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25 Years of Running a Successful Beauty Salon

This month saw Bellissima Exclusive turn 25! How did that happen? It only seems yesterday I was the ripe old of age 20 after finishing my YTS two years previously at the Yorkshire College of Beauty banging on the doors of every high street bank I could find, begging them to lend me £4000 so set up my own beauty salon. Needless to say all but one laughed in my face! Thank goodness for that one! With the help of a lovely client who helped me draw up a business plan and introduced me to a manager at the Nat West I was on my way to pick up my salon keys before I knew it.

Even back then £4000 was not a lot to start a business so I spent it wisely. Purchasing quality second hand equipment and decorating myself. I have never looked back!

The industry has changed considerably. The bulk of business back then was manicures, pedicures and waxing. I decided early on that I wanted to offer more. I wanted to be able to change a clients life and make each and everyone of my clients leave feeling better about themselves. After 25 years thankfully I have achieved that dream.


So why are we still here when so many fail?


Excellent Customer Service has been at the forefront of my business, good service costs nothing but means everything. Flexible opening hours are paramount, making sure treatments are available to everyone, so opening 7 days a week and till 9pm every weekday is a must. Assuring all are treatment offerings fulfil their claims we only offer clinically proven treatments with white papers proving they can deliver the results. Lastly making sure we have the best team of therapists and reception staff who constantly attend external and internal training to maintain our high standards and are trained that "attention to detail" is second nature.


How did I go from just me to a salon of 15 staff?


I have grown steadily and carefully. All my therapist are apprentice trained as was I. I have tried employing qualified therapists but it has never been successful. I have the way I want the salon to run and with experience now I realise the only way it works for me is to employ a blank canvass and let the therapist learn and grow with the salon. We were awarded Apprentice Employer of the Year 2015, Collagen Uk National Customer Care Award two years running & Premier Salon of the Year for seven years running which has been a great honour and clarification we are all doing something right!

The salon reputation has grown and with that so has our clientele. We constantly evolve with the industry bringing in the latest treatments and technology so our clients know they are getting the best and most up-to date treatments by experienced well trained therapists. Our staff retention is 95%, some of our therapists have been with us up-to 17 years. I believe consistency is key in this industry.


What is next?


I intend to carry on improving everyday. Look for ways to exceed our clients expectations and make a salon where our staff want to keep coming to work. Both my twin daughters are now qualified Beauty Therapists and one starts her degree in September to train as a Nurse Prescriber so we can extend our aesthetic team. Without you the client and our amazing team of girls there would be no Bellissima Exclusive, so thank you to you all!.

Watch this space... exciting things are ahead!


About the author

25 Years of Running a Successful Beauty Salon  written by Sara Wellman

Sara Wellman - Company Director

Sara started training in Beauty Therapy at 16 years old on the YTS scheme at Yorkshire College of Beauty, gaining an ITEC and CIBTAC Qualification in Beauty Therapy. She then went on to work in a salon in Leeds city centre before opening Bellissima in 1992. Sara has worked extremely hard to make the salon what it is today, gaining numerous awards including National Customer Care Award and Premier Salon of the Year Award to name but a few. 
It is with her vision and expertise that Bellissima has continued to thrive year on year, consistently introducing new treatments and keeping up to all the changes and advancements in the beauty industry. Bellissima has grown through the 26 years it has been trading and Sara now employs 15 members of staff.

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