Cardiff friends defy all lockdown odds and successfully launch their own hair salon with support from the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service.

Despite many challenges, including local lockdowns and 60% loss of clientele, Kasey Perks and Danielle Vinson managed to go from renting chairs to looking at hiring their first assistant at their brand new hair salon, Create Salon, in Cardiff. We were on hand to help them throughout the start-up process with advice on business planning, sourcing finance, tax, marketing and recruitment, amongst others.

  • Successfully started
  • Created 2 jobs
  • Secured a £10,000 Bounce Back Loan to help with overheads during lockdown
  • Signed up to the Business Wales Equality and Green Growth Pledges

Introduction to business

Launched by Kasey Perks and Danielle Vinson, Create Salon is a brand new, environmentally conscious hair salon based in Cardiff. The salon offers a range of cutting and colouring treatments, including a completely vegan colour range, in a friendly and welcoming environment.

Why did you decide to set up your own business?

Kasey and I felt like we had reached our limit on how much we could progress in a salon environment. We had both had 12 years’ experience and felt like it was the right time to venture out on our own. We always had lots of ideas of how we would like to run a salon. With both of us having a passion for sustainability and the environment, we knew we would like to include this alongside our love for hair. While we were renting a chair for a few months in a salon, we started to look for places to rent to start this journey. This gave us the drive to know that we wanted our own salon, but also gave us some experience of running one on our own. 

What challenges did you face?

When starting a new business there are many challenges to be expected. We went self- employed in February, before going into lockdown 6 weeks later. Financially, we didn't qualify for any support throughout the 4-month lockdown as we didn’t have tax returns for the previous year. It was very uncertain of how things would be when we returned, including how long we would be off work. It was a very testing time not knowing when we would return or knowing if clients would come back to us. During lockdown, we still wanted to build our brand and establish ourselves on social media to encourage new clientele. To do this, we uploaded at home tutorials to help clients and keep them engaged.

That, however, wasn't even our biggest challenge. During the local lockdowns, we lost 50-60% of our clients, as they were not able to travel into Cardiff. This then posed the risk of them going to other hair salons that were local to them. To adapt to this, we chose to offer mobile services on the days we weren't in the salon to ensure the clients were still catered for by us.

Even during all the testing times it is still the best decision we have made. We really enjoy going to work every day, learning new things and facing new challenges. We really enjoy working for ourselves and we both complement one another with our own recognition of each other's strengths.

Business Wales support

Kasey and Dani got in touch with Business Wales as they decided to invest their 12-year experience and start their own hair salon. They attended a start-up workshop and our business adviser Yusuf Behardien helped them with advice on business structure, securing a £10,000 bounce back loan, renting premises, tax and marketing.

The entrepreneurial pair also signed up to the Business Wales Equality and Green Growth Pledges, committing to:

  • Deliver an inclusive service, respect the bilingual nature of Wales and provide equal opportunities for chair rental or employment;
  • Work with responsible suppliers and use appropriate packaging.

Kasey and Dani were able to grow the business despite a number of challenges posed by Covid-19 – from simply renting chairs in February, to securing their own premises in July to looking at recruiting their first member of staff.

Outcomes

  • Successfully started
  • Created 2 jobs
  • Secured a £10,000 Bounce Back Loan to help with overheads during lockdown
  • Signed up to the Business Wales Equality and Green Growth Pledges

We first met Yusuf when we went on a Business Wales course a year ago. On that day, we learnt a lot from him and had more of a clearer idea of how to start a business. He kept in touch with us to see how things were going, which we really appreciated. Yusuf has been there to answer any business related questions that we have had. He advised us to ask for a few months’ rent-free period for our new salon whilst we were going through the renovations. We were unaware that this was possible for commercial rentals. We received a month's free period, which was extremely helpful.

During lockdown, he checked in with us through phone calls, video chats and emails to ensure we were aware of all the help that was available to us. Yusuf helped us apply and secure a business loan. He has also helped us with some tax related problems, put us in touch with other organisations for further support, including hiring an assistant, social media and funding.

We have attended other useful Business Wales courses and I have recommended another business owner to Yusuf – she has also found him very helpful and informative.

Future plans and ambitions

Kasey and I have a few plans for the future. Firstly, we would like to hire an assistant, so we can both carry on our passion for teaching. We would also like to rent a chair out to grow our team and help with our financial growth, which would then allow us to renovate our basement area into a beauty/holistic room. This would help us to grow and offer our clients another service whilst they are having their hair done. We would like to keep building our clientele to have, hopefully, a waiting list one day.

We also want to keep learning new skills on how to improve the running of the business. We would like to improve on our marketing skills and to build our social media.

If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/case-studies or follow @_businesswales / @_busnescymru on Twitter.

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