We caught up with skin expert and esthetician Monti Kelly, who is the owner of the Atlanta-based Flavor Beauty Bar and CEO of iLash Flavor. From providing eyelash extensions to laser hair removal, Monti is giving the girls what they need with quality service. In just six years, Monti has grown her business tremendously from opening up her own salon to providing in-depth training for beauty professionals nationwide, and she’s just getting started!

Monti shares with us her entrepreneurship journey, prioritizing skin health, and how she’s extending her expertise to up-and-coming beauty beautypreneurs. Keep reading to check out our interview with Monti!

Tell us a little bit about why and how you started your business!

I’ve always loved the beauty industry and would get my lashes done for years before I thought about doing them myself. Shortly after I moved to Atlanta, Georgia, I decided to take a leap of faith and change gears in my entrepreneurial journey. I searched the web, found a class in Miami, and it just so happened to be on my birthday. I signed up for the training, successfully completed the course, and immediately started practicing. The next week after the training I found a salon suite and started taking clients. After coming up with the name iLash Flavor and developing a strategy to promote my brand, my eyelash service business took off fast. Within the first 8 months of launching iLash Flavor, I expanded my services and opened up my salon Flavor Beauty Bar.

That’s amazing. What services do you provide?

At my salon, Flavor Beauty Bar, we provide eyelash extensions, facials, chemical peels, laser hair removal, teeth whitening, body contouring, and vaginal steaming.

For anyone visiting the Flavor Beauty Bar for the first time, what treatment(s) do you suggest they try?

I always recommend that new clients try our microdermabrasion facial Microdermabrasion, it’s my absolute favorite beauty treatment. A few days after you get that advanced treatment, you’ll look like a new person! Having flawless skin is the ultimate face card. The packages and products we sell at Flavor Beauty Bar make this easily attainable.

What are some benefits to getting a facial regularly rather than just having an at-home skincare routine? 

Getting a facial regularly will help boost the effectiveness of your at-home products. When you get a facial, you get impurities out of your skin that you won’t be able to get out yourself. We use products that only licensed professionals can use, and perform treatments that can be dangerous if you try them at home by yourself. We remove blackheads, unclog your pores, and give you a deeper exfoliation than you can do at home. We also use medical grade products that are good for your monthly facials, but not necessarily good for everyday use because of their strength. We also curate individualized treatment plans and products to help our clients reach their skincare goals. 

What type of lash extensions do people request the most?

Most clients request Classic Lash sets. Classic eyelashes are for the everyday girl. It’s not too dramatic, and it’s just enough for you to have light glam with no makeup. The next most requested set is Hybrid Lash, because it’s classic with a little razzle dazzle.

What certifications and/or classes do you provide to aspiring beauty bosses? 

Right now, I offer eyelash extension training and teeth whitening training. By the end of the year, I will be adding body contouring training and eyebrow lamination. 

What are some advantages of having a license and certifications?

The biggest advantage of having multiple certifications in aesthetics is that you get to learn so much more. When you get your license, they only teach you the minimum of what you need to know in this industry.  When I see other people in the industry performing new services that look beneficial, I’m stalking their platform to see if they offer classes so I can gain more knowledge. I’m very big on learning new techniques specializing in treatments for people of color. I always want to know what procedures work and how I can treat their skin better because there is a lack of that kind of education in school. Essentially, having a license is a must and having additional certifications is a plus.

What trends or innovations do you think every esthetician should be following today?

I think every aesthetician should remind their clients to wear sunscreen every day. You will be shocked by how many people do not wear sunscreen or do not think that they need to wear sunscreen. I have to remind clients on a daily basis why sunscreen is important and how much of a dramatic change they will see in their skin once they start using sunscreen. I think sunscreen is one of those products that is slept on and most consumers don’t know much about. With skin being your body’s largest organ, it’s vital that we protect it.

How can people book an appointment and/or class? And where are your salons located?

My salons are located in the Metro Atlanta area. I have one salon in West Midtown Atlanta, Georgia and another salon in Marietta, Georgia. For information about my trainings and services please visit my website and be sure to follow us on instagram @flavorbeautybar and @ilashflavor.