The West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency has supported a new, friendly salon to start up in business and open in Wakefield.
Sun Kissed formally launched on 10 July, after being open for two months with West Yorkshire Enterprise Agency Business Start-up Advisor Brij Chaggar cutting the ribbon.
Brij worked with Laura over an eight-week period on the business planning process, which included running a business, business planning, marketing and selling, research, researching pricing and margins and selling skills and strategy.
The founder, Laura Williamson, was working as a makeup artist for Bobbi Brown when she was made redundant. Health problems meant she found going back to work tricky but it had always been her dream to open a tanning salon. She worked with the Wakefield Business Support Programme to realise that dream,
Sun Kissed offers a range of services, not just tanning, including waxing, facials, massages and full-body treatments. Unlike many of its competitors, it’s open on Sundays. Says Laura, “Some people have families and can’t make it during the week so it made sense to us.” But if you do have a family, that needn’t stop you coming during the week anyway as Laura says kids are welcome too. “We’re going to have a sandpit out the back and there are plenty of us around so don’t let having a baby with you put you off!”
Since opening, business has been booming. Laura has had 700 clients and counting, she’s done three weddings and is now heading into prom season. It’s clear the demand is there and Laura doesn’t intend to stop at one shop. She’s taken on two apprentices already and got her eyes on another shop elsewhere.
She has also fostered good relations with local suppliers and collaborates with a local florist and offers a 10% discount to the police force. She even encourages local business-people to display their business cards: “We’re all self-employed,” she says, “let’s help each other out.”
Mindir Paul, Business Advisor at Wakefield Council says, “Through the Wakefield Business Support Programme I was asked to mentor Laura on the NEA. It was a hand-holding process covering various areas of support including sourcing funding, finding suitable business premises and recruiting apprentices. Within two months of starting the business Laura is meeting all her overheads and is looking to expand the business by opening another Sun Kissed branch elsewhere in the district. Her pricing policy and especially her detail to customer care and service will, I'm sure, see Laura's business go from strength to strength.”
For Laura, it’s a dream come true. “It’s everything I ever wanted,” she says, “But I’m not going to stop here. I want a chain of Sun Kissed salons eventually.”