Sometimes in life, we're tested. Not to show our weaknesses, but to discover our strengths. Harmony Artist Jill Ullmer truly knows the meaning of struggle and has turned her self-proclaimed "curse" into a blessing. Here is her story:
I am 37 years old and have spent my entire career in sales for Corporate America. I went from customer service to inside sales, to sales manager, to sales trainer, to manager of training and development, to director of sales and marketing to.... tattooist!
I became obsessed with eyebrows at 11 years old when I began pulling out my eyebrows and eyelashes due to a disorder called Trichotillomania, or Trich ("trick"). I didn't know I had a disorder until I was 21 years old, but I was so ashamed and embarrassed about what I did to myself that I kept it a secret for my entire life. It wasn't until 2015 when I only really told a few close friends, and then finally let the cat out of the bag in 2016. It was then that I announced my disorder and career change into the world of microblading with a Facebook Live video.
Above is the result of Jill's Trichotillomania
I dove right in with a brand new business startup and my own building space. I left my director role in Corporate America to give people the gift of eyebrows, but it doesn't stop there.
I have been trained by some of the most dedicated artists and teachers in the industry. I am extremely passionate about how critical it is to invest in thorough training taught by experts, and helping others avoid crash courses! I was trained in microblading by Erin Golightly and Kim Morgan with Advanced Permanent Cosmetics Academy in Naperville, Illinois; 3D Areola Restoration by Vicki Hansen in Dallas, Texas; and Li-Ft tattoo lightening by Teryn Darling with Girlz Ink in Las Vegas. I also was trained in Langley, BC by LeiLani Kopp in the services of skin needling and her entire non-toxic makeup line, Sweet LeiLani Cosmetics. My trainers have been instrumental in my success thus far, and I’m honoured to have had the opportunity to be guided by their hands and expertise. In addition, 3D Brows and Wellness has recently added Will Anthony’s badass eyeliner to its list of services. I am obsessed with learning and continuing to do better for my clients. I absolutely love being able to give people the gift of permanent makeup!
I used to think of my disorder as a curse, but now, I know it is a blessing. Never in a million years did I think I would be doing these types of services - but I know first hand what eyebrows can do for one's confidence, and how much it can change someone's life. I get it. I still struggle and pull mine out.
It's hard not to get wrapped up in what society sees as beautiful, or "normal". I truly see eyebrows as so much more than just eyebrows. I see microblading and permanent makeup as so much more than just my job.
In addition to this, I am an ambassador for The TLC Foundation for BFRBs (body-focused repetitive behavior), and as an ambassador, I have been channelling my disorder expertise to educate the beauty industry. I teach others how to understand BFRBs so they can better attract and welcome clients who are too ashamed to come forward. When someone has Trich, they need a different approach to a PMU consult. They need a different conversation about aftercare. And they need a different conversation about the effects of not being able to leave any existing eyebrow hair alone during healing. The PMU industry needs to have a thick skin, but we also need to know when to show compassion for a disorder so we can use our skills to serve others.
I certainly don't claim to know everything about the PMU industry, but I am definitely an expert in understanding BFRBs in the PMU industry - 26 years of experience to be exact! I am also the mother of 5 children ranging from ages 16 months to 12 years old, so it's safe to say I will be keeping myself very busy for the foreseeable future!
We hope you enjoyed learning about Jill's journey as much as we did! Be sure to check out her website and see her amazing work on social media!
We love hearing from artists from all over the world and being inspired by their stories of success. If you would like to share your experience with the Tina Davies Team, send us an email at email@example.com!