By Naeisha Rose
Amazing Lash Studio, one of the nation’s largest and fastest growing eyelash extension franchises, opened its fifth New York location in Howard Beach, which is the only one operated in Queens, according to one of its owners, Gina Favia-Kelly.
Owners Favia-Kelly and Maria Lasala have worked in the beauty industry throughout the Metro New York and Long Island area for years and after learning about the Amazing Lash Studio firm, decided to go into business together at 162-38 Cross Bay Blvd.
“Amazing Lash is sterile and immaculate,” said Favia-Kelly. “All of our stylists are licensed cosmetologists and aestheticians.”
The adhesives used for the lash extensions are FDA-approved, according to Favia-Kelly, a Bayside resident.
Favia-Kelly, was raised in Valley Stream and has been in the beauty business since she was a teenager. She previously worked at Macy’s, Lord and Taylor and Bloomingdale’s as an account coordinator and also has experience in both the cosmetic and fragrance industry.
“Since I was little I lived and breathed beauty,” said Favia-Kelly, a Bayside resident. “My mother [JoAnn Favia] was a glamourous woman who just had a flair about her.”
Lasala grew up in Whitestone, went to Whitestone Academy and resides on Long Island. She has experience as a tanning salon owner and brought two of her three daughters into the business.
“I like working for my mom,” said Operations Manager Tina Liberatos, Lasala’s eldest daughter. “It really helped me learn what she has been through when she opened the tanning salons in her past.”
Liberatos, 25, went to law school and graduated from the University of Florida and brings her legal expertise to the business. Her youngest sister Angelique, 23, is an aesthetician and works with her at the studio, and the middle sister, Priscilla, 24, works as a teacher at a charter school in Rosedale.
“Hopefully this is something that I can leave,” said Lasala, who started working in the beauty business in her late 20s after a divorce. “I took the money from our first home and opened up a tanning salon in Long Island and then I opened up six more, sold some and opened up a laser [hair removal] business.”
After visiting an Amazing Lash Studio on Long Island and discovering there were no locations in Queens, she studied the demographics and demand for the service and decided Howard Beach would be the perfect place to open the business.
Since the franchise’s Nov. 3 grand opening, customers from Rego Park, Glendale, Middle Village, Ozone Park and the Rockaways have flowed in, according to Lasala.
“People that come in are like ‘Oh my God, there is nothing like this around here,’” said Lasala. “People are excited to get a consistent product.”
Lasala joined the beauty business because she loves anything that helps a person boost their self-confidence.
“I love beauty,” said Lasala. “I think everybody should do whatever makes them look better and feels better.”
Customers are greeted with an introduction to the lash extension process, they get to meet lash stylist in a private room for a detailed consultation, products and membership details are explained and then get a procedure, which lasts two-hours, according to Favia-Kelly.
The initial lash extension is $89.99 and monthly fill-ins for members are $69.99, according to Favia-Kelly.
“The unique thing here is that we sterilize everything six times over,” according to Lasala.
The business is offering a special Black Friday (Nov. 23) offer: free 360-volume upgrade to customers for their lashes.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose