BREVAMI: By Brenda Mireles
Brenda Mireles is a brow expert, makeup artist, and waxing specialist. She is the owner of BREVAMI, a specialty salon in La Quinta, California.
Originally from Burbank, Brenda moved to Guanajuato, Mexico, where she lived most of her childhood. Growing up, Brenda loved feeling girly and playing with makeup, her mother’s jewelry, heels, and purses. She always knew she wanted to be in the beauty field even though nobody in her family ever showed the same interest or enthusiasm for it. Entrepreneurship runs on both sides of her family:
“Growing up, my grandparents from my father’s side owned a clothing store, and my grandparents from my mother's side owned flower shops. At some point, my mother also had a small candy shop where I loved spending most of my afternoons and helped my mom with the cash register. Helping with the register was one of my favorite thing to do, so I knew that one day I wanted to have my own business, and run my very own register.”
Although Brenda was fascinated with beauty, during the ages of 10-12 she had very low self-esteem and did not feel very girly at all:
“I struggled a lot to feel pretty as I always compared myself to other girls. I was bullied about my appearance: my bushy eyebrows which I now wish I still had and my weight. It didn’t help that if I ever had a spark of confidence, the bullying would shut me down and make me feel worse. Even in my worse looking days I always wanted to spend the days at a salon learning how to do my hair, or how I could improve my appearance.”
In 1999, at the age of 12, Brenda’s parents decided to move back to California. This time to the city of La Quinta in the Coachella Valley, home to the famous Coachella Fest located just 30 minutes east from Palm Springs, where Brenda attended middle school and graduated from High school. Coming back to the states was good as Brenda began gaining a bit more confidence whether she had makeup or not.
After graduating from high school, Brenda was eager to gain even more self-confidence and enrolled in cosmetology school. This was although she didn’t have her parent’s approval as they felt that she was not fully committed and would drop out. Brenda was committed to proving to her parents and self that this really was what she wanted to do.
“I remember taking my first child who was only three years old at the time with me almost every Saturday to school and sat him next to me as I would study and do my classwork. I was very invested and committed to graduate beauty school & getting my cosmetology license. I finished beauty school right before the summer of ‘09 and had my state board test in the fall of the same year. So, I had the entire summer to ensure I studied and practiced enough to pass the state board exam before I discovered I was pregnant with my second baby!”
This put immense pressure on Brenda as she knew that to pass that exam meant she could finally embark on the career of her dreams! She passed the written portion but came short in the practical section.
“I was in utter disbelief. I couldn’t help but run to the restroom and start balling before walking out and telling everyone that was waiting outside ready to go celebrate that I had failed! I remember all I wanted to do was cry nonstop. In a way, I had proven my parents right, and this showed I wasn’t fully committed. Despite the humiliation I felt coming out and letting everyone know, I decided to re-apply for my test. At eight months pregnant, I went back a second time and passed the practical test!”
Brenda has now been a licensed cosmetologist for a decade. At the beginning of her career, she decided to focus on hair and makeup. However, after working at a few different places in both hair and makeup, Brenda decided to look for a better career opportunity that would offer her not only better pay, but also a greater chance to grow and advance. She was set on looking for the next best thing for herself and began working as a freelance makeup artist for a well-known makeup brand where she would travel to different cities in SoCal demonstrating the product and doing makeovers. The company noticed Brenda’s talent for waxing and offered her a job to wax eyebrows.
“At first, I was terrified of messing up, and would doubt myself every second I was there! At times I would ask myself what the hell was I thinking, but I was fortunate to have the right team of people beside me who helped me get over my fear and helped me gain confidence. My regional manager was amazing to me and thanks to her, I know what I know today. She opened doors for me, and her trust in me gave me the confidence to succeed. That’s when I realized I had a true passion for eyebrows and waxing.”
What Brenda loved most about waxing was seeing how you could instantly improve someone’s confidence after a service. Seeing somebody’s day made after they feel their beautifully waxed skin always brought her great satisfaction.
The fact that I can make someone feel better about their appearance or turn their whole day around after sitting in my chair, and see a boost in their confidence, that’s when I knew I was in the right path and loved the service part of my job even more so than the retail side. I always love being of service to others, meeting new people, hearing their stories, and learning from them. After four years of learning and growing, Brenda felt that she had reached her end in her position and decided it was best for her to part ways and start my own business.
“I was nervous and scared because, for the last four years, my job had felt like home and my clients like family. However, I understood that if I wanted to reach my goals and fulfill my dreams, I had to move on. Which I did, and although I wanted to immediately open up my new waxing business I had to wait.”
Unlike many other businesses that begin with a large capital, Brenda had used most of her savings to open her new waxing studio. Because she wasn’t yet fully established, she worked an office job in the morning and waxed in the evenings until she built up enough clientele to focus solely on her new business. Within six months of having no days off and working 12+ hours a day, Brenda finally decided to put her mind, body, and soul into her new business. Within months, she noticed her business began growing , and clients kept referring her to new people.
“Sink or swim? Are you going to let yourself fail or will you succeed? My business will be as successful as I make it and there are no limits to as to how, when, or where I advertise my business. This has been on my mind since leaving the corporate world for good.”
Life for Brenda hasn’t always been easy, and her confidence levels weren’t always high, but it’s all been a work in progress. Perhaps struggling has taught her how to appreciate hard work, her journey, as well as the people in her life today and kept her grounded and humble. Brenda has always known that working hard would get her wherever she wants, and that’s exactly what she’s been striving for since day one.
“I am confident in my talent and skills so I know I can continue growing my business and clientele continuing to do what I’ve been doing the past five years, which has been being myself while continuing to be passionate about my work. I always have to remind myself that every business has their struggles and no-one who is a full-time business owner and entrepreneur within the beauty industry started with a book full of clients. I know that my business is in the right path, I am truly passionate about what I do, and I like to provide a professional and enjoyable experience to everyone that walks into my waxing studio.”
Brenda is known as one of the best eyebrow wax artists in the desert thanks to her continued professionalism, knowledge, and experience. Her business, BREVAMI is pronounced [bré-vah-mee] and is an acronym for her full name- Brenda Vaca Mireles.
Brenda came up with this name several years ago when she was trying to come up with a unique email for Gmail. Ever since then, BREVAMI has just stuck and is now a full operating beauty and waxing studio. Although she offers full face and partial body waxing, her specialty is eyebrows.
“I have mastered the art of shaping brows according to your face. I am a perfectionist, so am constantly working to learn new ways to keep up with trends. Starpil helps me be as precise as possible when applying wax and guarantees a quality service every time. Starpil makes me feel like I am changing the world one brow wax at a time!
"My client referrals keep growing, and I feel fortunate to have such an amazing supportive clientele, I honestly wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing if it wasn’t for all of them! I get Instagram messages and emails daily that I don’t always get to answer, which is why I encourage clients and any future clientele to book through my website, as I am not only a busy business owner but a mommy too. After opening my studio I have made spending more quality time with my family a priority, and I love that I get to create my own schedule and that I can leave to pick up my kids in the middle of the day and finally have dinner as a family. It’s been very rewarding and I would not trade it for the world."
Like many people, Brenda found out about Starpil through hard wax guru, Liz Lugo, and her Instagram. Brenda remembers watching Liz’s videos on replay and loved the wax that she used in them. In beauty school, she was taught how to wax with hard wax, but it was not as easy as the one Liz would show in her videos. Because of this, Brenda decided to place her first order with Starpil and give it a try.
“What I love most about Starpil is how easy it is to apply, how strong it is to get those stubborn hairs, yet gentle enough for sensitive skin types. My favorite waxes are; Starsoft, Pink Film hard wax, and soft wax! They are gentle on any skin type, yet they pull every hair from root leaving little to no redness on the skin. This helps my business tremendously as it provides consistency, which gives my clients peace of mind as they always know to expect the best service!”
“I absolutely love that I have a Personal Account Manager, Chelsea, which by the way is amazing! She’s always letting me know of any upcoming news, is always super helpful when I have questions about any wax or its ingredients and makes it so easy to place an order! This has made my experience with Starpil even more enjoyable as they have been much more helpful than other brands! So, thank you Chelsea and Starpil for making my job easy and my clients’ experience enjoyable.
I am very inspired by Liz Lugo and hope one day I can follow in her footsteps and be as amazing as she is! I would love to be part of the Starpil ambassador family, traveling to different shows and demonstrating different waxing techniques!”
Brenda Vaca Mireles continues to make a name for herself and prove people that doubted her wrong. A fun fact about Brenda is that she always performs facial waxing services while her clients are sitting up rather than lying down. Another interesting fact is that in middle school she over tweezed her eyebrows and as a result, they never grew back properly.
“Funny how this is what I do for a living, but because of my mistake I can take care of everyone else’s brows which is why I always tell everyone “STOP TWEEZING YOUR EYEBROWS” I’ve been there, done that :( haha.”