“In a sea full of fish, be a barracuda.”
This sentiment, which serves as the tagline for the newly opened Beauty Barracuda, is what owner Kelsi Viau wants to instill in her clients: the fierce individuality of the barracuda.
The Beauty Barracuda, at 33 North Main Street, is a boutique specializing in eyelash extensions, facials and makeup. It also provides bridal services and sells the skin care products used in its services, which are produced by local businesses.
The Falmouth Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on October 3. Despite being a brand-new business, Ms. Viau said she has been busy since day one.
“I’m very booked up, so that is amazing,” Ms. Viau said. “I’m so thankful for that and I hope it stays that way because, you know, the Cape can be so seasonal. I’m trying to prepare for whatever will come my way but right now, all that’s on my mind is working hard myself.”
Ms. Viau’s career in esthetics began when she was still a student at the University of New Hampshire. Her interest evolved into a hobby and, eventually, a small business.
“I started just playing around with some makeup with my friends,” Ms. Viau said. “I created my Instagram page and [it] just started out as something fun but I knew that I had a little niche for it. I did it on the side just for fun. When I got out of school I decided to get some sort of professional background under my belt in case I wanted to pursue something professionally. That’s when I went to esthetics school back in 2016 and I received my certificate. Then I started working out of some spas and through that, I was able to figure out that I loved doing lash extensions. That became my niche specifically in the business.”
After that, Ms. Viau spent some time working out of her home while getting her footing as a one-woman business. At the time, she had already been on Cape Cod for a few years and was looking to build and expand her clientele. She said that working as a cycling instructor at Bespoke Studios at Mashpee Commons helped her widen her business circle as well as build a community.
“It was really easy for me to realize in the beginning that I wanted to be my own boss, so I knew, having worked out of my home for a little while, that I wanted to do it the right way,” she said. “I wanted to do it professionally. So I went ahead and found the space in Falmouth and I just feel like I got incredibly lucky. And here I am. It’s great.”
Ms. Viau, who now lives in Plymouth with her fiancé, said that although she is mostly known for her lash extensions, which comprise most of her day-to-day business, she also offers a variety of facials and bridal services.
“Cape Cod is perfect for weddings, it’s an extremely seasonal destination,” Ms. Viau said. “Right now it’s really busy with [the] wedding season. I do bridal makeup and I offer many different services along those lines. When a bride comes to see me, if they want to bundle a package of services—say they want to do a facial, they’re interested in lash extensions, and then they want to do makeup with me for their wedding day—we can bundle that and they’ll save some money. So that’s a really great way to not only promote my business but also create a connection with my bride leading up to that day. I really love that aspect of the business as well, it kind of changes things from just doing lashes every day.”
Running a small business, especially by yourself during a global pandemic, is no small feat. Ms. Viau said she is grateful for the way her career has taken off, acknowledging its correlation with the recent societal shift toward self-care and pampering.
“I’m very lucky to, in this industry, have had almost like a rise in my career,” she said. “I feel like self-care has become something that’s really important during the pandemic and during COVID. I think we all were at a really low point in our lives and coming out of that, whether or not we’re still kind of ebbing and flowing with it, people are really finding the importance of doing things for themselves because we all hit a low. It gives me great pleasure and satisfaction at the end of the day to be able to help women, but I also like to highlight the fact that I offer services to men as well.”
Inclusivity is important to Ms. Viau’s business, and she takes care to cater her services to people of all ages, races, genders and sexual preference.
“My door is open to really anyone,” Ms. Viau said. “And I offer services to different skin types, of course. Being on Cape Cod you see a lot of Caucasian, but I also have had the pleasure of doing different skin types: African American, Asian, Native skin. That’s been great, too—just making sure that everything is culturally diverse is really important for me.”
Eventually, Ms. Viau said, she hopes to expand her business and open multiple locations. She said maybe someday, she will go back north to her home state of New Hampshire and open a location there. But for now, she is looking forward to integrating herself and her business with the Falmouth community and making an impact.
“I feel like I’ve hit a really pivotal point in my career, so to just keep expanding and to just keep growing would be amazing,” she said. “There are always new things coming and I’m really thankful to be part of the community.…We just talked to the chamber of commerce after doing the ribbon-cutting about doing the Falmouth Christmas Parade and the Jingle Jog. There’s still so much I’m learning about the Falmouth town and community. We feel so welcomed; so far, it’s been amazing.”