How Dr. Anika Goodwin Launched a Successful Healthy Eyelash Extension Business During COVID #ClientSpotlight
Launching a business at the peak of a global pandemic might sound daunting but for Dr. Goodwin, there could not have been a better time. “People were home, spending a lot more time in front of their screens which gave me the opportunity to get a lot more eyes on the brand,” she says. With an innovative product like hers, it gave people the time to experiment with something new.
Opulence MD Beauty offers an alternative to false lashes with their magnetic liner and lash duo to counter the negative effects of using glue on your lash line regularly. The magnetic liner is magnetized by the addition of tiny iron oxide particles into the actual substance of the liquid or gel liner that creates something for the magnets on the lash band to adhere to. Iron oxide has been used in makeup for a long time and is FDA approved, making it a healthier alternative to applying glue on eyelids.
It’s been an unconventional road from ophthalmology to being an entrepreneur selling eyelashes but Dr. Anika Goodwin wouldn’t have it any other way. “I cannot remember a time that I didn't want to be a doctor. When I was younger, I always wanted to fix things,” she says. OpulenceMD Beauty was born of this love for problem-solving.
When Dr. Goodwin started medical school, she didn’t have a speciality in mind but she knew what she didn’t want. “My whole mantra was, I don't want to do eyeballs, I don't want to do bones.” That is until an ophthalmology rotation in her final year changed her life and career path.
As someone who placed importance in making a first impression on her patients, lashes were part of that regimen. But her early mornings didn’t allow her the time to do a full face of makeup so the lashes and lipstick were her go-to items.
“It didn't really hit me until I no longer had time to maintain them that I discovered my lashes had become puny and stubby as a result of how I'd been treating them over the years,” she says. For someone who’d never had a problem with confidence, after years of being in lash extensions, she “felt naked without them”.
“Occasionally putting on eyelash extensions with glue is okay but these days, people are wearing them every single day, right at their lash line. This will cause your lashes to become shorter, thinner and also cause permanent loss of your eyelashes. Alternatively, using magnetic lashes every day is absolutely safe and doesn't have long term complications, allowing you to take better care of your natural lashes.” she says.
As an ophthalmologist who understood the anatomy of the eye, coming up with the product was the easy part. With help from an industry expert who connected her to a manufacturer in China, she was able to bring her ideas to life. “Sometimes it takes going through several manufacturers to find the person who gets it and wants to take you along on your journey,” she says, counting herself fortunate to have found that person early on.
Having trained all her life to be an expert in her field, learning the tech to set up an online store from scratch wasn’t something Dr. Goodwin was keen on so she brought in experts. “I found really talented people like R&Co Developers to put my Shopify store together and help me with my automations and emails.”
By tapping into her expertise to predict what customers will want next, she was able to organically expand to lash accessories like cleansers and applicators. The end of this month will see the launch of a flesh tone magnetic eyeliner to encourage more women to wear lashes confidently. “If you have shaky hands or can't take your glasses off to put the liner on because you can't see what you’re doing, the flesh tone liner will allow you to make mistakes,” she says, hoping it will open the door to lashes for a lot more women.
She knew she was making a tangible impact when a customer from the military reached out to tell her how much she loved the brand and wanted something geared towards women in the military to wear in uniform. “I had the most fun creating that line—the GI Jane collection. It made me proud because I had worked for the Veterans Health Administration previously and my Dad was a veteran so they have a very special place in my heart,” she says.
“We always have to search for that silver lining as business owners. There are always bumps in the road, there will always be obstacles and the really good business owners, the ones that are destined for the most success, are the ones that are able to pivot and shift in response to those obstacles.”
For any successful business, community building is key and OpulenceMD does just that with weekly lash application parties where a group of ladies offer a supportive environment to help women master applying the lashes. “One of my favourite things is seeing that “aha!” moment when their lashes stick. It's a lot of fun especially when we are social distancing and not going out as much. To have that fellowship on a call with other women has been a joy,” she says.
"It’s a game-changer and people compliment me daily on how amazing my lashes look. Added bonus, I don’t rip off my natural eyelashes when rushing to catch all the sleep I can get at night. These are gorgeous lashes that fit perfectly into my busy life. I walk around feeling beautiful while knowing my eyes and fabulous image are safe." - Dr San (pictured above)
“Business has actually been booming,” she tells Sharon Obuobi, Founder of R&Co Developers. “People were doing a lot of communicating via Zoom and webinars like we are right now and it gave them an opportunity to put their best foot forward and look confident by tossing on the lashes in a couple of minutes.”
When asked for any advice she can give other entrepreneurs Dr. Goodwin shares, “We always have to search for that silver lining as business owners. There are always bumps in the road, there will always be obstacles and the really good business owners, the ones that are destined for the most success, are the ones that are able to pivot and shift in response to those obstacles.”
“One of my favourite things is seeing that aha! moment when their lashes stick. It's a lot of fun especially when we are social distancing and not going out as much. To have that fellowship on a call with other women has been a joy.”
Dr. Goodwin hopes that women who are wearing lashes every day will consider giving OpulenceMD a chance as it's a lot healthier in the long run. Also, it’s a great investment with 40+ wears out of each pair of lashes.
Shopify provides a wide range of tools enabling innovators like Dr. Goodwin to adapt to a dynamic e-commerce market. With our team of designers, developers and business consultants at R&Co Developers, we make it easy for you to make the most of Shopify to build your business.