed me that I could really do whatever I put my mind to,” she said.

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