‘I treat every bride like a princess.’
A conversation with Angie.
What was the idea behind launching Angie’s and how rewarding has the experience been?
There was no inspiration behind it, I was pushed into it. My mother had been in this profession since 1970s. I learned cutting hair, doing makeup and many other things at a very young age. In 1982 she decided to open another branch in Defence and in 1986 I went for further training to London.
According to the American Salon Green Book, day spas are one of the fastest growing segments in the beauty industry. Do you believe this is relevant to the Pakistani beauty salon industry as well?
Spas are mushrooming but hardly any of them spare beauty spas in the real sense. Anyone who puts up a facial bed in their salon thinks that they are running a spa. It is a lucrative business and a fast growing industry around the globe but, unfortunately, in Pakistan there is no check and balance. Many brand and status- conscious women often go to specific salons merely because they know some influential person does the same. Some go to a particular salon because they have seen a picture published on the cover of a magazine. Actually, customers need to be educated enough to know the difference between genuine makeup and Photoshop.
What does the mushroom growth of beauty parlours in Pakistan reflect?
Customers need to know that well- established salons invest in their employees and products and spend a lot of money on the interiors, etc. Therefore what they charge is justified and it is worth spending rather going for a blow dry to a small parlour where it does not even last by the time one arrives at the event.
How would you rate the bridal services offered by your beauty salon?
One of the best! I don’t take too many brides and don’t go for mass production. I like to give individual attention to every bride who comes in because at the end of the day she is paying me for my services. I treat every bride like a princess and I truly believe one needs to be true and honest to their profession. This not only helps create customers but also gives me inner peace and satisfaction. I have built my business through the power of word of mouth. the psyche of the upper class, who believe that if a salon is expensive rather than reasonable, then it must be managed by the most experienced and qualified
‘...customers need to be educated enough to know the difference between genuine makeup and Photoshop.’
People’s spending ability is declining due to the economic crunch. Then how are prices on the rise at beauty salons?
For one, we use imported products. Local products are good but they still cannot compete with the international ones. The increasing dollar rates are an added problem. As the prices of products, electricity and water rise, we have to adjust accordingly. We try our best not to increase prices, but then we have to cut down on our profits. Our customers are not the only victim of inflation: it is a vicious cycle and we are equally affected.
Then how do you manage to achieve a balance?
The perfect balance is achieved by cutting down on profits. I have worked with contestants of Miss World beauty pageants, but it is sad to know
Which parts of the year are the most and least productive in terms of your particular business?
The wedding fever is always high in December, making that a profitable time. However, the first 10 days of Muharram and the month of Ramadan are relatively slow for us. Even June and July are slow as many of our customers are abroad.
How important is the location of a beauty salon?
Location is extremely crucial. Finding a secure area should be one’s main priority. Installing a security system has also become crucial in today’s world.
What is your competitive edge?
I would say myself and my hardworking team who have professional knowledge.