An eye for an opportunity
FROM KOREA TO ALICE SPRINGS TO GV, CITY’S NEWEST BEAUTY SALON BOSS ABOUT AMBITION AND POSITIVITY
Beauty therapist Minhee Park has spent 14 years saying yes to opportunities, travelling from Korea to Sydney to Perth to Alice Springs.
Then finally, three months ago, she arrived in Shepparton, where she and her family are settling.
“We fell in love with Shepparton,” she said
In June Ms Park and her partner, Robert, moved from the Red Centre to the Goulburn Valley with their one-year-old boy Kyden, so that he could grow up alongside extended family.
And she brought her expertise and entrepreneurial spirit with her.
On Saturday, August 14, Ms Park opened the doors to her new Shepparton beauty room, EmbelLash.Brow, specialising in eyelash extensions and also offering microblading, waxing, henna brows, eyeliner tattoo, eyebrow lamination and eyelash lifting and tinting.
“When I first brought eyelash extensions to Alice Springs, noone else did eyelash extensions — now they’re really popular,” she said.
“I was so busy for the last five or six years, and I now teach eyelash extensions as well.”
Ms Park’s enduring passion for the beauty industry stems from the joy she sees in her clients’ faces.
“It’s all positivity,” she said.
But her journey to finding her dream career was not without twists and turns.
When Ms Park first came to Australia in 2007 she landed in Sydney as a qualified dental technician — the only catch was she couldn’t speak fluent English. She found work in Perth, employed in her chosen field, but paid poorly.
When a friend in Alice Springs told her there were plenty of wellpaid opportunities in the remote central Australian city, she bought a ticket and flew there the next day.
Ms Park was offered a job at the first dental surgery she approached and settled into the next chapter of her life.
But fitting dentures didn’t bring her happiness.
Sensing she needed to make another change, Ms Park opened a sushi restaurant which was an immediate hit and spent a busy year feeding keen customers.
When she realised she was yearning for a different routine yet again, she followed her instincts and began training in beauty therapy.
The response was overwhelming when she advertised for clients.
“Around the world eyelash extensions usually take at least one-and-a-half hours, but I do them in 45 minutes,” she said.
“I had so many clients in Alice Springs when I started, because no-one did eyelash extensions.
“I did per day 18 clients or 20 clients, so I started working from 8 am to 11 pm — I got faster and faster and faster, because I did a lot.”
The mid-winter move to Shepparton was a big adjustment.
She said the bitter cold and early sunsets nearly brought her to tears.
Ms Park was reassured to find people were immediately welcoming when she asked for help finding a space to rent in an established salon.
“I told my partner, ‘I can feel that Shepparton people are really nice’,’’ she said.
Ms Park dreams of opening her own beauty school in the future, but for now she is starting small.
“It’s really risky to open a big business right now, with the lockdowns — the economy isn’t great.”