In early 2020, Ashlee Kleinschmidt had reason to celebrate. She was a successful makeup artist and business owner, having launched Muah Makeup and Lash Bar. Every day, she was living her dream and helping her clients live theirs as well.
And then, along with the rest of the world, she was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to state and federal shutdowns, Kleinschmidt suddenly found herself unable to do what she loved most.
“We weren’t really allowed to offer makeup services,” Kleinschmidt explains. “And we couldn’t connect with our clients.”
Instead of being defeated, Kleinschmidt got creative. Unable to provide makeup services to her clients, she began exploring different ways that she could make an impact online.
“In the beginning of 2020, I started LuxeXII Jewels. I picked out and curated a collection of jewelry, and we sold it at the makeup bar,” Kleinschmidt says. “And then the world shut down. During the pandemic, people weren’t really investing in jewelry, but I thought, why don’t I get into clothes?”
Kleinschmidt opened an online store with a collection of nine pieces. To her amazement, she sold out her collection every week.
“It was really one of the ways I was able to get by during that time,” Kleinschmidt says. “And then I decided to give back to the clients who were really supportive during this time. I put together a little box of, you know, comfy socks and a candle, a lot of lifestyle items.”
She sent 10 VIP boxes to her most supportive clients, and then she started to hear positive feedback. More people reached out to ask her for lifestyle boxes. So she began creating and selling LuxeXII Lifestyle boxes.
“That was a really big focus on the business, putting together and curating these lifestyle boxes,” Kleinschmidt says. “They were made to give you an experience at home.”
It may have remained an online store, but on a trip to California, Kleinschmidt walked by a small boutique and was struck with another inspiration.
“I thought I could totally do this,” Kleinschmidt says. “It was my aha moment to just pull the trigger and see if I could make it work, having an actual store front. And that is how LuxeXII Lifestyle came about.”
Now, Kleinschmidt owns an in-person boutique as well as maintaining her online store. LuxeXII Lifestyle has expanded to offer clothes, accessories, limited footwear, and jewelry. In addition to apparel, they sell luxury home and lifestyle items: gold-rimmed dining sets, tableware, private label body butter and soaps, and candles.
“We have a mixture of both home and fashion,” Kleinschmidt said. “Someone once told me it’s kind of like Anthropologie, which I thought was pretty cool.”
Best of all, Kleinschmidt was able to turn a major setback into an opportunity for growth. She is now the proud owner of not one but two successful brands.
“I love being a makeup artist, but LuxeXII is really stealing my heart,” Kleinschmidt says. “I really love building up this business and making it flourish.”
As with her work at Muah Makeup and Lash Bar, Kleinschmidt says the most important part is her connection to her clients.
“I get to dress women every day and get them excited for whatever they have going on,” she says. “It’s a lot of fun.”