Business Pro­file: Meet the founder of Sk­in­fit­ness Beauty Sa­lon

Good skincare and beauty ser­vices can and should be af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble. That’s the mantra of AMY BOURKE, Aussie founder of new beauty sa­lon Sk­in­fit­ness. We chat with the per­son­able lady boss to find out how her business ticks all the right boxes.

Expat Living (Singapore) - - Contents - Sk­in­fit­ness #01-03, One Shen­ton Way 8809 0848 | sk­in­fit­ness.com.sg

Tell us how you founded Sk­in­fit­ness.

When we first moved here from Aus­tralia three years ago, I had no idea what I was go­ing to do. I had spent the past eight years work­ing for high-end depart­ment store David Jones, first as the store man­ager in Syd­ney where I ran stores and led teams of around 500 peo­ple. I then moved to an ex­ec­u­tive role in com­mer­cial op­er­a­tions, which in­volved de­sign­ing new stores and de­vel­op­ing new pro­cesses to im­prove client ex­pe­ri­ence – I ab­so­lutely loved my job!

We moved to Sin­ga­pore for my hus­band’s work. I de­cided to take some time off to travel and do an MBA, which was some­thing I’d wanted to do for a long time. I never quite knew where this would lead to, but my gut feel­ing was that it would be some­thing big, and it was dur­ing this time that Sk­in­fit­ness was born.

While trav­el­ling and study­ing I was in­spired by busi­nesses of­fer­ing world-class ser­vice and de­cided I wanted to cre­ate one that’s pas­sion­ate about cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. It seems like a no-brainer, but so many busi­nesses miss the mark!

At the same time, I couldn’t find a go-to place for ba­sic beauty ser­vices like fa­cials, wax­ing and spray­tan­ning. The prices shocked me and the hard-sell­ing was un­be­liev­able. I then re­alised there was a need for a business model like Sk­in­fit­ness, where clients can en­joy great ser­vice and ef­fec­tive treat­ments with­out ag­gres­sive sale tac­tics and ex­or­bi­tant prices.

I spent 18 months re­search­ing hun­dreds of prod­ucts. A ma­jor win for us was when we part­nered with As­pect, Aus­tralia’s lead­ing cos­me­ceu­ti­cal skincare brand that’s used by doc­tors, plas­tic sur­geons and ther­a­pists in over 1,500 lo­ca­tions. As­pect is an amaz­ing com­pany to work with, and I am so proud to be rep­re­sent­ing them in Sin­ga­pore. Their prod­ucts are awe­some and our cus­tomers love the results.

How is Sk­in­fit­ness dif­fer­ent from other salons?

We fo­cus on cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence. This in­cludes every­thing from the on­line book­ing process to the in-sa­lon am­bi­ence and, of course, our ther­a­pists. We be­lieve that if we do a great job, our cus­tomers will re­turn. To help with this, we have built a one-ques­tion sur­vey kiosk ask­ing them to rate their ex­pe­ri­ence, which is our pri­mary fo­cus as op­posed to hit­ting sales tar­gets. We are also dif­fer­ent be­cause of the qual­ity of our prod­ucts. Apart from our main skincare brand As­pect, we have a beau­ti­ful range of or­ganic, nat­u­ral and ve­gan prod­ucts from the brand IKOU, as well as a men’s range from Hunter Lab.

What do you like most about your job?

The best part of my day is see­ing how happy peo­ple are after their treat­ment. This in­spires me to con­stantly raise the bar and im­prove the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence.

Another part of my job that I love is build­ing the team cul­ture. We fo­cus on de­vel­op­ing an in­clu­sive em­ployee cul­ture where hon­esty and trust are key val­ues. My team en­joys get­ting the best results for our clients, as op­posed to achiev­ing sales tar­gets. Not only is this a key con­trib­u­tor to our suc­cess, it also makes Sk­in­fit­ness a pleas­ant place to work.

What were the hard­est chal­lenges you faced when set­ting up Sk­in­fit­ness?

Tak­ing the leap of faith! Start­ing a ven­ture and creat­ing your own brand is an in­cred­i­ble ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s ex­hil­a­rat­ing, em­pow­er­ing and ex­cit­ing, but at the same time ab­so­lutely ter­ri­fy­ing! You have to be­lieve in your­self more than ever and be ready for every­thing that comes along. As much as tak­ing this step was my great­est chal­lenge, I can hon­estly say it’s the best thing I have ever done.

Find­ing the right lo­ca­tion was another chal­lenge. Per­son­ally, I don’t like hav­ing a fa­cial in a busy shop­ping cen­tre, as it doesn’t feel great walk­ing through the mall after an ex­trac­tion and with­out any makeup on! We also wanted a sa­lon that had lots of nat­u­ral light, so any­where un­der­ground was out of the ques­tion.

It was a tough or­der to fill, and after about six months of look­ing I was al­most ready to give up – un­til one night I was look­ing through Prop­erty Guru and found One Shen­ton Way. The funny thing is that this space used to be part of a restau­rant we used to come to, and where we would talk about our business plan!

What’s the grand plan for Sk­in­fit­ness?

We are cur­rently de­vel­op­ing three new fa­cials, and will be ex­pand­ing our ser­vices to in­clude or­ganic body scrubs and mas­sages. We’re also on the look­out for an ideal space for our sec­ond sa­lon. With the vi­sion that skincare and beauty ser­vices can and should be both af­ford­able and ac­ces­si­ble, I can see Sk­in­fit­ness work­ing in many dif­fer­ent mar­kets across South­east Asia, where great cus­tomer ser­vice at af­ford­able prices is in de­mand.

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