Growing up with a family of hairdressers, Vincent noticed one thing: almost every hairstylist aspired to be their own boss someday.
But being a good beautician and a good entrepreneur are two completely different things.
While stylists can thrive in their craft, handling the business side of things can be time-consuming—and often maddening—work.
“In my 18 years in this industry, there have been many experienced stylists who have tried venturing into their own startup salon,” he shared. “Some have succeeded and many have failed.”
For those who choose the freelance route, many end up struggling to create a stable income stream.
A Co-Sharing Salon For Absolute Flexibility
So Vincent created HIPSALONS to solve that exact problem.
With the HIP in HIPSALONS standing for Happy Independent People, it is an all-suite co-sharing salon made for beauty professionals interested in starting their own entrepreneurial journey with low capital.
The salon offers a range of services to assist the stylists in their work, including reception, cleaning services, styling equipment and individual suites, making social distancing a built-in feature.
Stylists are charged for the equipment used on a rent-to-own basis, whereby if they’ve rented a perming machine for 12 months, for example, it becomes theirs at the end of the tenure.
The team also developed their own comprehensive management system to make it easy for stylists to manage booking, pricing and ordering from clients, which can be accessed from a phone or tablet.
Customers benefit from this system’s seamless booking and payment transactions too.
“We provide a host of other services to enable the beauty professionals to focus on what they do best—their craft,” Vincent said.
Though HIPSALONS itself has set operational hours, they allow their stylists full flexibility to choose when they want to work.
The building the salon is located in even caters to stylists who want to work ghost shifts.
“Menara KEN TTDI is uniquely able to operate round the clock. The security, car park, individually operated air-conditioning units are all enabled for this purpose,” Vincent shared.
Backed By 30 Years Of Experience In The Industry
Launched on July 15 just after the MCO, the salon’s 20 private suites are now at 70% occupancy.
As space is limited at the salon, they need to make sure that their occupants are actually going to make money and succeed.
All of their 12 beauty professionals, currently made up of hairstylists, scalp therapists and a nail technician, had to prove that they already had an existing customer base during their interview.
“If they are not convinced they have this, then neither are we,” commented Vincent.
However, the co-sharing salon does provide support in building up their stylists’ skills too.
Backed by Kimarie Group, which Vincent also owns, they have hair salons and academies to support the members at HIPSALONS.
“We are a multi-award-winning group that has been in business for over 30 years and have produced many successful and renowned hairstylists including Mei Poh Loh who went on to become the Principal of Vidal Sassoon Shanghai,” Vincent shared.
Because of this, he believes that HIPSALONS has the right support for aspiring beauty professionals venturing into entrepreneurship, as they have access to Kimarie’s admin, design, and marketing teams.
Stylists Keep What They Make
According to Vincent, a hairstylist employed under a salon only makes 30% to 40% of their sales, while the salon keeps 60% to 70%.
Since their members already have an existing clientele and access to all of the salon’s facilities and support, Vincent expects that the beauticians will be able to earn up to 70% and more of the revenue generated using the co-sharing space.
“That formula is reversed at HIPSALONS,” he summarised.
This is the biggest advantage the co-sharing salon is trying to give its members.
“Operating your own salon is assuming 100% of the risk. With HIPSALONS’ model, your risk exposure is minimised as you don’t need to risk losing all your capital,” he explained.
“Your only risk is a small deposit and your time.”
There’s no doubt that HIPSALONS would want to see its members flourish and succeed, and success at the co-sharing space is measured in 2 ways: empirically and emotionally.
“If being in HIPSALONS increases your revenue or makes you a happier person from the improvement in the quality of your work life, then we define that as a success,” Vincent explained. “We aim to help our members achieve both.”
In the long term, they plan to expand their business model to more neighbourhoods.
The truth is, I think people are progressive and aspire to grow and be better. Of course, this could mean different things to different people; some prefer more flexibility in work hours, some seek potentially higher incomes, others might want independence. But ultimately they want to be in control of what they do and how they do it.Vincent Ho, founder of HIPSALONS
Featured Image Credit: HIPSALONS