“You’re not going to be able to do it all by yourself!” Words of Wisdom with Nikki Huebner, Founder of Endure Beauty
I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikki Huebner, Founder of Endure Beauty and lover of all things lashes. She’s an entrepreneur and working mother from Raleigh, NC who lives life to the fullest.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
WOW, I could spend the entire interview on this one question. Let’s start by saying that I’m a 40-year-old mom of three wild boys, Lauchlin (11), Davitt (5), and Stratton (4), and I’m loving every minute of that challenging, yet rewarding part of my journey, they come first, ALWAYS! In 2001, I started my career in the dental/medical device field and I am so grateful for that experience. Being chair side in oral and maxillofacial surgery, working beside some amazing surgeons and scientist, and pretty much running my own small business territory really helped pave the way for my career now.
Let’s back up though, back to my “mommy job.” On May 10, 2009, my beautiful daughter, Chyler Nicole, was born. We share the same initials, CNH. On this day, I immediately felt different, I still can’t describe the feeling in words. I had my oldest son, Lauchlin, my angel, Chyler, a thriving career and family, yet this cloud of intuition was stirring about around me, and I didn’t know why. I didn’t know if it was a good or a bad feeling, I just felt “off.” It made me anxious in a sense, so I started to change my behavior some. I started to exercise more, eat better, and I wanted to seek out my Faith, my understanding of what I was supposed to be trying to accomplish in this new chapter. And who this “God” character really is!?
I was so accustomed to being a carefree socialite, marked in my head as invincible, who’s close family members were all still alive, and all of a sudden I was a mother to two healthy babies. The weird gesture within my soul was overwhelming at times, as if I felt some kind of doom within myself. I felt nutty to even talk about it to my own mother, although I did on occasion, and she still apologizes for not being open-minded to my instincts. Well, now I know that “off” feeling was preparing me for what was about to come.
On November 13, 2010, my Chyler, passed into heaven from a terrible and horrific SUV back over accident. Yes, that night I entered the depths of Hell, as she entered the Gates of Heaven. To this day I will ENDURE every moment of this life on Earth, striving to be the best mother, friend, and family member I possibly can, because those “signs,” and that “off” feeling I was having when Chyler was born, was sent from God! So even now, diving head first into this company, I had that “feeling” came over me again me two years ago, yet this time it was clear cut. I think because when you have a personal relationship with God, your spiritual self in general, you’re able to hear and see the guidance a little easier, it’s less cloudy. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be challenge ahead. So how does my personal tragedy fit in with Endure Beauty?
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you started your company?
Honestly, there are so many interesting details behind Endure Beauty. For starters, I started wearing eyelash extensions about five years ago and was having maintenance issues. If I used disposable wipes or certain types of cotton rounds or cleansers around them I was getting snags, and shedding into the extensions, and I just never really felt like I was accurately cleaning them. Also, after the extensions became wet from showering, swimming, or exercise, a standard terry cloth towel would snag, shed, and strip the extensions too. The concept that I eventually developed was unlike anything else seen on the market.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I think what makes my company stand out is my dedication to finding a solution to cleansing lash extensions safely. After interviewing every woman I could corner, from friends to a stranger at the store, I realized everyone with lash extensions was having these same issues. My intuition cloud started up again, this time it kept clearly telling me to go for it! “Create aftercare tools for the lash lovers out there,” that voice kept whispering in my heart and soul daily. And the tug to move forward with Endure Beauty was for a bigger reason. I realized I could start being able to make my own business contributions towards Chyler’s charity! I then started calling fabric mills, seamstresses, and manufacturing facilities, asked a ton of questions, and started developing my prototypes.
This all took roughly a year to get two solid samples, I had a small batch of cloths manufactured in Raleigh, and I started pitching the products on Instagram and Facebook, making cold calls to local lash studios, and before you know it, I was shipping small orders of cloths to lash studios across the country! Currently, I’m distributed through a collaboration in Los Angeles called LAshX, through a distribution in the U.K. called Ultimate Lash, a distribution in Montreal called Miniskirt Beauty, and there’s a couple discussions going on in Australia and South Africa!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Honestly, there’s no one particular person to thank, there’s a village of people to thank. My oldest son, Lauchlin, for providing me a pure spirit, hope, and outlook on life in general. To my husband, for being there as much as he was able, given the condition he was in with grief and trauma. That’s an entire other story there, we can call it, A Narrative of Truth II. A huge shout out to “the babies,” my younger two boys, Davitt and Stratton, who remind me of the energy, dedication, and courage it takes to be a working mom. The friends that have dealt with my crazy schedule, exhaustion, and understanding the way I think, love, and survive. They’re some pretty special men and women and I’m blessed. From my spiritual self, I have God to thank. For the good, and the bad.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
After the accident, my husband and I became involved in a charity that happened to be an extension off of the Ronald McDonald House Charities called, The Family Room Projects. These were set up to be rooms within the hospital itself to allow family and friends to find a place of escape while enduring next to a sick or dying child. A safe place to pray, shower, eat, sleep, or just, BE.
My husband, John, and I decided to go public with our accident as a way to try and help other families in need of hope through wanting to fund these rooms. And boy it would’ve been nice to have this space for the 20-hour fight Chyler endured, as I yelled, screamed, begged, and cried, to this “God” and “Faith” I had just come to discover.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me before I launched my Start-Up” and why.
- “Get ready for a roller coaster of emotions. A passion so deep that you should hold on tight and pray!” -because there is a such thing as entrepreneurial mood swings, which is why so many people don’t truly fit the position. It’s breathtakingly difficult!
- “You’re not going to be able to do it all by yourself!” -make the investment, hire help! In family, in business, it takes a village, I say it all the time.
- “Breathe…” -I’m still working this one, it’s pretty vital to life, so I’m trying to pay more attention to this one.
- “Learn to take a rain check.” -because sometimes in life, it’s about the anticipation of that next visit!
- “Prepare for failure.” -But what defines failure? To a true entrepreneur, it’s a way of life. But what defines success is the aftermath of failure in one’s eyes, no matter how big or small, it’s a progress forward.
Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why?
I’d love to meet Sara Blakey, the creator of Spanx! It would be beyond amazing to have someone like her help direct me in all avenues. She created a simple concept for women, but it worked, and it was obviously needed! The hurdles I’ve faced with changing the mindset of a lot of these lash and makeup artists has been the hardest part! If Sara is watching; please, please let me devour your brain? Or Sara, are you interested in a new business venture?
With Love, ENDURE IN PINK!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!
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“You’re not going to be able to do it all by yourself!” was originally published in Thrive Global on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.