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Nakia Vestal, CEO and owner of DollMaker Lashes in Houston, TX, says that she never dreamed she’d be able to pull off running a business—and creating a brand, too—while doing it all on her own. But the beauty entrepreneur is doing just that. Her eyelash salon has been in business for over six years; this year she added a product line. Vestal loves her clients and says they treat her like a therapist. “What goes on in the lash room stays in the lash room,” she jokes.

Photo courtesy of Verizon

By taking courses on the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready portal, Vestal was able to upgrade her business know-how on topics such as finances and social media marketing. “Everything was a learning experience for me—from A to Z,” she says. As a busy business owner, mother and grandmother, Vestal carved out time to take the Verizon courses—she’s completed 20 courses on the portal—on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Now, says Vestal, she makes sure not to mix personal and business accounts or lines of credit, she personalized her website, and she discovered how to target audiences with online ads.

“With the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready program, I was able to learn how to run my business professionally,”

Nakia Vestal

Vestal applied for and received a $10,000 small business grant through the Verizon Small Business Digital Ready program. She used the funds to create branding for her new four-item product line, hiring a designer to make over her logo: a distinctive graphical image of eyelashes in popping girl-power pink. The grant money also allowed Vestal to create a website that could handle e-commerce, and to buy the supplies to start mass producing her product line.

In the meantime, Vestal is building the business and expanding her beauty line with new products. “The world’s going to know who DollMaker Lashes is,” says Vestal.



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