SKED Communications Director
HAZARD, KY – Michelle Gambill wasn’t born in Hazard, but her dream of becoming a permanent cosmetic technician was. Today, she owns her own salon and performs a number of highly sought after procedures that have women flocking to her for the treatment.
The longtime Perry County educator has lived in many locations across the U.S. and held several different titles during her career, but as she nears retirement she’s working toward a permanent location with a more singular title and purpose. The Hazard woman opened her own permanent makeup salon called Simply Gorgeous, LLC in 2016.
When her family moved to East Kentucky in her teen years, Gambill knew this would be home and has spent years working and building a life here with her husband and daughter. She’s taught in the Perry County School District for 26 years where she’s worked as a social studies teacher, counselor and school bus driver.
It’s her desire to learn and prepare for her future that has opened a new door of opportunity as a small business owner.
She had a couple of permanent makeup procedures done for herself in 2015 and realized just how far women, living in East Kentucky, had to go to get the procedures.
“After researching micro blading artists, I had my brows micro bladed in Tennessee, two and a half hours away,” she said. “I loved it so much and realized it would be a way of using her own artistic talents and be something that she would enjoy.”
“As I was leaving the salon, after the procedure, I asked the technician about steps to get into this line of work,” Gambill explained. “She told me she had a training coming up soon, and the rest is history.”
To date, she’s completed more than 100 hours of training to learn the art of cosmetic tattooing. She completed her training with a certified trainer learning the techniques and procedures for lips, brows, and eyeliners. She’s also completed a training class on the art of micro blading, one of the newest techniques for eyebrows. She offers this very popular technique to achieve the brow shape and color of your desire, while adding individual hair strokes to your brow. Finally, she attended blood borne pathogen training to ensure cleanliness during her procedures and of her facility.
However, Gambill knew that learning a technique and earning certifications was only the first step in opening her own business. She set out to learn what resources were available to her and her new venture near her hometown. She learned about the Small Business Development Center in Hazard and from there was referred to Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation (SKED). She met with SKED staff to determine her financial and marketing needs and they helped her apply for a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Micro Loan to fund the costs of the new salon in Hazard.
“It was a pleasure to work with SKED on obtaining my loan,” she said. “They really cared about helping me reach my dream of opening a permanent makeup studio in Hazard. I was able to do my training and get the business open with a micro loan. Recently, they offered free marketing strategies which should take my business to the next level.”
All SKED micro loan clients are eligible to receive free marketing technical assistance, through the SBA program.
Word is getting out about Simply Gorgeous, LLC, and Gambill’s clients are giving her rave reviews.
Lana Osborne was never happy with her thin eyebrows, so when she heard about the micro blading procedure and the fact that Gambill could perform the technique in her hometown, the Hazard woman scheduled an appointment. She admits she was apprehensive at first, but once she was inside the salon and under Gambill’s care, her worries faded quickly.
“Shelley made me feel comfortable almost immediately,” she said. “Everything was explained to me about the procedure down to the smallest detail. The salon has a feeling more like a spa than I expected, and after the procedure was completed, the results were immediately visible and impressive.”
To say Osborne is thrilled with the results she got at Simply Gorgeous, LLC is an understatement. “For the first time in 30-plus years, I have eyebrows and they do not look fake or drawn on,” she said.
For more information about Simply Gorgeous, LLC, visit her website:
www.simplygorgeousmicro.com or call (606) 369-1580.
For more information about SKED and its loan programs, visit:
Formed 31 years ago by Fifth District Congressman Hal Rogers to create jobs in Southeast Kentucky, the economic development organization, based in Somerset, serves a 45-county region in Kentucky. Staff works with business owners, small and large, throughout its service area to identify financing solutions to fund their location, expansion and working capital needs.