UT student creates lash line

Briana Ramsey, Life and Arts Reporter

During the beginning stages of lockdown, Pearl Akonnor said she used makeup art as a way to cope. Her growing interest in creating elaborate eye makeup looks inspired her to start researching the art of lash making.

“One thing people had started to ask me when I wore dramatic makeup was where I got my lashes from,” Akonnor said. “This got me thinking about how much people appreciate lashes’ ability to elevate a makeup look.”

Akonnor launched her e-commerce lash business, Pearl’s Lash & Co., on July 14, offering an array of lash styles for an affordable price. As a pre-health psychology junior, Akonnor said the business didn’t exactly align with her original professional goals, but she decided to defy the odds and start her business anyways.

“The purpose of Pearl’s Lash & Co. is to not only enhance the beauty of women, men or whoever else but to also boost their confidence while encouraging (a) boss babe mentality,” Akonnor said. “Wearing lashes definitely helped me tap into a part of me that I hadn’t seen before. That’s exactly what I want my business to do for my UT classmates and anyone else.”

Akonnor said her journey was far from easy. Along the way, she experienced major setbacks before successfully launching.

“Over the course of 2020, I (was) going back and forth with at least 40 different vendors from across the world,” Akonnor said. “I didn’t want to settle for a vendor. I knew the exact look I had in mind. My lashes were going to have the lash extension look without the lash extension price.”

From the crystal knob on each personalized box to her signature purple and gold colors, Akonnor said she wants all her customers to feel like royalty.

Akonnor said her nail technician and mentor Paige Hawkins was influential in the planning of her business.

“I could tell when Pearl first began to talk about her business how badly she wanted this,” Hawkins, a human development and family sciences senior, said. “Pearl really took the time to ensure her business was going to be professional, make sales and have an overall bomb aesthetic.”

Customer and government junior Deanna Clarke is eagerly awaiting the launch of Pearl’s Lash & Co.

“I am most looking forward to the growth of the lash line,” Clarke said. “I am already so in love with all of her lashes and can’t wait to buy more.”

Akonnor said she looks forward to seeing the UT community embrace her business, and hopes to expand to a larger market as her business grows.

“The biggest thing I learned through this process is that people are always going to have negative things to say,” Akonnor said. “But you have to believe in yourself, follow your heart and go for what you want.”