‘Beauty sa­lons are an amaz­ing busi­ness.’

Hina Farid, owner of Blush Spa & Beauty Sa­lon, speaks to En­ter­prise

Enterprise - - Interview -

Hina Farid re­calls be­ing ex­cited over earn­ing 5000 ru­pees on the first day that her sa­lon opened and is grate­ful to God for the sa­lon’s success ever since. Blush has con­tin­ued to ex­pand since then and the cus­tomers have in­creased. “Three years back,” she says, “sum­mers used to be dead sea­sons for us, mainly be­cause most fam­i­lies went abroad for va­ca­tions. Thank­fully, that trend changed due to the emerg­ing con­cept of sum­mer be­com­ing a wed­ding sea­son. With the grace of God, now the only slow pe­riod is the first 10 days of Muhar­ram and the be­gin­ning of Ra­madan.”

Hina be­lieves in ex­pand­ing grad­u­ally rather than of­fer­ing more than she can man­age. Her sa­lon ini­tially of­fered ser­vices re­lated to hair, then it added fa­cials and now it also pro­vides man­i­cure and pedi­cure. “This year’s tar­get, for us, is make- up”, she says. This has helped her evolve grad­u­ally over the past 5 years. She lays great stress on train­ing her girls on a reg­u­lar ba­sis as it serves as a re­fresher and boosts their con­fi­dence in man­ag­ing clients.

Since Hina has spent a num­ber of years abroad, work­ing in the beauty pro­fes­sion, she knows the dif­fer­ence in beauty ser­vices. “In Amer­ica,” she says, “fin­ish­ing ev­ery­thing within a spec­i­fied time limit is their main con­cern as com­pared to cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion. Our ser­vices here are far more de­tailed but we need to or­ga­nize our­selves. Own­ers need to be in­volved in their sa­lons, of­fer­ing their in­put, man­ag­ing the clients and su­per­vis­ing their girls. My girls have been trained to treat ev­ery cus­tomer as spe­cial. They have been taught that their body lan­guage must al­ways be pleas­ant.”

Hina is not very happy about the mush­room growth of beauty par­lours. “A sa­lon,” she says, “is not about hav­ing a small area with four chairs and three girls and low prices us­ing cheaper qual­ity prod­ucts. A street has 20 sa­lons and they all bicker over a 50 ru­pee price dif­fer­ence.” She sug­gests that the cus­tomers need to re­al­ize that if some­thing has a cer­tain price and you get it for less, then there must be a catch some­where. She sym­pa­thizes with the masses as she knows that the econ­omy is giv­ing ev­ery­one a hard time but she asks women not to play with their hair and skin, be­cause if they get dam­aged once, they will take far more time, money and ef­fort to re­pair.

Hina says beauty sa­lons are an amaz­ing busi­ness, and finds bri­dal ser­vices as be­ing highly prof­itable. She urges women to in­ves­ti­gate bri­dal ser­vices of­fered by var­i­ous par­lours rather than be­ing sta­tus con­scious and go­ing af­ter cer­tain “names”. She ex­plains that there are many dif­fer­ent sa­lons that may not have emerged as brands, yet they of­fer more per­son­alised makeup.

Ac­cord­ing to Hina, there are var­i­ous rea­sons be­hind the in­crease in prices at beauty sa­lons. Th­ese range from the in­creas­ing prices of prod­ucts they use, cost of elec­tric­ity, water and petrol, main­te­nance of in­te­rior and staff salaries.

Hina is against charg­ing of hefty amounts from cus­tomers as she be­lieves that ten clients are bet­ter than hav­ing one.

She says, “Take less profit as it comes down to the same thing, be hon­est with your clients, guide them sin­cerely and they will re­fer ten more clients to you.”

When asked why there is a grow­ing trend at sa­lons not to use Pak­istani beauty prod­ucts, Hina ex­plains that lo­cal prod­ucts lack con­sis­tency in qual­ity. “I or­dered a nail pol­ish set which had a beau­ti­ful col­lec­tion of colours. The first con­sign­ment was amaz­ing but our clients had sev­eral is­sues with the sec­ond. It is un­for­tu­nate to see that man­u­fac­tur­ers do not mon­i­tor their prod­uct and this leads to com­plaints from cus­tomers. If they im­prove their stan­dards, then many beau­ti­cians will switch to lo­cal prod­ucts.”

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