Leslie Renken Journal Star, Peoria, Ill.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Despite Covid, entrepreneur Lindsey Murphy hopes to keep her unique beauty business rolling in 2021.
As an entrepreneur looking for a good business idea, Lindsey Murphy knew she'd struck gold the moment she saw a vintage motor home for sale online. "I just immediately pictured that thing being pink," Murphy said. "It looked like the Barbie camper that I used to play with as a child."
Murphy purchased the recreational vehicle in 2018. As the mother of two and the owner of a salon specializing in eyelash extensions, Murphy had already perceived a market that was not being fulfilled — spa services for little girls. When she saw the motor home, she had the idea of creating a mobile spa for the younger crowd.
"My daughter, she is 6, and she's really cued in to makeup," Murphy said. "I could barely keep her out of my salon and out of my products. And a lot of clients who came in brought their children, who did the same thing."
That's how Wink on Wheels was born. Murphy bought the motor home and spent several months renovating it. Late that summer, she hosted her first party, and soon she had bookings for every weekend.
"I posted on Facebook and all of my friends were sharing it, and as soon as we did that, it blew up," Murphy said. "It was the first time anything like that had ever been brought to this area, and I think all the moms of little girls were super excited."
Driving the motor home around town also helped get the word out. With the logo on the side, people frequently asked what the vehicle was for. "It's an eye catcher 'cause it's bright pink," Murphy said.
Wink on Wheels is the perfect spot for a little female bonding during birthday parties and other celebrations. Activities include nail polishing, the application of glitter tattoos and feather hair extensions.
"We have silk robes for the girls when they get on and pedicure slippers they can wear. We put on whatever music they want us to play," Murphy said. "We have the heated foot baths, so they soak feet and then they get a little mini pedicure."
Murphy also provides a craft activity, and afterward everyone can get their picture taken in a photo booth at the back of the RV.
The business was going so well that in late 2019 Murphy purchased a second, larger vehicle to renovate. She wanted to have more space and perhaps even run both vehicles at the same time.
Then COVID hit.
"It was horrible timing," Murphy said. "I had just used my savings and bought another, bigger bus to renovate, and with COVID hitting, parties stopped completely. I had over 20 parties I had to cancel."
Last summer, Murphy was able to host a few socially distanced parties. She cut attendance in half, asked the girls to wear masks and used a lot of disinfectant. This year, she is hoping things will be better. She already has a few bookings for February and March.
Because Murphy also has a full-time job in human resources at Soderstrom Skin Institute, she's done fine during the pandemic. But she hopes some day to be able to run her own business full time.
"My goal is to grow this huge and expand, and hopefully one day franchise out," she said.
To learn more about Wink on Wheels, visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WinkOnWheels/
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