Ever thought about chasing your dream and setting up your own mobile salon? Iman Davamoni did just that after the birth of her first child. She shares her road to success and the lessons along the way.
Why did you decide to establish Purely Polished?
“As a new mum [on maternity leave] I found it difficult to make time to get down to my local salon and I didn’t want to expose my daughter to a nail salon full of toxic fumes. The mobile nail salons currently operating didn’t have the fresh, on-trend appeal I was after. At the same time, I wanted to start a business so that I wouldn’t have to return to the corporate world. I started researching, and found that most women were finding it really hard to schedule in their beauty appointments. The on-demand beauty market was taking off in the US and UK, but I noticed it hadn’t touched our shores yet… so I got chatting to a few mobile nail technicians and built my mobile business in a couple of weeks.”
Who are your clients?
“Our clients are made up of busy women who are working in the corporate world, run their own business and multi-tasking mums like myself. A number of our other clients book us from their hospital room or aged care facility, the convenient service is ideal for them. We also get lots of people who treat their friends or family members by buying gift vouchers for manicures/pedicures for them. We find that these are really popular for new mums, who love to be pampered and treated at home when they need it the most. It’s a really thoughtful, beautiful thing to do for people who need to feel pampered.”
What is the best part of owning a mobile service rather than a bricks-and-mortar operation?
“Definitely the low over-heads. I run a lean business model and inject our profits into marketing and technology as opposed to costly rentals.”
Any downsides to setting up your own business?
“Our nail technicians are mobile based so we don’t get to see them often. And in order to bring the team together, and make them feel like part of the community we hold regular training days where we run short sessions on topics that will up-skill the team. They love being able to get together with everyone and find out what their fellow nail techs have been up to.”
How do you market your business to stand out in such a saturated nail market?
“Our offering is unique and one thing that helps us stand out from the rest is that we offer convenience. Our nail technicians go out to our client’s chosen location – saving our clients time, no more smudged nails and fume filled salons. We also place a huge importance on social media, where people can see our work, what we’ve been up to and follow our exciting journey.”
What are the three most important lessons you’ve learnt from setting up the business?
1. I’m extremely detailed focussed and in order to offer a level of consistency I supplied each of our nail technicians with a nail kit which included the same polish brands, colours, nail care products, spa products and few key items that made up the brand. In order to grow the business, I’ve had to let go of this and allow nail technicians to use their preferred products, they all have a preference and to ensure they are all salon quality products we do a nail kit check as well as a trade test when hiring.
2. The value of the HR skills I gained over 15 years has really helped grow the process and assisted through the recruitment process, getting on board new nail technicians, coaching/training them on how to deliver great customer service and ensure they stay engaged.
3. Never underestimate the power of women coming together –I was blessed with an amazing team of seven nail technicians who helped kick off the business just over two years ago. They worked hard to fill jobs, sometimes when it wasn’t so convenient and all received 5-star reviews and all because they believed in me and the company. Now we have a team of over 50 nail technicians across Sydney and Melbourne and I know each of them personally.
Any advice to other young beauty entrepreneurs?
“The beauty industry is valued at over $5 billion so if you’re thinking of launching a product or service, go for it, there are niche markets everywhere.”