Fewer know that, as an educator for the Xtreme Lashes company, Bacon has spent as many as 36 weekends of a single year flying all over the country to teach others how it’s done.
Fewer still know that she’s responsible for the luscious lashes of celebrities including Barbara Alyn Woods of “One Tree Hill,” and “Desperate Housewives” and Tabatha Coffey of the "Tabatha Takes Over" series on Bravo.
The most privileged of her friends and customers know that, when someone’s eyelashes fall out because they’re in cancer treatment, Bacon works her magic for free.
But least known is that all of Bacon’s eyelash success has come to her in the past 10 years. “I didn’t even go to cosmetology school until I was in my 40s,” she confided with a little amazement even at herself.
Daughter of a career military man, Bacon has lived all over the world at different times in her life. Originally from California, she attended high school in the San Bernadino area and two years later married her husband of the past 38 years, Dana, the Californian.
When their two daughters were young, she taught kindergarten for a time then stayed home for them through the remainder of their school years. But when the girls began venturing out on their own, Bacon’s career aspirations began to bud as well.
By then her father, a Sevier County native, had retired to Tennessee with her mother and the rest of her “3,000 relatives” in and around Sevierville. And when Dana found a job in a Johnson City he could not refuse, the two of them made the move to East Tennessee as well.
Bacon went to college, first to Northeast State Technical Community College and then to East Tennessee State University with the thought of earning a teaching degree. But that thought kept getting interrupted, she said, by “family things, a car wreck” and her own underlying dream of having her own shop.
So at age 48, Bacon went to cosmetology school. After that she did hair for two years then finally opened the shop she dreamed of on Oakland Avenue, doing hair, pedicures, manicures, waxing, hair extensions, “all of it.”
From the beginning, she said her favorite work was with hair extensions. “Eyelashes are a part of that and the thing about eyelashes is once someone has them, they don’t stop. So that became more and more until it was the main thing.”
She earned an advanced certification as a Xtreme Lashes professional. And when Xtreme Lashes asked her to become an educator for the company, she began flying away to Los Angeles, Miami and destinations in between two to three weekends each month and returning to her own shop every Monday morning.
From a single styling chair her business grew to two shops, several stylists and finally to the point, she said, “I made Dana quit his job to help me manage. This is a family business.
“I’m 58 now and I feel young.”
There’s a slogan on the door of her Sher Extensions salon at 129 E. Springbrook Drive that reads, “Have Fun — Look Beautiful.” She and Dana are busy at both and their business is still growing.
Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified Bacon as the owner of Essence Salon on G Street in Elizabethton.