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Exploring The Industry With Tina Davies

In this episode of “Inked Up,” we delve into the journey of becoming a master PMU artist, drawing inspiration from the incredible career of artists like Tina Davies.

Tina’s ascent in the industry, which includes launching her product line and continuous expansion, offers valuable insights and lessons for those aspiring to reach the pinnacle of success in the PMU world.

Join us as we explore the path to mastering the art of PMU and making waves in the industry, just like Tina Davies.

Transcript

Intro: 

This podcast is brought to you by Highstoke, your trusted PMU growth partner, helping permanent makeup artists succeed through marketing, branding and scaling strategies.

Join us in each episode as we unravel the secrets of this ever-evolving industry and provide valuable insights to help you thrive as a PMU artist.

Danny Tran:

Hi Tina, how are you?

Tina Davies:

I am great, thanks for having me here. It’s so cool to be a guest.

Danny Tran:

This is uh, how does it feel to be on the other side, not having the Tina Davies show but you’re on the PMU World show now?

Tina Davies:

Hi everybody

Danny Tran:

So I don’t think we even need an intro, but today we have a very exciting guest.

We have a master artist, a master trainer, a globally recognized brand.

We have the one and only Tina Davies.

Many of you deem her as the queen of the industry and Tina, we’re just super excited to have you share a lot about your journey with us today.

You know, typically what we like to do here is highlight the journey of an artist and you know, you’ve kind of been through it all.

You’ve been an artist, you’ve been a trainer, you develop products, you, you’re now a global brand.

And I think one of the main things that people don’t talk about too much is like the challenges and the adversity and really the journey of going through all of that.

And so we’re so excited to highlight through all of that today.

And you know, share a little bit of your knowledge throughout this journey and get people very, very excited about what’s to come in the next couple of months here.

So let’s start, let’s start with this because everybody knows who you are, but share with us a little bit about your background, Tina, how did you even get into this industry?

Because I was you know, everyone that we talk to, it’s like we stumble across this industry by accident.

And so I’m curious to hear what your background was and how you actually got into

Tina Davies:

It really was accident, Danny.

I came from a background of finance, finance.

I was into like stocks, mutual funds, all kinds of financial products.

What happened was I had my permanent makeup done when I was 19 years old by a master artist in San Francisco.

And I knew right then and there that I’m like, wow, I would love to be able to do this for somebody because she’s changing lives.

Right.

I got it done.

And I was like, this is life changing.

I don’t have the eyeliner that’s smearing down my face.

So I told my mom, I said I want to do this and she goes no way.

Go get a degree.

I’m like, ok, mom.

Yes, followed that path.

Got my desk job in finance and then I hated it.

Then I got my eyebrows and I’m like, that’s it.

I’m old enough.

I got my degree.

I’m doing this.

So I picked it up as a hobby.

But then as a hobby I literally hit the ground running and I never stopped, I never stopped just touching skin and working.

So 22 years later here we are still love it.

Danny Tran:

So, sidebar question if you weren’t in this industry, if you didn’t get into this by accident, what do you think you’d be doing today?

Not at all?

That’s so dry for me.

I’m a very creative person.

I’ve always loved, like, making things ever since I was little, I would make my own clothes, my own shoes, my own everything.

I was a only child so I was really bored.

So I had to take up time, not like nowadays people just go on their phones.

If you didn’t have a phone back then you would play with sticks and stones and find friends or little, little hobbies to work on.

So, if I wasn’t where I am today, I think I would create something I like making things, cooking, jewelry, anything, anything with my hands.

I said the more that I gave the services away, the more opportunities opened up like I would be doing at one time.

I did Wayne Newton.

Wayne Newton, the king of Las Vegas.

Yeah, it was a scalp micropigmentation.

But yeah, I never stopped because it was just always a way to just keep opening up more doors.

So I think I did 1000 procedures.

At least it wasn’t just like, oh, for six months or for three months I did it for free.

Danny Tran:

That, that’s amazing.

I think that’s such like a missing, like hustler type mentality because I think especially nowadays everyone’s like, how do I make as much money as possible in the beginning?

But you went through like the trenches of let me just do free work for five years and going through all of those opportunities in order to open all I want something new, right?

I even do that right now.

I do free model.

I just did a free model like last week because I’m testing products all the time and testing different colors.

And guys, you have to understand when you’re doing somebody for free.

It’s not really like you’re giving your time away for free, you’re getting pictures, you’re getting testimonials, you’re able to do an eyebrow this way, an eyebrow that way because the models are willing to do that.

So it’s like you’re getting 10 times in return.

Danny Tran:

Somebody had to say it and I’m glad it’s coming from you, Tina.

So at what point were you like?

Ok.

I, I think I’m out, I’ve outgrown this.

Let me actually go out and open my own location.

Tina Davies:

I’ve always had like a home office in addition to like, working at different places.

And then eventually I opened like my own like commercial studio and did a complete build out and had like offices where I can have like other artists or other professionals doing other type of beauty services.

But then we, we did that for a year and then COVID hit in Toronto was closed down for two years.

My whole team works remote.

So I had the treatment side of the business which which I love being with the clients.

But then I also had the product side of the business, obviously, as we know now Tina Davis Professional.

So basically, I was just instead of working like, you know, 80 hours, I was working 60 hours because I no longer saw clients anymore.

Danny Tran:

I think that’s, that’s so fascinating.

So with so many people joining the industry, especially in 2023 do you know, like, what piece of advice would you have for them?

Like for somebody maybe they have, they’re in a horizontal industry, maybe they’re an aesthetician.

Or maybe they work at a spa and they want to finally get into permanent makeup.

Tina Davies

You must have it done on yourself.

This is very important.

You cannot sell a service that you don’t have.

A lot of people don’t have permanent makeup.

So you, you need to first experience it for yourself.

See if you love it, fall in love with it and whatever you fall in love with, specialize in that particular service.

So let’s say you got your lips done and you just fell in love with the procedure because it made you your, your thin lips go luscious lips.

So then take the course, get into it.

But you must believe it 1000%.

A lot of people get into it because they’re wow.

I can make $250 an hour, $500 an hour, whatever it is, but none of that matters unless you are completely infatuated and in love with the service because if you are, which I am, you’re gonna be able to convince other people to get it done.

Danny Tran:

You’re like your own own testimonial.

You’re in your own case study.

Tina Davies:

So you like, hey, like I did this, I fell in love with it and now I’m wanting to offer this to other number one, make sure you have it so then you can make sure it’s for you because if it’s not for you, you’re never going to do well in it.

You just won’t thrive.

It’s just not like a hustle.

It has to be something you truly believe in.

Danny Tran:

I love that.

Definitely.

Tina Davies:

Make sure you get it all done.

Danny Tran:

OK.

Awesome.

So let’s rewind a little bit.

So you, you went through all of that you know, you were grinding out for five years then you finally well, you were kind of all over the place grinding it out with all these opportunities.

At what point did you figure out like, OK, you know what I’m really good at what I do and I’m more passionate on the educational side and getting into training.

When was that moment for you when you’re like, OK, you know what, I really want to start teaching and educating people on this industry and all of these things that I’m so passionate

Tina Davies:

you know, I find that training didn’t take off until probably, I want to say 10 years ago, maybe because of, you know, social media.

But before like, if you were busy as an artist, 2 $3000 a day is, is normal, you know, so unless you can make that same kind of income training, then you weren’t switching.

So I was really busy doing the service.

But it was not until I was extremely confident in my skills and until I had a product which is my first microwave, then I started training because I had to basically spread the word about it.

Danny Tran:

Right.

That’s smart.

Tina Davies:

But it’s a little different.

Some people like to focus on the art only and being a technician and artist and some people like to do training and, and bring up others.

So it’s, it’s a really personal choice.

Some people do both, you know, so many people.

Yeah, actually do both.

And I was like, wow, that’s amazing.

So, like you said, like training started 10 years ago.

Like I know now it’s very different in terms of how people are marketing and getting enrollments.

So how did you grow that side of the business back then?

Was it just through word of mouth?

Was it existing clientele that had come in and gotten something done by you before?

Tina Davies:

I basically went from being an artist to then developing products.

I didn’t go from artist to trainer to products.

I basically from artist to developing products then because of the products start training.

But that was by accident too.

I clearly remember many years ago, I was in a convention in Florida and I saw a demonstration by a person, a man that was doing permanent makeup eyebrows by using this little tool that looked like a little blade.

Like I’ve never seen it before in my life.

And I was like, I can’t believe that you can actually just like slice some eyebrows into the skin seriously like slice eyebrows.

But from that moment and I saw what he did and he did it in about, like, maybe about 30 minutes.

I was like, ok, this is hands down better than anything I’ve ever seen.

So, like, my light bulb went off at that point.

I’m like, ok, this is something that’s gonna, like, be so hot and that’s at the time that,, this was called embroidery, it was called Eyebrow embroidery.

Do you know this term?

And I, I saw it and I was like, wow, this is gonna change everything.

It’s going to change my work because it’s basically just like the way I draw, you know, just like drawing lines.

So right away, I hooked up with another artist who was one of my doctor Linda Dixon.

I’m like, Linda, we gotta teach this to people.

This is amazing.

So like, let’s come up with a name for the class.

Let’s call it like I just made up a name.

I’m like, OK, looks very small, looks like a blade.

Let’s call it microblading.

Like I don’t know why I just came up with that term and then put out some classes to teach it like a first ever class.

I think we had like 60 people over the course of six days, 3030 people per session between three instructors.

So we took taught that class and microblading just exploded because it was something that people had never seen before and it’s like, what is this thing that you just kind of like, draw it into the skin dip color and draw?

So that’s how it happened.

Danny Tran:

That’s crazy.

I’m glad we’re going through this.

Tina, I wasn’t even aware of that.

Like everyone’s like Tina microblading.

Danny Tran

Oh my goodness.

And so, I mean, walk us through like how that exploded after.

So that was like what you figured out and then you started doing these, these classes and then how did it take off that point?

That’s so interesting.

Tina Davies

I always think about how to improve something.

So I saw that microblading was an amazing service because it’s really natural and it was like so intuitive where you just draw the eyebrows one by one.

But the tools were really bad.

It was literally like stick, needles into like a little stick like this craft, stick that you twist it up.

The whole and I’m like, wow, this is so rudimentary and really remedial and doesn’t look professional.

So I was like, you know what, maybe I can design something and then artists could use it for this, you know, little service here.

Maybe somebody I will like it.

So I started to think about how I could design a disposable tool that you could just open it, use it and then toss it without having to assemble it and then get like germs on it.

So I drew, I drew the design like on a napkin and I gave it to like some like expensive designers, civil engineer designers who took all my money like $5000 it gave me nothing after like after like three months.

So then I took it upon myself to literally I found somebody on like fiber like like in Pakistan to actually give me ac ad drawing of a design that I could take to a manufacturer than to create a bill of materials and design all the parts for me and then find a factory that could build it for me.

Like these are skills that I had no idea.

I had no idea how to build something from scratch, how to source products, how to vet vendors.

So this was something very new to me and it just kind of I, I was learning as I went, but I and I still do it today every single day.

I, I’m in doing these kind of things.

Danny Tran:

I love that so much.

So, so, so you went from essentially being an artist to developing the product.

I want to spend a couple of minutes on this.

So I know products is a completely different ball game.

And there’s a lot of people nowadays who are looking to get into product, you know, launching their own lines and pigments and and material.

And so like, what were some of your biggest learning lessons as a product developer.

I know you mentioned a couple of those were like vendors and distributors and whatnot.

But looking back at the journey now, like, what were your initial learning lessons?

I think that’s absolutely you need to do a lot of research.

One of my biggest lessons were like source doing pro making products is a sourcing game.

You need to know how to source properly because you’re basically compiling a bunch of ingredients or raw materials together.

And you have to have a a very clear direction of what you want your product to do and to perform.

Like, so my biggest lessons were we’re learning like it all comes down to at the end of the day, quality, you must have a very high quality standard to have a product that’s going to stand the test of time because otherwise there’ll be competition that has a better product and all your hard work will be kind of like at the end of the C quality product.

So you have to know how to make an a quality product, a quality anything.

So then it will stand the test of time.

And that was very difficult for me to, to know what is an a quality product.

You have to do a lot of research, like even like something like this shirt, I got to understand the fibers.

I gotta understand the materials.

I have to understand the dye, the colors.

Like, how do I do that from scratch if I don’t have any background?

So, so much of the work. Really. 90% of it is the research.

Danny Tran:

Hm. And then I’m assuming, like, now it’s definitely more of like a relationship game for you because you have so many different products, and you’ve been expanding so much.

Tina Davies:

Yeah, it’s both because the product development never stops.

I’m always coming up with new products in the sense I look at what is the most needed?

Where, where are we hurting?

Where are we suffering?

Where is there a need?

And then how can I solve for that need?

How can I make it better?

So first, I clearly identify the needs crystal clearly to like literally the top three needs like Apple didn’t develop an iphone with 100 functions.

It developed an iphone based on music first, right?

User needs, you know, then not not with like 100 buttons but one button.

So it’s easy.

So identifying clearly the user needs and to determine its functionality is so critical and so key.

Danny Tran:

I like I love that so much because you know, I think in in marketing, you learn to create things that solves problems and I think sometimes we lose sight of that.

People are like, let me just go ahead and create this because everybody else is doing it and it ends up being sounding and looking like everything else.

And so I’m glad it’s such a refreshing perspective is what I’m saying.

Like hearing from you where like you, we need to create things because it solves specific problems and there’s a specific need versus let me just create this because it’s cool.

Tina Davies:

Yeah. Absolutely.

Danny, you got it to even like your business, you’re focused on a very niche market with specific needs and artists today are like, oh, I’m gonna do permanent makeup, I’m gonna maybe do eyebrows and eyeliner and all these other things, but solve what you feel resonates with you.

So let’s say if you focus on a specific market, a specific need, you will find people that have that, that resonate with that same need.

So for example, let’s say if I’m a permanent makeup artist and I’m just starting out, I want to focus on people who, who specifically have alopecia, for example, I’m just gonna service the crap out of that market, become the expert in alopecia eyebrows.

And you’d be so surprised how many people have alopecia, eyebrow hair loss and you will be the expert in that specific niche.

Danny Tran:

I, I think you hit a a really good golden nugget there and I think a lot we, we lose sight of that.

So you’re basically saying, start narrow focus and specialize on one thing and eventually expand because what we’re also saying, you know, for us being like a growth agency and marketing, people always have this mentality of oh like in order to make as much money as possible, I need to be offering like 10 different things.

So again, such a refreshing perspective to hear that from you where stay focused, they narrow, specialize in that one thing, be known for that one thing.

And it’s much easier to add on and solve additional problems after you figure it out
Tina Davies:

So you can go deep to get deep knowledge and trust.

Once you have deep knowledge and trust, then you can go wide or not wide.

You could just stay there, you can just stay there.

Danny Tran:

Yeah, we have some, there’s some people who just like we just talked with Zen yesterday actually on, on another live.

She’s like, I’m just focusing on one thing and that’s how I’ve grown my brand.

I get invited to speak all, all around the world.

I’m a judge now.

And so it’s such a refreshing perspective to hear.

Tina Davies:

So we like Bruce Lee said, he’s not afraid of the man that knows how to do 10,000 kicks, but a man who’s done the same kick 10,000 times.

Danny Tran:

Love it.

Beautiful, beautiful.

So let’s talk about Tina Davies’s professional.

What’s up with you guys right now?

Well, let’s talk about how it’s grown to where it is.

And then let’s talk about like what’s on the horizon.

So talk to us about how Tina Davies’s professional kind of got its start and how you grew it to this point.

Tina Davies:

People always say that to me, like, literally, I’m a person in an office with remote workers and a team of like, really, really passionate and cool boys and girls.

And I’ve never thought of myself as a big brand.

All I do all day is I’m just focused on like, how can I make things better for artists?

Like I’m a really simple person and, and you’ve met Luke too.

I know it’s a big brand in the sense that, you know, people know the name and everything.

But,, every year or half a year, I, I find a new problem that I want to uncover.

Like, for example, first it was like the microblading to get better eyebrows and then it was pigments because we had so many problems with pigments.

All my eye clients had like blue, orange, green eyebrows.

So we tackled pigments, then we tackled cartridges to make them better.

And now I’ve got something new coming up for you guys that we’re going to be sharing with the attendees.

You guys are gonna see it first live with a game changing innovation.

Danny Tran:

I asked Tina before this if, if I was able to share it, she said no.

So I apologize.

You guys have to attend the event to see what she’s unveiling and it’s gonna be a game changer for the industry.

It’s insane.

That’s all we can say for now.

Tina Davies:

Well, you know, I have always felt so extremely like responsible for my customers in the sense.

I feel like I you know, they, they, they come to me and they trust me with their face, a face is a big deal for a woman.

You know, I’m sure it is for everybody, for a woman.

But, you know, if one little thing out of place, she’s like, that’s it.

I’m not going out.

And so I take that trust so seriously and I see how people transform and change.

It just brings so much like good to their, to like how they feel about themselves because when you look good, you feel good, right?

And I see permanent makeup as like it’s not mainstream yet.

It’s not not mainstream even though people definitely know about permanent makeup more than they did five years ago, 10 years ago.

But if you have a room of, let’s say 10 women, you say, hey, who wants to get permanent makeup done?

There’s may be like three people that go, yeah, maybe I’ll do it.

But 70% of them are still sitting on the fence and they’re scared, they’re scared of the commitment, they’re scared because of maybe the pain or they’re just really not sure like, you know, my, my friend got it done.

It looks kind of bad.

Oh, so and so I, I don’t really know, I just sometimes they read some bad, you know, news articles about it or whatnot.

So it’s not mainstream yet.

It’s because the products and the skills aren’t there yet.

People have bad experiences, bad training, let’s say they’ve had bad products put into their skin.

Eyebrows are blue discolored.

So the, the training and the products aren’t there yet, but when they get there, then permanent makeup will be at a level where it’s mainstream.

And that’s always been my vision and my goal I want permanent makeup to be at a level where people trust it, it’s mainstream.

Everybody’s business will grow tenfold.

But we have to be serious about training education and products unless we do.

People aren’t going to say yeah, sure, no problem.

Sign me up.

Danny Tran:

I love that so much preach Tina preach.

When, when, when do you think that’s gonna happen?

When do you think we’ll get a little bit more mainstream?

And, and I ask that because from like a growth and marketing perspective, you know, I think we are, I  don’t like to use the word bubble but people, you know, we we, we live and breathe it all day long.

So we know like the ins and outs and we think it’s getting saturated and we think it’s all over the place.

But if you ask somebody who’s on an industry, they probably heard the word of microblading one time and they think that encompasses the entire field and they’re like, what’s permanent makeup.

And so I think sometimes we forget because we’re in this day, in day, out 24 7, but just from like a marketing statistical data perspective, a lot of consumers still have no idea what it is.

Even though it seems like it’s getting very saturated and competitive, it’s really not at all.

Like we’re barely scratching correct

Tina Davies:

as far as like what’s going to make its mainstream.

It’s all about awareness and marketing dollars.

You know, at the end of the day, people are going to know something because they hear about it, they read about it, they see it, obviously it’s all over social media where we see it in our lens.

But it does start when let’s say more and more A and B list celebrities get it done right, when they’re getting it death and call it like, whoa, it’s a thing I want to get it because so Kylie’s getting it and Kim’s getting it.

So and so, so we have to make the procedure look so good that we attract basically A and B less people that basically we leverage their platform to spread the news about how great the service is.

Danny Tran:

Yeah, absolutely.

And that’s how actually, like, I’m sure, you know, like with SMP, SMP blew up because there were a lot of celebrities who got it and people are like, whoa, what happened?

They have their hair line back all of a sudden.

So, no, I, I love that.

So everyone is home work for 2023 get a B or a list celebrity into your doors and you get, and you should service one person and build your phone.

Tina Davies:

You don’t have to sit around and wait for your phone to ring, reach out to people like you see so and so doesn’t have great eyebrows.

Danny Tran:

Yeah, 1 100%.

So we see that happening a lot and I think it’s such a great marketing angle just reaching out to influencers every now and then and just offering free work.

Like what you were saying in the beginning, you know, and in doing so they promoted it.

Not only do you evolve the industry but it’s going to probably get you so much traction for your business too.

Tina Davies:

So we have a member.

I’m a collective instructor that did Janet Jackson’s eyebrows like hello from there.

He exploded.

Danny Tran:

I love that so much.

Awesome.

So one last question and 2023 is here, what are some big industry trends you think we should be looking out for or what do you envision the industry is going towards, especially in this year?

Tina Davies:

That’s a really good question.

It’s kind of a tough situation in the sense that we’re in or going into recession, right?

So people will be more conscious of their spending, but women will always have budget for beauty.

Ok.

So I think one of the biggest, I don’t wanna say industry trends is that you have to actually keep marketing, keep marketing to keep, keep the customers coming in the door.

You must, you must because the more that people see it here, it, the more you knock on their door, you’re always in their face, you’re building that trust.

And then, you know, you know, that people need at least at least 10 messages to actually even consider activating, buying something.

So I don’t think just because you posted once or twice, like you need to be always reaching out to customers

Always people have to get on top of their email.

Marketing email is so powerful.

Everybody should have a blog to talk about what’s what, what you have to have some content, but you got to have that constant blog content pushing out through email.

So people are always knowing that you’re the expert, you’re the expert in the area.

So when they’re ready, when they’re and you have a promo, they will click, they will come to see you.

So sorry again, it’s not a trend per se but there’s just like basics that people must be doing an email is so powerful.

I see so many people do not build their list.

Danny Tran:

I love that so much and you, I’m probably very biased because we do marketing all day.

But in times of recessions and in, in times where businesses are slowing down.

You in fact, should be more aggressive.

You should be spending more on marketing and spreading if anything is cheaper because everyone’s like playing conservative and say like, I’m not gonna spend any money whereas you can come in and be like, I’m gonna spend all of this money in the world and attract even more people and growing their business.

And so yes, with the touch points, when you said it takes 10 messages, I believe it’s actually more, I believe it’s like 13 to 15, especially with all of the choices and options that people have nowadays.

And sometimes you forget like, oh I sent them a message and they didn’t respond.

Maybe they’re not interested.

It’s like think about the last time you made a big purchase, you probably saw the ad like 20 times before you made that purchasing decision.

Tina Davies:

I don’t want to say a trend again because trend is kind of like something comes and it goes, but you need to be leveling up your marketing game.

People think that their market game is posting on social media.

It is not at all.

It comes down to traditional marketing methods at the end of the day.

And if you are not a specialist at that, which I doubt because you’ve got your head down tattooing all the time, give that to somebody else.

Otherwise you’re gonna be, don’t, you can’t measure that your, the impact of your marketing at all.

Let someone measure it for you and then you give them a budget and you, you hand over that, that part so you can focus on doing your work while they’ll bring why they bring in leads.

Danny Tran:

Absolutely.

Thank you.

Tina Davies:

So, it’s not a trend but I know people are always like, what can I do at the end of the day, artists want more clients, but they’re just throwing darts, you know, instead of throwing 20 darts, throw one good dart.

Danny Tran:

Yeah, throw one dart and then one of the biggest things is just understanding your numbers too.

I know you and I talk about this all the time, but it’s so important and you got to understand like how much it costs for you to get new leads, how much it costs for you to actually get a booked appointment.

And that way you can just reverse engineer how you’ll get hit your revenue goals.

So love it, love it.

Well, Tina, thank you so much for joining us today.

It’s been a pleasure and like I said, it’s a rare that we get to like dive really deep and talk about the challenges and the, the journey and all of the things that you’ve gone through.

So thank you so much for being transparent and sharing all of that with us.

Closure:

Thank you for joining us on this PMU journey.

We hope you found inspiration and actionable insights to elevate your career in permanent makeup to stay updated on the latest trends, tips and exclusive content.

Be sure to follow us on social media at Highstoke Media.

Don’t miss out on our upcoming episodes and exciting PMU news until next time.

Keep creating beauty one stroke at a time.

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