- While Jaxi Rodriguez had already been an entrepreneur for decades, the experience she got from the York County Economic Alliance’s Bloom Small Business Development Program helped her reinforce the financial side of her current business, Lash Up Beauty Bar.
From bartending trainer to men’s clothing store retailer, Jaxi Rodriquez has taken her love of training from job to job.
Jaxi moved to York from Maryland in 2011 and wanted to open a corner convenience store. When her building plans fell through, she began looking for other opportunities.
Then she discovered lashes.
“I took a two-day lash course and dived right in and started taking clients,” she says.
Discovering YCEA’s Bloom program
In 2018, Jaxi moved into Lash Up Beauty Bar’s current location at the corner of West Philadelphia Street and North Belvidere Avenue in York.
After being a solo esthetician for years, Jaxi was ready to expand her team and train others. She started offering lash training courses and since has trained over 200 students, hiring on a few of them to work for her own beauty bar.
“Teaching is just something that comes to me naturally,” Jaxi says.
In 2021, Jaxi was invited to attend the York County Economic Alliance Bloom Small Business Development Program. She had been using pandemic time and programs to enhance her beauty bar, including new reclining chairs for her clients, upgraded products, and matching team scrubs.
The Bloom program helped her take that to the next level, notably when it came to the business side of things.
“It really helped me as far as keeping track of the money that comes in and putting it in the right place,” she says. “Before, when I opened, I never would have been able to get a loan, compared to now where I have multiple banks fighting to work with me.”
Training the next generation
The most rewarding part of running her own business has always been seeing her students start making money or opening their own salons.
She hopes to continue that by opening Level Up Beauty Academy, a cosmetology school in York, later this year and is already accepting applications.
Looking back on her on her entrepreneurial journey, Jaxi says she has one regret.
“I wish before I would have opened this business—even my clothing store business, even my bartending business—that I would have taken an accounting class,” she says. “I would have known more about how to set up my business.”
That’s why she encourages other entrepreneurs to explore the YCEA and the resources offered through its Bloom Business Empowerment Center.
“I feel like everybody should take the Bloom class,” Jaxi says.
Upcoming Bloom programs
The following Bloom programs will offer information and resources for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing small business owners in various fields such as accounting, marketing, pitching your business, bookkeeping and much more!
The 101 Start Up Level Class: The Alphabet Soup of Having a Business will begin April 21 and end May 26. Registration deadline is April 21.
The 201 Growth and Maintenance Class will begin September 8 and end October 13.
All sessions will run for 6 weeks and will take place on Thursdays from 5:30pm to 7:30pm via Zoom. Classes can be offered in Spanish if requested.
This program is held in partnership with the York County Economic Alliance, Downtown Inc., Crispus Attucks, York NAACP, Susquehanna SCORE, Shippensburg Small Business Development Center and with support from Fulton Bank