Lisa Nation discovered her love of makeup and hair after winning a modeling contest at the age of 13. It was the hair and makeup that sparked her interest and drove her forward. She went on to cosmetology school, then travelled, furthering her craft and then landed in New York working with Lawrence Da Luz. After two years assisting him, she took over one of the chairs in his two chair studio. Fast forward to meeting her husband,  moving to Chicago and feeling empowered by her mentor that if he could run his space himself, so could she. Through word of mouth, she built and independently ran her practice for 17 years.

An “Aha” moment happened with her entrepreneur/business-minded husband when they were driving by a salon and saw a Lyft car with a pink mustache on it. They saw on-demand salon services and independent could they combine these two worlds? Lisa had worked in the industry independently for so long and knew the effort it took. This could create more quality artists and help lead to more success. She knew first hand how hard they work to make others look and feel great and this could help that all come full circle to the artists.  And so, LISA was born. They created an app to empower the artist community allowing them to work when, and where they want, at the price they want. LISA is the first ever, true, open marketplace in the beauty industry that connects consumers and artists in real time via live geolocation for services in their home, office or even a salon. This brilliant idea won the 2017 Chicago Innovation Award.

Lisa was launching LISA when she first heard about WTF through an 1871 ad targeting women tech founders. It spoke to her and immediately recognized herself as just that! Her first impression of WTF was awe at the hard working women who got up on stage to tell their empowering stories. She was compelled to reach out to Terri Brax and share her admiration for what she had started and was doing for women.  It didn’t take Lisa long  to envision herself making similar things happen for herself through hard work. She was nominated for Midwest women in tech award in the Fall 2017 for Glam and it was a total honor to be recognized among peers (she didn’t think people even knew who she was!). The connections and friendships she’s made at WTF feels like a little family. Everyone connects so easily and quickly. There’s a closeness of women that are working their butts off and killing it and there’s just an ease to having even quick but consistently meaningful conversations because they have so much in common.

Lisa loves that WTF is such a comfortable place to network, interact and make friendships that can be used as resources to learn from. Rewind for her and she claims that when she started there was about 5% she did right and 95% could have gone differently.  But listening to fellow WTFer’s, revealed that they encountered those challenges and obstacles too and it helps to have a place to listen and learn from other’s lessons. It is all tons of hard work, but you get out there, put a smile on your face and you may not sleep but know that you have a fantastic support system in WTF.

Today, Lisa keeps typical day schedule of never having a typical day and loving it. She is a major contributing volunteer with WTF and is on her way to making “Did you LISA that?” an everyday, everywhere, common phrase.


Terri Brax is the Creator and Co-Force behind Women Tech Founders and TeacherCare. Her passion is advancing those around her.