Copyright ProBrows Europe.

I try to write a little. I know that I’m not the best at this, however all that follows is real and coming from the bottom of my heart. So, let's get it on... Life would be really simple if everything were like in the movies. No, rather like in fairytales (although most movies are actually fairytales). In a word, so that the archetypical scenario would be fulfilled: the protagonist, that has the purest of desires, would be opposed with the forces of evil that push her to the verge of doom, from where she victoriously returns, opposing those, and becoming so much more than she can be. Sounds familiar? I bet it does.

Obviously, the previous paragraph rose two questions in your head: “Why do I talk about fairytales?” and “What the heck is the ‘archetypical’?”. Google will answer you the second one and to get the answer to the first one you just have to read the rest of this post :) The problem regarding the fairy-tale like concepts lies within the very fact that life isn’t actually much of a fairy-tale. Life consists of larger doses of rationality and facts. Although, obviously always and forever we should keep on believing in fairy-tale like opportunities, we should never be stuck in living in just that sort of a world because that would lead us to insanity.

How does this all relate to brow- and lash-business that we’re in daily? Actually a lot. I’m sure you remember Cara Delevingne from the movie Paper Towns (brow-game excellent, we know, we know). However, if you were one of the curious ones as we are, you also read the book by John Green the movie was based on. If you happened to do so, you surely know about paper towns - the towns that actually do not exist and are just marked on maps to prevent those from being copied. The funny thing about paper towns is that sometimes so many people start to go there because of those maps, that these towns actually become established in real life, at some point.

Ok… but still, the brow-business? One may establish a company, create brands, websites and blogs about things that do not exist - thus mark their paper-towns on a map. There is nothing wrong with having a bit of a Steve Jobs kind of ‘fake it ‘till you make it’ approach (by the way, do you know that if he had made one false touch or swipe during the first iPhone presentation the whole thing would have failed because it was a wholly constructed simulation not a real thing :) ). As we know paper towns MAY become real if people get used to going there etc, however that happens rarely….

It’s all about the core and guts. Although the term ‘brow-business’ starts with ‘brow’ it’s ‘business’ first and ‘brows’ second. It means that in addition to emotional surface and fa-fa imagery, it’s a very rational field. And in business there are two parameters that determine the success of it (you may oppose it at first, but in the end you’ll realize that it just can not be in any other way) - turnover and profit. It does not really matter how we spin things - when it comes to evaluating businesses we end up looking into the eyes of those two values. If there is no turnover, then… who do say it in the best way… Em, then there’s no turnover. Or the turnover there is, is mostly cash, which means basically a bit of a tax evasion but still no actual appreciable turnover. If there is turnover and no profit, the situation is somewhat better but the profit should still appear at some point of time.

What do I do with that sort of information, may you ask now. If you look at the actual financial data and annual reports of the limited companies that deal with providing beauty services in Estonia and other Scandinavian countries (and we did) then you clearly see what’s going on. There are girls who have managed to build real businesses that have turnover, employees and that even pay taxes. Respect. Although we’ll be their future competitors, we truly mean it. And then there are girls that have just built paper towns that have remained paper towns throughout the years - just the surface, no core. Basically those consist of just a bunch of attempts to draw the attention away from real facts by constructing and then polishing glamorous surface to something that is empty inside. It’s similar to taking pictures of yourself with your friends handbag and then uploading those to Instagram or using whatever else you don’t have or can’t afford to make yourself look cooler or more presentable.

If you are in the beauty business or you're planning to enter it, you must make an informed decision about to which group you want to belong in the future. Are you the kind of girl that just wants to look real or do you want to be real? We strive hard to be to the second group and we are. Building an organization is not an easy job and we have to admit that although we’ve managed to get quite a lot of professional competence involved, it’s still very hard at times. However, we keep on moving on step by step and as one of our investors said: “It’s obvious that there’s a lot we don’t know yet, still the most important thing is that everything we do is real.”.

Thanks for reading and I truly hope that you’ll give this subject some thought.

Annika Iso-oja
ProBrows co-founder