Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Justyna and I’m the owner of a Guinot franchise beauty salon in Earlsfield. I qualified as a Beauty Therapist in Poland in 2005 and came to London soon after. Coming to London was not only about pursuing my dream career, I was also chasing after the love of my life. Who I can proudly say is now my husband and is a great father to our 9 month old son.
Tell us about Guinot and what gave you the idea to start your own business?
I was forced to reconsider my plans for the future, when back in 2015 I was told I was being made redundant. At the time I was working as a manager of Guinot’s flagship salon in Albemarle Street, Mayfair. Having worked with the brand for almost 7 years, treating journalists, celebrities and high profile clients, I wanted to bring outstanding treatments, caring & attentive team of therapists and wonderful customer service to a high street salon, as I believe everyone deserves a bit of luxury. Owning my own salon had always been a dream of mine and becoming a franchisee gave me the opportunity and confidence to achieve that dream. By November 2015 I had officially opened my salon, Guinot Earlsfield.
Describe your typical day?
When I first opened the salon, I had more of a front of house role. To cope with the demand, I now employ a full time receptionist and a therapist, so I am able to dedicate more of my time to growing the business and networking.
Since becoming a mum, my working day starts with cuddles and getting ready with Teddy in my lap. I drop him off at childminders and then make my way to the salon. Mornings are usually a quieter time to catch up on admin, talk to my team and plan for the day ahead. Afternoons will be mostly spend doing what I love: treating my lovely clients. As I’m a skincare specialist, it warms my heart to see clients gain confidence with every visit and come out of their shell when we get their skin looking a feeling great.
What would you say the most important thing is in running a business? What has been the greatest lesson you have learnt?
Make sure you enjoy what you do. When you have your own business you never truly take time off, so make sure you love what you do as it will be all consuming.
Spend time training your team, respect and look after them. Surrounding yourself with talented people makes running a business a lot easier!
What has been a highlight of your career to date?
Considering I arrived at London Luton with just one suitcase, no beauty or business experience and basic English 12 years ago I’d say opening my own salon and having a national brand like Guinot believe in me is a huge highlight. My salon has been rewarded Crown Award for Excellence by Guinot three years in the row! It recognizes salons in UK and Ireland that are committed to delivering latest treatment innovations, continuous staff training and five star customer experience.
What do you think it takes to be a Mum Boss?
It takes balls! You become a ninja at multitasking and organizing. I’m a new mum, but quickly starting to learn to survive on minimal sleep, sugar and strong tea. And of course wine!
How do you find a balance between running a successful business and raising a family?
I’m still figuring it out. It was very tough to make the decision to get a childminder, but it helped. When in the salon I can now concentrate 100% on business. And when I have my days off with Teddy I can enjoy spending quality time together and not check my phone constantly.
After work, how do you find time to relax?
If I’m home in time, its bath and bed time with my son and lots of cuddles, helps me relax and forget about work after a long day. Other times I will multitask: scheduling salons social media and emails with phone in one hand, wine or a cuppa in the other while watching silliness on TV. Big Bang Theory and re-runs of Friends always put me in a good mood.
What are your top tips for starting a successful business?
- Make sure you love what you do. It will make it easier to survive tough times, and believe me – sooner or later there will be some setbacks.
- Believe in your idea. You can’t sell it if you’re not 100% sure of it.
- Social media is your friend. Not just to help promote your business, but when you need support of like-minded people.
If you were to host the ultimate dinner party and you could invite anyone in the world, who would be on your guest list?
As an absolute beauty addict I’d want to meet my heroes: the dermatologist extraordinaire – Dr. Sam Bunting, an inspirational beauty therapist – Caroline Hirons, and make-up artist to the stars – Lisa Eldridge. And if I could travel back in time, I’d also love to invite Madame Helena Rubinstein.
Guinot Salon Earlsfield have offered all of our readers 20%, please mention The Curious Mummy Review when you book. Also, the first 20 readers will receive a mini body oil.