How does it feel to be the winner of New Zealand Beauty Salon of the Year award?
It is such an honour; not sure it has fully sunk in yet! Being able to enter an award like this and becoming a finalist was so amazing, Puravida was up against some phenomenal salons and I am so proud of our achievement. It has made all the hard work, long hours, a few tears and chocolate cake so worth it, being acknowledged in this way is surreal and I couldn’t be happier.
What is the underlying philosophy of Puravida? What has made your salon so successful?
Putting the clients’ needs and wants first and working on the things that can get us to that point. Every little part of this journey has been focused on education, knowledge, values and customer service. The focus of Puravida has always been on continued education: being a leader in our industry when it comes to knowledge, so that we can provide our clients with the best skin results and service. Clients are more than just numbers to us, they are the reason why we do what we do, and that we can do what we do. I guess summed up, we believe in honest, informed, personalised client-focused services!
I have always tried to remain 100% authentically myself, and Puravida is very much an extension of myself and now of Holly. I think it’s the values, the ethics, the love and passion we have for this industry and the commitment to continued growth. The best success however, is having the client base returning, sharing amazing reviews and sharing us with family and friends. Knowing that we are constantly striving for the customer experience with the right positive attitude and effort to always provide the best and become the best salon we can be, brings a peace of mind and a content state of mind and therefore success.
When did you start your business and why?
I took over Puravida in July of 2016 and have worked really hard to get it where it is today. I had always wanted to own my own business. I wanted to be setting and leading a salon the way I felt comfortable: without a massive focus on sales targets and upselling clients services they don’t need just to make a target. I wanted to be authentic, provide a safe, educated and welcoming environment in the beauty therapy industry for clients to achieve whatever their goals are.
What is your favourite part of working in the beauty industry?
I love being able to make a client feel special, loved and a little more confident when leaving the salon. Whether it’s an eyebrow shape or a full-on facial, clients are the most important thing to us while they are on that treatment bed and should always leave Puravida feeling like a million dollars! Skin is my biggest passion though, so if we are looking at favourite treatment, hands down I love getting a client to their skincare goals.
What does next year look like for you?
We are going to do a few more amazing events for clients, to educate and inform but also to have some fun. Of course, a good few courses, some new treatments, and continuing to learn and grow and evolve with our clients and their needs.
If you could give one piece of advice to other salon, spa and clinic owners, what would it be?
Trust the process and don’t compare your journey with anyone else’s. We all have our own journeys, struggles, strengths and weaknesses. Go with the flow, trust your gut and have fun along the way. Work hard but also don’t always stress about the small stuff.
Would you recommend entering The Industry Awards to others? And have the awards helped you as a business?
Yes, even if I didn’t win or become a finalist it was such a great way to look at my business in a whole different light.
I’m really hard on myself when it comes to my mindset around business, I always think, “No, you can do better than this”, which is true, but entering the awards made me reflect and celebrate the small wins, and really see how far I have come in 3 years. Seeing what the judges thought and that they understood what Puravida was about was amazing. I am way better at celebrating the small wins as well as aiming for the next goal.
How does it feel to be the winner of the Excellence in Marketing award?
Amazing, I didn’t expect it – especially because of the amazing competition. I was sorry I couldn’t be there but my team did us proud, they videoed it and sent it to me so I felt like I was part of it!
It was a really great achievement – especially for the team and our culture. Our clients are an integral part of our success of course and they enjoy celebrating with us.
What is your marketing philosophy?
Marketing is about everything that we do and also what we don’t do. It’s how we communicate our business offerings to the world and each other. Communicating that message every day to every client – current and potential – is important, as that impacts on our word of mouth referrals. It’s the culmination of all the messages we send, on all channels, all the time.
Our team is our greatest marketing tool, you can have the best marketing strategies in the world but if your team don’t execute it consistently – it’s worthless.
How would you describe your brand?
I think I would describe our niche as affordable quality. We aim to give our clients the best possible service, which is a really high quality, but we don’t charge super high prices.
How would you describe your clients?
We have a very specific target market, essentially its women between the ages of 40-50. Obviously, not all our clients fit that description, it’s just where we focus our attention. A great analogy for this is, throw a pebble into a pond, where the pebble hits the water is your target market, and the ripples it produces are the other clients who you also attract.
We strive to get into our ideal client’s world by asking them what their needs are. We do that via feedback surveys and also face to face. This allows us to dig deeper and influences the services we offer, the music we play, the hours we’re open, the magazines we have and the coffee we serve our clients.
How have you tailored your business to your target audience?
We look at all their needs and how they perceive us on all levels. We want our clients to perceive their service as money well spent and see Reds as a place where they can come to fully relax. We want them to come back and have the same experience every time.
We want to deliver value at every touchpoint, it’s not just about the hair. We wanted booking to be easy, so we made it as simple as possible. It’s the little things that make the difference. It’s all about making their journey smoother – it’s not about us, it’s about them.
As a business owner you wear so many hats and there’s probably never enough time in the day, what advice would you give to salons, spas and clinics struggling to find the time for marketing?
I would say, have a plan. The biggest thing to consider is – what is the purpose of your marketing? What outcome do you want to achieve and why? Start with the big picture, then break it down into specific, more focused goals.
I’m also a qualified business coach, and many of my clients find effective marketing a challenge. This is something I find incredibly rewarding when working with coaching clients: to design marketing strategies that really work.
What is your favourite marketing channel and why?
I don’t have one favourite channel, I think it depends on your audience. I find the most value is in creating a community and a personality for our brand. Social media is a great tool for that because you can schedule your posts and have conversations with clients at the same time. Delegating social media tasks to my staff who are better at it saves me so much time and makes sense! Then there are the great everyday marketing tools that Kitomba offers: online booking, email and text reminders, birthday vouchers and much more. It’s so easy to set them up and forget about them.
What would you say to someone considering entering The Industry Awards next year?
Just do it. The first time I entered was 2007, back when it was the Kitomba and NZARH Business Awards. We didn’t win anything that year, but doing it once made me try a little harder, and I became more focused on what I could do to improve the business. It’s like having a template for what you can work on, and it obviously paid off because the next year we won it! It was so fulfilling and great to see some measurable results. It’s also a great marketing tool because people see the trophies and we become the award-winning salon. However, I don’t do it for vanity, it really does help us measure, monitor and improve our business. I think people should definitely enter, The Industry Awards is such a great event.