Claudia “Sunny” Hayes is a young entrepreneurpursuing her dream when she got diagnosed with breast cancer at 25. She was 23when she first launched her own eyelash business. Just two years after, and inthe middle of her thriving career, a fatal sickness came into her life. Insteadof letting cancer ruin all ‘she’s worked for, Sunny Hayes ‘didn’t let theillness affect her light and positivity. She didn’t let cancer take her will tomake her entrepreneurial visions come true.
Rage Hair Salon in Chicago is where you can find Claudia“Sunny” Hayes running the successful business she calls, Eye SlayMinks. Sunny’s eyelash business started in 2016. Two years after the launch,she received a diagnosis of stage II invasive ductal carcinoma breast cancer.
“It all happened so fast […] it ‘didn’t dawn on me—whatI was about to go through—until I started chemotherapy,” Sunny said in aninterview with cancerwellness.com. She said she knew there was something wrongwhen she felt a lump in her chest. Partner of Sunny’s mom, who is a two-timebreast cancer survivor, advised her to get her chest checked.
Before launching her eyelash business, Sunny already has aloyal social media following due to her bright smile and positive personality.Her following helped in the launching of her business. Apart from eyelashextensions, Eye Slay Minks also offers training classes to help aspiringentrepreneurs kick start their business in the beauty industry.
“That first, like eight weeks [of treatment] was crazy, like I was rethinking my whole entire business,” Sunny said in the interview. Instead of letting her sickness stop her from achieving her goals, Sunny didn’t let cancer hold her back.
Sunny added, “I’m knowing my clients were still verysupportive, but it was fluctuating—like they think ‘I’m sick, so they ‘don’twant to bother me, but ‘it’s like, can you come when ‘I’m not sick?”
Though suffering from regular chemotherapy sessions, Sunnypoured her pain through outstanding work ethic and fiery passion forentrepreneurship. As she changed medications and began having a routine ofchemotherapy sessions, Sunny slowly got back the control of her life. Clientswere seen coming back to her salon, and she started setting her sights higher.
“My business is going to go as far as I want it togo,” according to Sunny in the interview. “It’s going to go so muchfarther than just doing lashes. Right now, ‘I’m still in the beginning of mycareer, you know? ‘I’m getting up there, but in due time this is going to gofar.”
Sunny sees to grow her business into makeup application andhair extensions. She’s sure that when her therapies are over, and when thedoctor confirmed her NED, she can then devote all her time and energy to herbusiness.
“I’m going to be able to do what I want to do as far as expanding my business. Right now, ‘it’s really hard to make a lot of moves when ‘you’ve got to go to the doctor every weekend, knocked out tired for twelve hours,” Sunny said. “‘I’m just really ready for all of this to be over.”
Sunny worked an unsatisfying retail job before she startedEye Slay Minks. “I was waking up every day, hating going to work,”Sunny recalls. But then, “I went and got my lashes done, and ‘that’s whatstarted it.”
She quickly found a class online and began her training toget a certification in providing eyelash extensions.
“I took the class, and I quit my job the sameday,” Sunny told cancerwellness.com. She felt happy being the boss of herown and having all the control to make her business work.
“A self-investment is the best investment,” Sunnyadded.
Sunny offered a piece of advice to all people who dream ofstarting their business: “Set goals […] When you write your goals downwhen you can see what you want, ‘it’s easier to manifest them.”
According to Sunny, hard work and being able to focus are the primary keys of her success. Sunny said, “entrepreneurship ‘isn’t easy. Goals, and consistency, and just focusing on getting the job done, ‘that’s like 100 percent success guaranteed.”
When you love what you do, nothing is difficult. Sunny saidin the interview, “I meet new people every day, and ‘I’m totally a peopleperson […] ‘I’m running into women all day long and […] they love their lashes.[They say], ”Oh, my God; I look like a totally different person,” [and] ‘it’slike, I did that.”
Sunny connects with others fighting against cancer throughsocial media. “So many people send me messages, and girls they send mepictures with [their] bald head, and ‘I’m like, ”Girl, you fine,” shelaughs.
Sunny added, “I’m just here to encourage the nextperson because now that is me; I feel like staying focused is the best thingyou can do.”
A cancer diagnosis ‘could’ve caused Sunny to give up,destroy all her plans – but it ‘didn’t. Sunny have hopes high that she will getthrough the other side and come out fresh with a new perspective on having ahealthy, happy, and successful life.
“I try not to let it affect my attitude, my day, mypositivity,” Sunny said.
Sunny Hayes, says ‘she’s proud of her takeaway: “Ithink ‘I’m much stronger than I was before getting diagnosed.”
She added, “I thought that when they first told me
these months will be the worst times in my life. ‘I’ll be depressed and […] scared. I ‘didn’t know what to expect, but ‘I’m way stronger than I thought I was.”
[about the cancer]