Enabler of the month - September - Dawn of Braids
Posted on September 02 2019
New Dawn for Beauty Industry Breeds Opportunity
The 6.5 billion dollar beauty industry in Australia is one that continues to boom.
Over the past five years the industry has experienced double digit growth year on year off the back of strong innovation and the rise of social media influencing.
At the beginning of 2019 there were 21,949 beauty and hairdressing businesses in operation domestically, the 5th largest market in the world per capita.
Recently Able & Co sat down with Dawn of Braids founder Gigi Varley to get her take on the industry and how she juggles full time study with an emerging beauty business.
The Adelaide local talked to us exclusively about life in the beauty industry, how she keeps pace with customer trends and plans for future growth.
When did you start Dawn of Braids?
I originally founded my business in 2017 as an Instagram page with purely the purpose of being able to showcase my skills and improvement overtime as a hair stylist. However, as the account grew, I found that I really loved being able to do hair for people, and being part of something special, whether it be school formals or events, and Dawn of Braids as a business was born!
Have you always been into hair & beauty?
I've always loved braiding and hair - though I was never really good at it until a few years ago! I wanted my hair to look like it did when the hairdresser did it, so I practiced until I could curl my own hair and do simple plaits. I then practiced with more and more complex styles, eventually becoming able to do the braids and styles I can do today.
Hairdressing and beauty in general is such a competitive market, what sets you apart from other organisations in your category?
When you go on Pinterest or Instagram, there are so many gorgeous hairstyles that not a lot of people can, or are willing, to replicate, particularly in Adelaide. While a lot of the people I do hair for only want simple curls, dawn of braids aims to provide hair styling that you are unlikely to find elsewhere.
What do you like to do outside of your business?
This is probably not the most exciting thing, but I love to read. You can almost always find me with a book in my hands if I have any free time. If not, there's a good chance you'll find me singing along to Taylor Swift!
Tell us how you like to Live Life Able?
I try to take the most of every opportunity and enjoy every moment. I've always been an optimist, and there are so many little things in each day that make me smile. For me, Living Life Able means that I work hard, but still have fun and do things that I enjoy, even if it is hard to find the time!
What are your goals for Dawn of Braids in the short term? Long Term?
As I'm currently studying, for me Dawn of Braids is both a creative outlet and a way to make money. Short-term, I'd like to continue gathering clientele, and continuing to challenge myself to create more beautiful and difficult braids and styles. Long-term, I'd love to continue to develop my video-skills and publish some sort of E-Book with video tutorials explaining how to do different styles.
Being in the Beauty industry, you must deal with a lot of interesting clientele? What is one way you ensure you are delivering on customer expectations?
Customers are somewhat unrealistic when it comes to hair. For example, if they have short black hair and show me a long, textured down-do on a blonde model, then I have to tell them that while I can do something similar, there is no way that they will have exactly what they expect. Particularly with photos on pinterest, a lot of people pin pictures where the hair is coloured, meaning a lot more dimension is shown in the style. If a client has un-dyed hair, then they have to be told why their hair won't look exactly like the picture. If I am unable to meet customer expectations, I will try to explain as best I can the reasons behind why a style may look different and then make recommendations, such as extensions if a client is set on a specific style. I can also offer suggestions to change the style subtly so that it is still beautiful but will work with their hair type. Everyone has different hair, so it is both fun and a challenge to work in the industry.
You can follow Gigi’s story on Instagram via @dawnofbraids