Beyond the brow: Building confidence, providing opportunities

Eye on KELOLAND

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Although you may think microblading is just about making eyebrows look good, a cosmetic tattoo artist in downtown Sioux Falls says it goes beyond that.

When you sit down in one of the chairs at Gemineye Studio, owner Desiré Jansen hopes you can get back up with a new sense of self-esteem.

“It sounds so weird to say like, you know, they’re just brows, but like, giving a person their life back in a way,” Jansen said. “Just because, like, you walk out of the studio and you’re like, I can accomplish, you know like, whatever it is. It’s just, it’s confidence.”

Jansen started Gemineye Studio about four years ago after becoming a cosmetic tattoo artist. She offers services such as eyebrow microblading, lip blushing, scalp micro-pigmentation and eyeliner techniques.

“It’s definitely the fact that I get to do art everyday, but also, it’s just an amazing experience to make people feel wonderful about themselves,” she said.

It’s not just her clients to whom Jansen wants to give confidence, though. She also wants to give it to aspiring cosmetic tattoo artists. That’s why she started the Gemineye Academy two years ago.

“Basically my love for this industry, I just, I wanted to share it,” Jansen said. “I fell in love with everything about it.”

Jansen offers three-day training courses on eyebrow microblading to introduce people to the world of cosmetic tattooing. Eyebrow microblading is semi-permanent coloring in the eyebrow area.

“They get into this industry and it is, it can be an extremely life-changing career,” she said. “Not only the personal rewards of making people feel good about themselves, but financially. It can be extremely lucrative.”

Olivia Simonson was a student of Gemineye Academy. She took the training course in February.

“It was as good as I’d expected it,” Simonson said. “Like, Desiré is so great and her studio is absolutely amazing. It was a lot of information in three days, but it was totally worth it.”

She now owns her own brow studio in Fargo, North Dakota.

“It has been mind-boggling how awesome it is,” Simonson said. “I feel great because I’m able to give women back their confidence.”

Now Jansen wants to continue to help others reach their goals by offering a scholarship for Gemineye Academy training to Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and LGBTQ+ individuals.

“The people that have welcomed me with such open arms and, you know, just basically have helped me find success, I wanted to pay that back,” Jansen said. “I wanted to pay that forward. Just make sure that, yeah, this is, this scholarship, is 100 percent just about love, making sure that everybody feels that from Gemineye Academy. That they’re all seen, heard, and if it’s just a financial obstacle that’s keeping somebody from getting into this career that they want to do so much, have a passion for but just, that’s the only hurdle, I want to eliminate that hurdle.”

The scholarship will include a free training session at the Academy, a year of business mentorship from Jansen, a kit for their first 20 clients and a tattoo machine.

“I want to be their first mentor that they’re going to have in this industry as well,” Jansen said.

Jansen hopes she can inspire change with this scholarship and maybe inspire reflection.

“How can I spend my time or my money or other resources in being some sort of a contributor to change or making sure that everyone feels welcome in our community,” Jansen said.

Jansen hosts training sessions every other month at Gemineye Academy.

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