Don’t get caught up in the future and forget to celebrate the present. Enjoy the now.
CEO and Founder of BlinkBar, Tirzah Shirai is an entrepreneur and the visionary leader behind the company’s rapid success. BlinkBar is a luxury beauty salon that specializes in eyelash extensions and lash lifts. Currently, BlinkBar has five locations in Los Angeles and is expected to exceed 150 locations nationally in the next five years.
Tirzah is fiercely driven to inspire every woman to embrace her beauty and has created a safe atmosphere to be unapologetically feminine. Founded by women for women and run by women, Blinkbar is about empowering ALL women. Former film director turned female powerhouse that is changing the beauty industry, Tirzah is a member of the Young President’ Organization and has been quoted in various publications and websites, including ABC News’ “Nightline” and New York Times.
Tirzah lives in Los Angeles, California and has recently adopted a newborn baby boy. When she isn’t working, you can find her reading, walking, or listening to podcasts about business and life.
Where did the idea for BlinkBar come from?
Before eyelash extensions became this widely desired trend, I was part of this small group of women who were in search of a lash artist that provided consistent, natural-looking results. Realizing this, I became a lash technician myself, and began performing services as a pop-up. What attracted clients to my services was that I genuinely wanted to enhance their natural beauty instead of having them conform to what others may define as beautiful. BlinkBar became a destination that women trusted for consistent results. I saw an opportunity to become the Starbucks of eyelash extensions.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Since becoming a mom, my schedule has definitely changed quite a bit, but I’ve been a ‘morning person’ for as long as I could remember. Over the years, I’ve realized that I’m the most creative during the morning hours, so I block my schedule until 11am to eliminate any interruptions while I’m doing my most important creative work. I’ve been meditating for over a decade, so this helps me get that second wind later in the day. In the afternoon hours, I address my emails and tasks that require less creativity. At the end of my day, I schedule a walk to help gather my thoughts and prioritize for the next day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I bring ideas to life by surrounding myself with a great team. Our brand has attracted incredible talent and we hire people who are highly skilled in their areas of expertise. We inspire a collaborative atmosphere and utilize project management systems that allow us to be in constant communication. We have an executive team meeting every Friday for 90 minutes to discuss big ideas and develop next steps and timelines.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I wouldn’t classify it as a trend, but it’s definitely a progressive way of thinking. Women feel more empowered today than ever before to define what beauty means to them outside the confines of what society has historically deemed beauty to be. In addition, women are taking on more leadership roles. Their voice is being heard louder than ever. It’s truly inspiring to be a part of such an incredible shift.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m a huge advocate for direct communication – probably from my days as a film director! I’m very clear about expectations from the start which keeps my team aligned on individual and shared goals.
What advice would you give your younger self?
It’s the same advice I give myself every day! Enjoy the moment more. I’m a visionary and tend to get caught up in the future and forget to celebrate the present. Enjoy the NOW.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
We’ve been very fortunate to organically attract VIPs and social media influencers. Big data and analytics are so important in scaling business today and it is difficult to provide direct ROI without trackable hashtags or links. I’m currently getting some heat on maintaining my stance of organic brand advocation.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Find a peer group and lean on them when you need to. I am a member of YPO, and it has been an invaluable resource on a personal and professional level.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I did not grow up in a wealthy family and I started BlinkBar with less than $1,000. The resources that were available at the time were limited but I did not let that stand in the way of the company’s growth. Instead of looking at what I don’t have, I look at ways to optimize the resources available.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
When I first started BlinkBar, I did not hire the absolute best team. In the past, I was more focused on hiring to fill seats rather than focusing my energy on putting the right people in the right seats. Now I have a rule when hiring anyone for the company – I need to be in awe of the person in their role. Today, I’m beyond grateful for my team.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
An exercise concept that incorporates the intensity of a Crossfit workout, the mentality of a Soulcycle session, the balance of yoga and pilates all while offering childcare. If you do this, please invite me!
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
My friend told me about a place that offers a 2-hour massage for $100. I believe more than anything in a little self-care. Now, I’m hooked!
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
We recently incorporated Slack into our daily communication and project management tools. The system allows our team to communicate more efficiently and allows us to share and find documents with ease.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
Rocket Fuel by Gino Wickman and Mark Winters. As an entrepreneur, it is so important to recognize any missing pieces that may be holding your company back from achieving goals. This book emphasizes the importance of the relationship between a Visionary and an Implementor which has changed the way I develop my core team.
What is your favorite quote?
“Do what you love, and the money will come.”
This quote really inspired me especially when I first started BlinkBar. With limited resources, there were days I questioned the future. But I loved every minute of the process. The company became more than beauty services. We built this collective of women who empower one another, and this continues to resonate with our clients today.
• Schedule your day according to the time you are most creative and turn off all your notifications. This will help accomplish the day in front of you.
• Surround yourself with a great team and hire people that impress and awe you in their role.
• Don’t get caught up in the future and forget to celebrate the present. Enjoy the now.
• Use your current resources to build more. Never let limitations stop you.
• Find passion in your work and success will find you.