A little over four years ago, Athens native Aku Attipoe was working a corporate job as a single mom of two and making frequent drives to Atlanta to get her lashes done. 

Tired of the constant trips back and forth, Attipoe "stepped out on faith and started researching trainers in the industry." She decided to get her esthetician's license from Athens Technical College, and one year ago, she opened Eye Candy Lash & Brow Bar in downtown Athens. 

Today, the building on the corner of North Hull and East Washington Streets is filled with eyelash themed decor, classy furniture and aesthetic lights.

The business operates differently due to COVID, with mandatory masks, temperature checks, contactless payments and accepting clients by appointment only. In addition, Attipoe created a website while closed due to COVID before reopening. 

Attipoe said her role changes day by day; sometimes she acts as a therapist to clients who want to get issues off their chests during their appointments, and other times clients take a nap and indulge in a bit of self care. 

Attipoe recently added HydraFacials to a growing list of services, and she hopes to make Eye Candy a one-stop shop. Her goal is that each client would leave feeling empowered and confident. 

"I put myself into every experience ... I believe in what I do."

This story is part of The Red & Black photo desk’s weekly series recognizing Black-owned businesses in Athens. Our photographers started this series in the summer of 2020, as we received requests for information on local Black-owned businesses available to support.