Celebrating 12 successful years in business together this month, Sinead Curran and Liz Cotter from Velvet Hairdressing took a few minutes out of their busy schedules for a quick Q&A!
Having both worked in the hairdressing industry for more than 21 years, the dynamic duo worked together for seven years in their previous job.
Congratulations to you both! You must feel a great sense of pride and achievement as you reflect on your success story…
It’s hard to believe that we will be 12 years open this month! It’s been a great experience, and inevitably there have been ups and downs along the way. We are just so delighted to have come this far. We are also so lucky that we have maintained our close friendship and developed a successful business partnership at the same time. We have a good balance as a team, with both of us knowing each other’s strengths.
What was the main factor behind your decision to go into business together?
We both had the same vision of going out on our own. When we met and subsequently worked together, we realised that we both had the same dream so we decided to take the plunge and go on the adventure together.
Why did you choose Barna as your location?
We could see that there was an opening in the western suburbs of the city. There were very few salons outside the city centre at the time. The population had increased so much around Barna that we knew there was a need for a hair salon in the area.
Did you find it difficult making the move from employee to self-employed?
At first we were both nervous venturing into the business world, and all the extra responsibility that goes with it. Thankfully our loyal clientele followed us to Velvet which made the transition so much easier.
What was the hardest thing about setting up your own business?
The hardest part was making sure that we had a strong team, and had the right staff to meet the standards of the salon. Learning all of the new aspects of running a business – administration, finance etc. Was also quite challenging.
Did you find it difficult to recruit good staff?
It can be hard to find staff with the right skill set and that will fit in with the team. We are so lucky that our current team is one of the strongest we have had in our 12 years in business.
What kind of training/further development do you offer your staff?
Our trainees receive in-salon training on a weekly basis. Liz, who specialises in cutting, trains cutting and styling. Sinead, a colour technician, trains all areas of colour. All of our staff are sent on regular courses, usually through Wella, to keep them motivated and up to date with the latest trends.
Is your customer base mostly from the local area?
We have a very strong, loyal and regular customer base from Barna and surrounding areas. We also have clients that come from further afield. Without our regulars, we know we would not be where we are now so we are so grateful for their continuous support.
What are the main services that you offer?
We offer cuts, colour, blowdrying, upstyles and treatments, but we specialise in cutting and colouring.
Do you follow the trends in the hairdressing industry?
We tailor all of our cuts and colours to suit the needs of the individual. We continue to strive to improve ourselves in the area of education and current trends to meet our customers needs. Current trends for cuts include bobs and fringes on longer lengths with lots of movement and textures. The hot trends for colour right now are balyage and babylight hair, pastel toners, metallics and mauve undertones. Wella colour is an excellent product to work with as they keep us constantly updated with their new products and services.
Do you have any plans to open another salon in Galway?
With the economy much improved, we would never rule out the possibility of opening a second Velvet in the future. We will have to wait and see what the future holds!
Liz and Sinead invite their clients and friends to join them on Thursday 20th September from 5.30pm to celebrate 12 successful years in business. Wella representatives will be there on the evening to give colour and product consultations and there will also be a discount on any gift vouchers sold on the evening.
Read our full feature with Velvet Hairdressing in September’s issue of GALWAYnow!
TEL: 091 596 900 EMAIL: www.velvet.ie