Raquel DaSilva is the founder and CEO of LASHGOD, a Toronto based beauty company specializing in Eyelash extensions and other beauty accessories. We spoke with the entrepreneur for our Homegrown Business series to find out more.
What is your business called and what does it do?
My company is called LASHGOD, we are a Canadian beauty company that provides premium, trend-forward eyelash extension services. We also design, produce and retail professional lash extension products and beauty accessories. LASHGOD operates an e-commerce retail business as well as two storefront locations in Toronto – LASHGOD Don Mills (1310 Don Mills Rd.) that opened in 2019 and LASHGOD Yorkville (236 Avenue Rd.) that is opening in June 2021; both locations feature a salon and retail space, with the Yorkville location also offering training studios.
I am also the founder of Modern Aesthetics College, that offers in-person and online medical aesthetic programs to train and certify lash and brow technicians, hairstylists, nail artists and aestheticians. And I’m proud to have co-founded complimentary sister companies NAILGOD, HAIRGOD and GIRLGOD which each offer on-trend and innovative services and products for hair, nails, and most recently, clothing!
What made you want to do this work?
From the age of 17, I knew that a traditional 9-5 desk job was not for me! I always had an entrepreneurial drive and I wanted to create a brand that I was extremely passionate about and one which I loved showing up to every single day. I took my first eyelash course in 2015 and it gave me the basic knowledge that I needed to get started in the beauty business, plus I practiced on my friends (for hours each day!) until I felt confident to service paying clients. I started LASHGOD when I was 18 years old. I worked 10–15-hour days offering lash services out of my parent’s basement. I was on a mission to create a leading lash business and create premium products that professionals and beauty gurus alike would love using and rely upon for their everyday beauty needs.
What problem did you want to solve with this business ?
When I started LASHGOD, one of my main goals was to design and create products that I really believed in. My biggest problem was finding cruelty-free and hypoallergenic lash products on the market. It seemed that many lash extensions were made from mink fur, and I wanted to provide customers with vegan options that they would love wearing and that were also cost effective. I also struggled to find products with ingredients that I felt comfortable using on myself, and most importantly, my clients. I have extremely sensitive eyes, and I wanted to bridge the gap and create high-quality lash products that were both usable for customers with sensitivities/ allergies that were also affordable.
Who are your clientele/ demographics?
This is one thing that I love about LASHGOD – the brand is for everyone!
Clients for our aesthetic services are everyone – we cater to both males and females, of all ages. However, many of our e-commerce sales and who take our educational courses are primarily women ranging from 16 to 40 years old.
How does you business make money/ how does it work?
My businesses earn a profit through our e-comm platform (lashgod.ca), our retail/salon locations,, as well as from Modern Aesthetics College. Due to the pandemic, our in-person educational programs and our salon aesthetic services have come to a halt, so our business has been focussing primarily on e-comm and curbside pick-up, as well as online education courses.
A huge component of our business is innovation and creating beauty products with high-quality ingredients that perform extremely well. We also stay on top of the newest and hottest industry trends and create products to help our clients and customers achieve these looks.
Where in Toronto can we find your profession?
LASHGOD has two standalone locations in Toronto. Our headquarters was established in 2019 at 1310 Don Mills Rd, North York and our new flagship property is opening in June 2021 at 236 Avenue Road in Yorkville. Our e-comm site is available for worldwide shipping at lasghod.ca. Students interested in learning more about our online course offerings can find out more here.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?
Prospective clients should always ask about the ingredients in the products being used and the disinfection measures the service provider takes to keep them safe.
At LASHGOD we only use hypoallergenic and vegan products. Our products are safe for the eyes, and our adhesives are free of latex, formaldehyde, and harmful chemicals. All products are vegan to prevent allergies and keep our cruelty free movement going. We use the highest quality in PBT synthetic fibres for our strip lashes and professional eyelash extensions.
Disinfection is huge when dealing the eyes, our major mucus membranes, and for cleaning all aesthetics tools in general. All tweezers and stainless-steel tools and reusable tools need to be disinfected in PRE-EMPT a hospital grade disinfectant or an equally strong substitute such as a UV sterilizer or autoclave. It’s always a great idea to ask your technician about their disinfection protocols!
What is the best part about what you do? What is he most challenging part?
My favourite part of my job is being an educator and sharing my personal advice, failures, and victories with my students at Modern Aesthetics College. We teach aesthetic services as well as the necessary business knowledge and skills for our students so that they can start and run their own successful businesses. Our students are learning from industry pioneers that have minimum six year’s experience, and over 15,000 practical hours completed in their field – so we guarantee that each student is in the best hands, and learning from the best.
The most challenging part is learning to separate work and life and having a healthy balance. LASHGOD is my baby, and my heart and soul goes into this company each and every single day. I think this is a common problem that many entrepreneurs have. I am 100 per cent always on, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What is your favourite joke about you own profession?
I always joke with my clients who get long lash extensions – I love saying, “Don’t blink to close to any insects, pets or small children… with those big eyelashes.. They might blow away.”
PAY IT FORWARD: what is another Toronto business that you love?
I discovered this amazing local business called “One Life Meals” about a year ago. They do meal prep and catering for people who love to eat healthy. As a vegetarian for the past 11 years, they have the best vegan / vegetarian options. All of their meals taste so good, and you can tell that each dish is made with love. I highly recommend this business for fellow vegans/ vegetarians who want unique and delicious meals – and of course, something super convenient.