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Meet Lilly Tran of Lilly’s Bridal Boutique

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lilly Tran.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I have been known to have artist talents. It’s something I hold very close to my heart. I wanted to implement this into a career I could enjoy and bring joy to others. My parents are also a part of the beauty industry and work as nail technicians, so I decided to go to beauty school at Regency Beauty Institute. I was in the cosmetology program where I learned everything from hair to skin to nails.

My teacher, Sue O’Shea, helped me realize I had a knack for styling hair, and one day, I was fortunate enough to be picked to do my very first wedding! It was such an exciting and terrifying time. The thought of being such an important part of someone’s special day gave me so much joy.

Once I graduated, I began focusing my time advertising my work on social media. At first, I did a lot of work on friends and family to demonstrate my skills. Through showcasing my work on Instagram and Facebook, more and more people became interested in my services. From there I began to build a clientele via word of mouth and social media!

Has it been a smooth road?
I had always been interested in the beauty industry, however, I was often told that I had to go to college, get a degree, and strive towards a certain type of career. After two years at Illinois State University, it was clear to me that I wouldn’t be happy with a traditional career. When I first told my parents that I was no longer interested in pursuing a degree, and would be enrolling in beauty school, they were disappointed.

Unfortunately, many people believe that going to a trade school is not a respectable alternative. This was a huge struggle I had to overcome getting into this career: understanding that through hard work, you can have a successful and happy career outside of the expected norm. In this industry, everyone starts off struggling to build a clientele whether you’re in a salon or freelancing on your own. You really do have to start from the bottom and build your way up. I spent months charging close to nothing for my services and going to other bridal businesses in hopes of networking with them.

There’s been plenty of times I wanted to quit because I wasn’t achieving any of the goals I set for myself. Granted, I have only been in this industry for 2 going on 3 years, but I was expecting myself to be at the same level that my competitors were at who have been doing this for 10+ years! Silly me! It takes time, and you need to promote yourself a lot which can be hard if you’re like me and don’t like to put yourself out there to be rejected.

I gave out plenty of free work to build my portfolio, and I had to spend a good chunk of the money I was making in the beginning to advertise my work. You could say I was flat out broke before I could start making any money. It’s important to constantly remind yourself that this is part of the process. If you keep working hard, it will absolutely pay off in the end.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Lilly’s Bridal Boutique – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am a freelance Hair and Makeup Artist who travels and specializes in bridal. I am based in Palatine, IL, but I really only travel to my brides as that has been most popular. People know me as Lilly’s Bridal Boutique which is the name I made up for an end of the year project I did while I was in beauty school.

I just decided to keep it throughout my career. Plus who doesn’t like their name in titles right?! I also do formals and other special occasions, but the majority of my time is spent on weddings. I am known for my intricate styling and braiding. Almost every bride I have worked with has had some braid of some kind. Its such a trendy look nowadays; I’m obsessed.

I love getting to know people and being personable, which helps build trust and puts people at ease, a much-needed comfort for a bride on her special day. I am incredibly in love with my job, and I think it really shows in my work and time spent with clients. I try not to boast, but I really have the best clients and their positive experiences are what make me feel like this career is exactly where I need to be.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I love most about Chicago is how busy things are. It’s such a big city and there’s always things to do and see.

People are always out and about it makes me feel like I need to be busy doing something too! The weather is probably something I can do without. I’ve been a resident of Northwest Chicago Suburbs for some time, so I’m used to the interesting weather changes. It kind of just does what it wants. (Ha! Ha!)


  • Bridal Hair $90 (trial $70)
  • Bridesmaid/adult Hair $60
  • Bridal Makeup $80 (trial $70)
  • Bridesmaid/adult Makeup $60
  • Juniors (12 years and younger) Hair $40 & Makeup $20
  • “All about the Bride” Package $270 includes hair and makeup trial for the bride. Day of hair and makeup for the bride.
  • “Can’t say I Do without you” Package $700 includes hair and makeup trial for the bride. Day of hair and makeup for bride + 4 adults. Add additional adults for $105.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Jolie Images, Brooke Alaina Photography, Ponti Photo, John Goeller

Getting in touch: VoyageChicago is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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