There are some things in life that come together just like a fairytale. For NovaLash founder and CEO Sophy Merszei, her dream to make the world more beautiful one lash at a time has turned into an empire of lashing success—the brand celebrates its 15th anniversary this month.
“This journey has been a little bit of a rollercoaster,” Merszei says. “It all started because I wanted a way to bring false lashes back. Fifteen years ago, they were very much out of style. Nobody wore strips, clusters, nothing—extensions didn’t really exist. I just always thought that lashes looked so beautiful and glamourous. The world wasn’t ready for strips at that point so I just thought, ‘I’m going to ease people in one fiber at a time.’”
As the founder of the first-ever eyelash extension company, Merszei was tasked with creating more than just a product or brand; she had to build an industry.
"We have now had so many people who have come after us and joined the industry," she says. "The industry has just grown and grown and grown. We’ve invested a lot in it by passing legislation to make sure consumers are safe. That everybody can feel comfortable going to a salon knowing they’re going to have their lashes done properly and safely.
"If you get a bad manicure, most of the time your nails will grow back. If you get a bad hair cut, your hair will grow back. Yes, there are of course other injuries that can happen. But we can’t grow back another eye if somebody doesn’t something stupid. So as the first sort of founder of the industry, I just felt like it was my responsibility and my duty to use the knowledge that I have about science—and health science in particular, physiology of the skin and cosmetic chemistry—to make sure that the consumers were safe."
Today, NovaLash eye extensions are available in thousands of salons and spas across the U.S. and in more than 40 countries. Merszei says she’s proud to see the company’s growth and the community the brand has been able to build.
“It’s overwhelming but in a good way,” she says. “It was a dream that I had. I wasn’t sure if it was going to catch on. It can be emotionally overwhelming sometimes. I’m just so grateful. I think that’s really the main emotion I feel when I look out there. There’s just gratitude and appreciation for all the hard work that all of our customers and distributors have done because it’s a very difficult service to learn but a very easy service to do once you have learned it. All of these people are very special and hardworking. They’re dedicated beauty professionals. We have fantastic members of team Novalash.”
Watch MODERN's full interview with Merszei here: