Embarking on her professional path at the Foreign Trade University in Hanoi, Vietnam, Quynh-Tram Vu was driven early on to pursue a career in business, due to the career opportunities the field presented, and completed coursework in imports and exports. In 2002, she came to the United States with her family to seek political asylum and earned a scholarship to complete her studies at California State University, Fullerton. During this time, she worked to both support her education and her family, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, cum laude. Her early positions included freelance bridal makeup and hair stylist and freelance reporter for Little Saigon Radio.
Going through business school cemented Ms. Vu’s belief that she would have a better chance of succeeding by pursuing a professional path in business, and she spent a year working with an accounting firm before deciding she wanted to change directions and pursue a career in cosmetics. Cultivating her skills by attending beauty school, she went on to serve as the producer for “QT Beauty Show,” which aired on Little Saigon TV; as a contributing editor and reporter for the Viet Beauty Magazine; a writer for the women’s section of Nguoi Viet Daily News; and a freelance reporter for the Vien Dong Daily Newspaper and the weekly Viet Tide magazine.
First founding QT Beauty Center in Garden Grove, California, Ms. Vu noticed that there were very few salons that offered eyelash extension services, both in California and nationwide. Realizing that eyelash extension salons were barely touching the market, she resolved to sharpen her skills in the field in order to position herself as a pioneer and expert in the industry. From there, she had found her niche and she moved to Santa Monica, California, where she opened 95 Lash Salon, the direct precursor to her current business, Lash Pilot. At the time, she was one of only three businesses who ran eyelash extension salons in Santa Monica.
Today, Ms. Vu is the founder and president of Lash Pilot, which she established in 2014, where she serves as an eyelash extension stylist, makeup artist and instructor. Lash Pilot specializes in microblading, lash extensions, eyebrow enhancement and other permanent cosmetic procedures, and also offers courses to train cosmetics professionals in lash artistry. In addition to instruction and client service, Ms. Vu’s duties include administrative tasks and overseeing the salon. Her five-year plan for Lash Pilot is focused on expanding her area of service by franchising the business out into other states.
For excellence in her career, Ms. Vu has been the recipient of a number of honors and accolades. Most recently, Lash Pilot was named the Most Loved Business in Santa Monica, California, in 2020, and Ms. Vu had previously been profiled by VoyageLA in 2016. She has also been presented with a certificate of recognition for being a hardworking refugee in the United States and inducted into Who’s Who of Professional Women. Above these accolades, Ms. Vu considers the highlights of her career to be keeping her business going during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as growing Lash Pilot into one of the top lash salons in Santa Monica.