Eyelash Extensions distributor and educator, NovaLash, Inc. is celebrating ten years in the business of making women more beautiful, confident and eye-opening. When she started the company, CEO Sophy Merszei her dream at the time seemed a simple one: “I wanted to bring back the glamour and femininity of 50s and 60s false eyelashes in a way that would not scare women,” says the biologist and cosmetic chemist. “I knew we could apply artificial lashes in a manner that would look just gorgeous—natural and feminine.”
The journey was not, in fact, an easy one. “For the first five years of our company, the public was just not ready for false lashes,” says Merszei. “We knew they were the next big trend in beauty, but educating consumers and the industry about the health and safety of the service took many a sleepless night." But NovaLash and Merszei pressed on: together, they forged the first product safety testing, the first and only physician-developed lash application course, the first ever beauty school textbook for eyelash extensions.
Today, the company has expanded to over 40 countries and offered profitable, rewarding careers to thousands of professionals,many opening stand-alone lash salons. To assist these motivated entrepreneurs, NovaLash created the Signature Studios program, a model that supports lash artists hoping to start their own businesses by providing training and licensing, business support and reduced prices on NovaLash’s premium products.
In 2007, the company won the ICMAD award for cosmetic innovation of the year. That was followed by four straight years as winner in LaunchPad’s Reader’s Choice Awards, plus another four in American Spa’s Professional’s Choice Awards. In 2010, Sophy Merszei was awarded individually as the National Association of Professional Women’s VIP Woman of the Year.
“Before I started NovaLash, the focus was only on hair, skin and nails. Ten years later, when I walk down the aisles of a beauty trade show and see all the booths dedicated to different lash products, I feel like I made a difference in the history of fashion and beauty,” says Merszei.