The business of beauty
As she stepped into the coffee shop, I was immediately taken in by the spring in her step and determination in her mien. It was a pleasure to meet Vandana Bhardwaj, the 25-year old entrepreneur who multi-tasks between her roles as the owner of Acolade Care Cosmetics and the head of an NGO — My Helping Hand. Vandana is now expanding her salon business with a chain called the Acolade Vanity S’lon.
Q How did you start off as an entrepreneur?
A I always wanted to start off with something that would allow me to expand my horizons and explore new possibilities. Earlier I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but after finishing my education I became more focused. I started my own salon and while running the salon I realised that the margins were governed by products. That inspired me to start with my own cosmetics brand.
Q What inspired you to start Acolade Care Cosmetics?
A Apart from the margin factor, I wanted my customers to use what I thought was good enough for myself. And that’s why I decided to go with herbal products and Acolade Care Cosmetics was born. All Acolade products are made after thorough research and quality testing by renowned dermatologists. Acolade Care Cosmetics products have a presence in more than 1500 salons across India.
Q Why did you feel the need for a chain of salons?
A My current salon, Rouge Salon, Colaba, Mumbai, was started with the idea of catering to a niche clientele. But now I feel the need to create a space for the masses. After all, the mass populace is facing the trials of a hard routine life and deserves to be pampered at an affordable rate. The idea is to create a chain of salons under the brand name Acolade Vanity S’lon, which will have quality service and products at mass prices. I aim to open 10-15 salons every couple of months, which will operate on a company-owned franchisee model. The beauty section in these salons will offer services based on products by Acollade Care Cosmetics. I also feel the need to create employment for underprivileged girls. The plan is to create an academy for such girls, train them free of cost and offer them employment at our salons.