Amber's story rocked me to the core. Her perseverance and continuation to listen to God as she made moves towards a new direction, inspire me. The biggest leap of faith and boldness for Amber happened during Hurricane Harvey. It was hard time for many and not an ideal time to launch a business, but Amber did and God was with her all the way. He provided in the storm I am excited to give Amber the floor today and share her story with us. - Hannah
‘But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:26-27
I have been a Registered Nurse for 14 long years. Most recently, I was a staff nurse in the Pediatric ER for a Level 1 Trauma Hospital for 6 years. It was busy. The hardest job I’ve ever had, for more reasons than I can count. For several years, I kept trying to find a way out of nursing. But, for some reason God told me to just stay put. Stay in the job that was stable and provided well for my family, but I had one foot out the door. The day I realized that I no longer wanted to work in the ER was the day I silently hoped I would get into a car wreck on my commute, so I would have an excusable reason not to come in that day. That’s when I knew that the trauma ER life was wearing on me.
I said a silent prayer that day when I got home. “God, I just want to own my own business, but I don’t know what I’m good at.” I knew I had to leave the toxic environment in the Emergency Center, but I love the work we did. Saving lives is rewarding and addictive in many ways. The nursing profession is amazing and necessary, but it comes with great personal sacrifices and takes an emotional toll. It took about 3 years for all the pieces to fall into place so that I could leave nursing. During that time, I had 3 knee surgeries. All to the same knee, each attempt trying to fix the damage the first surgery (and other complications) had left behind. After my second surgery, my Ortho doc told me that I might want to start looking for another career. I lost the function of half of my upper thigh muscles, and PT was not working well. I could barely walk. It was one thing if I was tired of nursing, but it was an entirely different situation to have a doctor telling me to kiss nursing goodbye. I was a little heartbroken. Okay, maybe a lot heartbroken. I had worked hard for the RN title, that at times I took for granted.
Just prior to the last knee surgery, I started getting my lashes done. Eyelash extensions had become my new obsession. They made me feel amazing and pretty. I remember my lash artist telling me how much she was making. A year into the lash industry, she was making close to what I was making as a nurse. It peaked my interest. Was it something I could do? I spoke to God about it. Maybe it would be enough money to replace nursing. My husband and I talked about it, and I jumped head first into cosmetology school for lashes. It took about 5 months to complete the classes and then take the state testing to receive my specialty cosmetology license. I passed the exam the first time!
The road to where I am today with my business was not always easy. I had spoken with a local salon about renting a booth as an independent contractor. However, when I agreed to work there the management changed the agreed upon terms at the last minute. I knew that God was closing the door on that opportunity. I couldn’t agree to the terms. Then I had an opportunity to work from a friend’s salon on Sundays until I could find a more permanent solution.
I remember the day I put my deposit down on our commercial space. I was terrified. I didn’t have enough clients to afford the rent. I felt God tugging at my heart and leading me to step out in faith, but I didn’t have a clear message. No billboard from God saying.... hey you... open your own place. But regardless, I put that money down and immediately felt at peace. God continued to lead me to everything I needed to be a business owner. I had zero experience, not one business class. Google and prayer became my new weapons as I marched forward. I did the work, God blessed it, and multiplied my faith.
I opened Eye Candy Lash & Beauty Bar in September of 2017, right in the middle of a natural disaster surrounding our city. Harvey hit our area hard. Brazoria County had flooding and many lost everything. I wondered if anyone would be able to afford a luxury like lash extensions. But, the clients came, booth renters came, and God provided in the midst of an epic storm. His message was loud and clear.
Looking back over the past year, I never would’ve dreamed that God would lead me to own my Beauty Bar, that I would be fully booked and thriving, or that I would even be good at lashes. My knee is doing well now, I only have a few issues. I can honestly say that I don’t miss nursing, but my license remains active and hopefully in the near further I can use it to expand my services to include other cosmetic treatments. There is a peace that comes when you are obedient to God and follow where he is leading, even when it doesn’t make sense.
“But it is good for me to draw near to God; I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all Your works.” Psalms 73:28
Born and raised in the great State of Texas, Amber Cranfill has been a Registered Nurse since 2004. She spent numerous years working with critically ill children and most recently worked in one of the largest Children's Emergency Rooms in the country as a Certifed Pediatric Emergency Nurse with a Trauma Nurse Certification. In 2017, after feeling a calling to make a career change, Amber attended Cosmetology School and became a licensed Lash Artist. She opened her first Business: Eye Candy Lash & Beauty Bar and has welcomed 7 other beauty professionals. Married to her High School sweetheart with two beautiful children, Amber loves Jesus, her rescue animals, all things Halloween, and loud music. You can follow her on Instagram at The Lash Nurse