Beauty Idol: Lorna Fagan from L's Boudoir
Lorna Fagan is the owner of L's Boudoir which is a charming salon based in leafy Hither Green in South London. It offers a mixture of treatments ranging from facials, massages and manicures. On top of that, L's Boudoir offers customers tailor made packages to suit their needs. She took time out to tell me how she created her beauty brand. What made you decide to set up your own beauty business? I always had a passion for beauty and makeup from a very young age, but went down the line of business administration when I left school and that was the career path I went down. I then realised that no matter what administrative role I did my customer care was second to none, and I would go beyond my role because I just cared for people. My last role was retail and a few years back, there was a sudden boom of big high street stores going into administration, and the company I worked for was one of them. Basically I went to work Monday, Tuesday, returned on Wednesday to see a sign on the door, and it was locked. I had nothing to loose, so I decided to get a qualification in beauty and makeup and do what I love to do best - make people smile.
What is the concept behind L's Boudoir? The whole concept was born after training at The London College Of Beauty Therapy and receiving several awards, one being Best Beauty Therapist of the Year 2013, and Student of the Year 2014. I become a mobile therapist until I eventually found somewhere to rent space from. Boudoir is a woman's dressing room. I thought of how a woman can find relief within a beautifully relaxed environment, blocking out whatever she faces outside with the beautiful candles and the smell of aromatherapy oils everything every woman would want 24 hours a day.
What sort of research did you do to find out what sort of services your customers wanted? My mother always told me treat others how you want to be treated so, that's how I decorated and complied my treatments and customer care by thinking what a woman would want to have around her and what would make her relax. My research was actually my past experiences working as a beauty therapist for several companies and seeing some very shocking examples of bad customer service which made me want to go it alone and open my own business. There were cases when I was reprimanded for holding a ladies coat and bag, while I lead her and showed her directions to the bathroom after her treatment. I was so gobsmacked when I was told why are you leading them like one of your children, I left the job and never went back. In my salon I have dressing gowns, slippers, tea, wine cakes & chocolates everything a woman would appreciate around her, then my treatment list came after.
What are your future plans for L's Boudoir? Future plans has been fulling my career path slowly, I am in the process of completing my teacher training qualification so I can teach my students importantly customer service whim the beauty sector, as there is a demand for well trained therapist giving excellent customer service in beauty salons. I'm a small business owner and it's so difficult to find therapists that provide good customer care. This can cause a detrimental effect on small businesses if the right training is not provided. So I want to give that back and possibly get students employed into the right job role more quickly and effectively.
What are your favourite beauty products? My favourite beauty products are the ones I stock and use in treatments, hope I'm not being biased. I'm an Environ therapist and stock Environ products. I love using the C-Quence Eye Gel, AVST Moisturiser and I cleanse with their Sebuwash which is perfect for me as I'm of an Afro Caribbean skin type so this gel really reduces my oily tZone. Environ makes a difference to the skin because, Vitamins A C and E are in all products and moisturisers. I love Eve Taylor's Clear Cleanse; this is an oil which I double cleanse with using Clear Cleanse First, as the Argan oil and Rice Bran Oil provide age-defying properties. My beauty regime varies from using a face oil or serum in the colder months to a SPF primer which I use all the time. Before makeup I use Future Resist Foundation Primer by Delilah Cosmetics followed by my foundation and makeup. If I'm going out I use Delilah Cosmetics as well as being a stockist - it's natural and it doesn't clog my skin.
What advice do you have for anyone who wants to set up their own beauty business? I would say to anyone that wants to start a beauty business owner, do it for the passion, work hard to get it how you want it and take your time to find the right therapists. Try and get as much mobile experience and voluntary experience as possible. Also find your niche - which treatments are more interesting to you, this will help you to provide the right treatments within your salon. Find out what your existing and potential clients would like to have if they were to be pampered.
Do not rush - both good and bad beauty sells but with bad beauty is only a matter of time before you see clients disappear. It's a shame when we have a bad beauty experience as we always remember them, but seem to forget our good experiences. I'm still only a newly opened business and I always try to ensure my clients have an enjoyable experience, I'm sure they do as I have hundreds of great reviews. But I too need to keep up with current trends, get feedback from clients and take current situations and climates when pricing my treatments. It's hard work, but I've now survived 1 year in my business and I'm sure L's Boudoir is here to stay.
You can follow Lorna on Twitter.