High school prom typically consists of awkward line dances, bad finger food and elaborate makeup rituals. For Hannah Saquing, it was all about the opportunity to wear false eyelashes for the first time.
“I really wanted to wear fake eyelashes for senior prom,” said Saquing, an electrical and computer engineering sophomore. “(But) I bought them and it literally looked like a spider on my eye.”
After realizing the classic drugstore false eyelashes didn’t fit her eye shape, Saquing decided to launch Atsie Co., an online eyelash and earring boutique. Atsie Co. aims to diversify the mainstream beauty industry by specializing in smaller, natural-looking eyelashes for those who don’t have round eyes.
Growing up, she said she didn’t see her Chinese and Fillipino features represented in fashion magazines or in drugstore cosmetics that had limited products for nonwhite features.
“Making sure there’s different kinds of representation (in the industry) can go a really long way in boosting a younger generation’s confidence,” Saquing said.
Saquing said designing products was new to her, and she said she reached out to her friend, Anna Alsup. Alsup was familiar with the e-commerce industry after launching her own small sticker business and helped coach Saquing throughout the design and production process.
“I told her, ‘You’re gonna need shipping supplies right off the bat, you’re gonna need a website, product photos,’” bioengineering senior Alsup said. “She was like, ‘Oh crap, that’s a lot of work.’”
After nine months of preparation, Saquing unveiled her first line of eyelashes and earrings on her Instagram page Jan. 23 and has had 80 sales so far. To match her personality and vision for the brand, she decided to use pastel colors for her product packaging and graphics.
“I didn’t want (the colors) to be alarming,” Saquing said. “I wanted it to be fun, and I didn’t want it to be scary because natural lashes are a little more beginner friendly.”
Biochemistry sophomore Alyssa Kinard, another friend of Saquing’s, said the brand isn’t just a business venture, it’s a personal passion for Saquing.
“I can tell she’s really in love with this project,” Kinard said. “Even some of the earrings are named after her sister’s name and her name.”
Saquing said her family played a major role in creating her business.
Saquing’s mother used Chinese astrology to choose the most advantageous date and time for Saquing to launch her products. Even the name, Atsie Co., comes from a combination of the Tagalog language’s term for older sister, “ate,” which is derived from the Hokkien language’s “achi.”
“I think I’ve played a really big role in my house and taken on a lot of responsibility, so to be able to be that ‘ate’ figure to (younger women) is something I want Atsie (Co.) to be,” Saquing said.