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Website: The Brow Bar
Unaiza Moideen, the Brow Queen
Elevator Pitch – Who is Unaiza Moideen?
Unaiza is the founder of BrowBar South Africa. She specialises in eyebrows. Her ‘party trick’ is reading a person’s personality by looking at their eyebrows.
Unaiza studied Communication Science at the University of Johannesburg and got married whilst a student. Upon moving to Durban with her new husband, she started a part-time diploma in Beauty. Unaiza was headhunted and offered a position as sales consultant for a beauty brand in a local mall. She became so valuable to the company that they promoted her to sales rep and trainer. In 2008 they moved back to Johannesburg where she furthered her studies in aesthetics. Working as a beauty therapist, it was her background in sales that propelled her into a very good position. With her husband’s help she bought a spa business in Krugersdorp and realised it would take a lot of work to get this business flourishing. She started offering threading of eyebrows as a complimentary service but not long after that it became the main drawing card. She went on to open a threading kiosk in Clearwater Mall for which she trained two staff members. As business got better over time, she made the decision to conjoin her two businesses under one roof by renting a larger space in the mall. Finding the demands of the expanding business increasingly taxing on her, Unaiza’s husband left his job as a logistics manager to join her.
There’s an unspoken agreement on whose role is whose. Unaiza and her husband have skills that complement each other’s.
Making Mistakes and Learning from Them
The most expensive lesson Unaiza learned was to never buy an existing business without doing due diligence. She warns to also not buy the business along with its staff, as “you employ bad habits”. Another problem Unaiza identified in her industry is the low rate of staff retention. They solved this problem with a well implemented legal structure at the BrowBar – employees cannot leave the BrowBar within a designated period of completion of their training. If your staff is motivated and trained well and looked after, you tend to retain them more often than not.
Differentiate Yourself From your Competitors
The BrowBar takes walk-in clients where you need to make an appointment at other salons. Your brow technician takes care to shape your brows according to a list of guides set out in their training. Then there’s the added convenience of being located in a mall and adhering to extended trading hours.
You see education-based marketing where the client learns while having her eyebrows shaped. In keeping with the strategy of the last two years, the BrowBar will continue taking walk-in clients. They are official sponsors of Mrs. South Africa and Mini Dlamini has been the brand ambassador for the past two years. In short, they utilize social media, direct marketing and word-of-mouth to spread awareness of their brand.
BrowBar kiosks, situated in various locations, still account for the largest part of the revenue. The Skin Centre remains part of the business. Unaiza’s training academy is also accredited now and they offer short courses to other salons throughout the year. BrowBar serves as the sole distributer for LashPerfect products to other stockists. The BrowBar was trademarked, patented and registered as a franchise two years ago. They have not yet felt the need to sell the franchise, but it remains an option for the future.
Tools or Systems that Help the Business
When entering the health and wellness industry, Unaiza suggest you have at least a basic knowledge on the subject. A Business Management course can be a great aid. Since their inception the BrowBar has worked with a phenomenal IT company that helps them calculate the exact running costs of the business.
The BrowBar has become the platform through which Unaiza mentors and empowers other women. She calls it “a support system for women, by women”. Young women who sign up for training often leave with many newfound life skills and unparalleled confidence.
Reset Button: If you had to start over in a different industry, what would it be and why?
Unaiza wouldn’t mind having her own television show around topics of health and wellness. Empowering people will always be a priority for her and she considers motivational speaking for the same reason.
You are a warrior! We all go through struggles, but you are not alone.
If you are thinking of starting a business you need ambition and to know your purpose.
Become a master in your own field and stay relevant.