BY AMY HILL
Lash & Blade is a cosmetic tattoo and lash studio located on Burke Street in Downtown Winston-Salem that specializes in lash extensions and cosmetic tattoos. Created by Caitlyn Wright in May 2019, Lash & Blade also offers services such as teeth whitening, dermaplaning, and tooth gems. Shanna, Kate, Morgan, and Hannah are the beloved artists at Lash & Blade who have been trained by Caitlyn in each service provided. Worried about visiting a salon during the COVID-19 pandemic? Employees at Lash & Blade make cleaning a top priority and ensure that clients keep a proper distance from each other. Disposable bed sheets are used for safety, and tools are properly sterilized to help clients stay safe and healthy while getting the royal treatment.
Caitlyn is living proof that hard work and determination pay off. She attended East Forsyth High School in Kernersville and started working her first job at McDonald’s when she was 16 years old. After graduating, Caitlyn moved to Winston-Salem and became a waitress at Mellow Mushroom for three years while she studied medical sonography at Forsyth Technical Community College. Her passion for cosmetology was ignited after she woke up one morning and realized that the career path she was embarking on was not something that she truly loved. She made the difficult decision to drop out of school and had to face her parents, who were uncertain about whether she was making the right choice for her future. In August 2017, Caitlyn enrolled in Leon’s Beauty School before discovering that she was pregnant a couple of weeks later.
While dealing with morning sickness and pregnancy symptoms, Caitlyn pushed through the pain in order to graduate from beauty school, in addition to waiting tables to pay for her tuition. After graduating and giving birth to her son Carson in April 2018, she became trained in applying lash extensions, lash lifting, and microblading, and even traveled to California for additional training. Despite the pandemic, she took a leap of faith and moved from a 100-square foot studio space to the studio’s current and much larger location in July 2020.
Starting a business as a young woman is nothing short of challenging. As a business owner, Caitlyn believes, “One of the biggest struggles is finding the balance between your family, your self-care routine, your friends, and your business.” She has learned that it is difficult to “turn off” after leaving the shop for the day because, for Caitlyn, the job never stops.
To combat the competitive nature that young businesswomen often encounter among other female business owners in a particular area, Caitlyn created WSNC GIRL GANG to unite locally owned businesswomen. “I really wanted to bring all the women in our community together and help support each other in a positive and meaningful way,” explains Caitlyn. “Community over competition always.” You can follow the WSNC GIRL GANG’s whereabouts on Instagram at @girlgangwsnc.
Considering investing in lash extensions? At Lash & Blade, extensions are applied correctly and will not damage your natural lashes, thanks to the studio’s licensed and trained professionals. A quality lash application can be detected if one lash extension is attached to one natural lash when it sheds. If a lash extension is attached to two or three natural lashes upon shedding, the extensions were applied incorrectly. Shedding occurs naturally, similarly to hair all over the body, so Caitlyn recommends booking follow-up appointments for upkeep every two to four weeks to keep your lashes looking full and fresh.
Caitlyn’s advice to anyone considering starting a business of their own is that the sky is the limit. Caitlyn states, “I believe anything you put your mind to can be achieved if you’re willing to work hard enough.” As for the future of Lash & Blade, Caitlyn hopes to open up to five new locations within the next ten years and would like to expand the brand out of state while keeping her amazing team by her side.
Want to book an appointment? Visit lashandbladewsnc.com to schedule. Keep up with Caitlyn and her team on Instagram at @lashandbladewsnc and follow the studio on Facebook for the latest news and updates.