Big News!!! I will be moving my spa into its own location this year! I plan to move in a new suite in Victoriaville mall in February.
This means I will be closing my spa room in Hair Infinity Salon January 23rd and will be closed all that week to move and set up my new space.
The last 2 years have been wonderful with lots of ups and some downs. A great big thanks to Hair Infinity salon to let me set up under budget and get my feet on the ground. I have made great friends with the stylists at shop,and have learned so much from their talents. I will miss you guys for sure; being by myself for a bit might get boring.
In this career it is hard to start from new. I had years of clients that I ended up having to leave when I left Merle Norman to have major surgery and then work at Everest College. I then took a year and a half off to deal with my grandmother and mother dying, get married, while still recovering from more surgeries. By the time I was getting back into serving my clients I had maybe a handful. I had to backtrack 6 years with no current clients and barely any equipment.
I then found the amazing, life changing Starter Company Program funded through the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) which gives new business lessons and management skills to those who apply before they hand in their business plan and proposal for a grant. I was very fortunate to to learn so much and have great help from Stacia Keen (who has moved into a new company herself) and Ryan Moore and Lexi Penko.
I got the grant and another grant that was shown to me through the CEDC which gave my first year a giant boost! I was able to get some newer equipment, have time and money to spend on making sure I had the best organic, vegan, smart, safe and sweet products to use and sell to my clientele.
I was also able to get a business mentor Angelo Petta (of Angelo Petta Consulting) who has been such a giant supporter and help. It feels so good knowing that someone who has tons of business and marketing experience is cheering me on and telling me that I am great at what I do both creatively and in managing my business. He also got me a place for writing health and beauty articles at NetNewsLedger.com.
What I’ve learned from starting a small business:
- Be vigilant over every cent. This sounds easy but its hard. When you don’t really get a pay cheque its hard to factor how much money you can spend on yourself. I make sure that I have a personal list of expenses like bills that I pay at home, expenses that I want like pizza or a tattoo.
- Self-promotion and Client word of mouth is the way to go. I spent the first 6 months after getting a advertising grant trying all sorts of ads. I tried the newspaper, coffee talks, The Walleye, radio adds, online news adds, facebook ads… you name it I’ve tried it. I found that only the Walleye readers actually tell me that’s where they have seen my adds, the rest is people googling and facebooking “thunder bay spa/nails/waxing/makeup”. Which means its up to only me to make sure my tags are correct, my reviews are there with prompt, polite and concise replies. You would be surprised how many people choose me because of my tactfulness to dissatisfied clients.
- Cry but make it quick. Yes I love my spa, its my baby. When you are happy with your nails and I am happy I feel like 100$. When you aren’t, I feel like I might of well just sent my kid to school with lice (I feel embarrassed and ashamed). I am a artist at heart so I am very self critical. But that doesn’t mean that I wallow. No I cry a bit when I get home, or kick myself in a talk on the drive home but it always ends with I will do better. I go practice what I didn’t do 100%, I will go back to my books and spend hours on youtube trying to find better ways of what I was doing.
In this time too I was able to officially launch my freelance makeup artistry page scotiakauppimua.wordpress.com and been working 3x more than I have ever worked before in my career. Its great!
I have been able to sponsor wonderful fundraising events such as Definitely Superior Art gallery’s The Hunger Caberet and Derelict art fashion show, The Howard Ball, the LU Men’s basketball fundraiser diner night, numerous shags and more. Having the opportunity to also sponsor and support many other projects like the grand opening work up for Silver Cedar Studio (working on makeup, hair and nail designs for the runway for this years Derelict Jan 28th) and, help my film maker friends getting their visions on screen with extra makeup and hair effects (currently working on “Mercy” by Scott Hobbs).
I can’t wait to continue on in my own shop, with building up to my own staff to work on more creative endeavors! My hours that I have and my contact information will not be changing so you can still get a hold of me for bookings.
Thank you everyone again for all your support!