Beauty Consultant’s Dream: A Happy Store
Kiya, owner of Timeless Beauty Supply
Timeless Beauty Supply, which opened last November, is located off Highway 41 in Acworth, Georgia. There are many shops and restaurants nearby, so it’s easy to notice the store, and the area has a lot of foot traffic. When you enter the store, the bath bomb’s aroma will make you feel good. Timeless Beauty Supply is small enough for you to take in the overall look briefly, but a great range of products is neatly organized. I looked around and saw Kiya greeting me cheerfully at the cash register to the left of the door. She was dressed neatly, not overdressed, and her nails were painted olive green, one of the trendy colors for this fall and winter. Let’s look at Kiya’s story of how she keeps a smile on her face and welcomes customers during this tough economy.
Opening the beauty supply a year ago in tough times
Kiya had been working in the IT industry for a long time. So why did she suddenly decide to start a beauty supply business during such a difficult time?
“I’m still an IT consultant. I’m available for private consulting if anyone needs it. Being in the IT industry, I knew that I was empowered by connecting with people. Then I came across a business near my home that had shut down duringthe pandemic. In my mind, I wished there was a beauty supply store there. My regular beauty supply was a long drive.” She says she then started thinking, “What if I do that?” and suddenly had a pleasant fantasy.
“I was confident because I was interested in beauty products and cosmetics and related businesses, so beauty supply felt like a natural fit.”
Overcoming challenges with a backup supplier and safety stock
It was a bold start, but it was a struggle from the beginning. “The manufacturer of a product that was selling well suddenly stopped supplying it. I felt bad for the customers who needed that product. We also had production delays, which often resulted in delivery dates that were well behind schedule. It made a negative impact on my business. The hardest part was that the minimum purchase for goods was so high. It’s hard for a small store like ours to order hundreds of pieces at a time. So I ended up doing a lot of business with vendors who were ready to meet my range for the purchase quantity.”
She talks about a lot of challenges, but they are immediately followed by how she overcame them.
“I recently made contacts with a primary and a backup vendor. I’m also trying to get out and look around other regions to find more vendors to diversify. By maintaining a safety stock of popular items, the store is slowly stabilizing.”
Becoming a beauty consultant
Kiya says she is constantly striving to become an expert in the beauty industry.
“I’m always trying to learn. I try out new products and find and read beauty articles and books. Of course, BNB Magazine is also very helpful. I want to stay on top of trends. As I talk to customers, I get information as well as providing it. Our customers are ethnically diverse. The range of skin tones, textures, and so on is wide and takes a lot of study. Nowadays, people are looking for products that address pigmentation, aging, and other skin concerns.”
Her endeavor doesn’t stop there. This is where Kiya’s job as a beauty consultant really shines, as she advises customers on how to apply makeup that accommodates their face shape and even applies makeup to her customers.
Special experience of donating wigs
“I had an opportunity to support women with cancer with wigs for their weddings. I was so lucky. Having lost my parents and several family members to cancer, this event had a special meaning for me. Helping women battling cancer regain a sense of normalcy and confidence during a difficult time was emotionally rewarding.” She wants to help more cancer patients in the future if she has the opportunity, but she knows that helping others is ultimately about herself.
Envisioning a beauty supply that grows with the community
“My goal is to expand and grow Timeless Beauty Supply. I’m on my feet, studying, discovering innovative beauty products, and listening to trends and customer needs. We’re also working with local beauty vendors, suppliers, influencers, and other businesses to curate unique product lines. Of course, we plan to invest more in online marketing and social media.” Kiya’s eyes sparkle as she talks about growing with the community and building a solid foundation.
“Beauty supply industry will be Timeless.”
At the end of the interview, when asked for her final thoughts, Kiya talked about the rewards of working at a beauty supply. “It’s incredibly gratifying to interact with our customers and build relationships with them.
We want everyone who walks into our store to be happy. So I try to smile brighter every day. And as long as I have customers who are like my family, I will continue to run this business with passion and dedication every single day. I’m going to get myself involved in community service as well.”
Finally, a message to those in the beauty industry.
“I avoid the words Can’t and Don’t as much as possible. I know the beauty supply industry is going through a rough patch right now, but I know it will pass. I hope we can get through this difficult time and laugh together. Because Beauty Supply is Timeless.“
Kiya’s 6 strategies to stand out
In less than a year, Kiya has solved many problems and built a loyal customer base, which she attributes to her friendly service. She always has a smile on her face, and even in unpleasant situations, she tries to put herself in her customers’ shoes and think more positively. In addition, there are special marketing strategies that is unique to Timeless. We’ve summarized these strategies into six.
1. Wigs can be worn freely at the vanity
Wigs are one of the top selling and most expensive items in beauty supplies. Many stores do not allow or have restrictions on trying on expensive wigs for fear of contamination, damage, and so on. Timeless is different.
“We often had wigs returned for the difference in appearance due to the lighting and environmental changes from the store to the customer’s home before the vanity was installed. Refunds not only cost us money, but they also break trust with our customers. It created a situation that I didn’t want to have. That’s when I came up with the vanity idea. I thought it would be nice to have a bright light fixture for the vanity as well.”
The result? Now, she says, very few customers return wigs. What’s more is that Kiya herself offers beauty consulting, so customers can fill their shopping bags with confidence.
2. Big price tags on wigs
“I realized that some of my customers wanted to buy something but didn’t dare to ask for a price because they had little money. It’s heartbreaking. That’s why the price tag is so big now. You want them to see the price and feel comfortable with it. Sometimes we’ll sell them for a little less for students or people who don’t have a lot of money.”
3. Expand your customer base by adding more general merchandise.
Little by little, Kiya has been diversifying her general merchandise offerings, as she realizes that children who come in with their moms are also valuable potential customers. “The selection of items for general merchandise is important to keep up with ever-changing market trends. We’ve been getting a lot more kid customers lately, so we’re trying to stock more hairpins and kids’ nails.”
4. Demand for natural hair products on the rise
Post-pandemic, health-conscious consumers are leading the increase of the demand for natural hair products. As a result, Kiya plans to increase the proportion of merchandise that is organic or made with natural ingredients. She recommends hair products from Mielle Organics and Carol’s Daughter as particularly good natural products. Both brands are fast-growing, Black-owned companies.
5. Social media and Door Dash
As if presenting proof for being an IT consultant,
Instagram and the delivery service Door Dash were her marketing arms from the get-go.
Sales through door dashes, in particular, are on the rise, she said, and she added that it seemed like a great way to grow together with the flourishing online market.
6. We wrap even the smallest items
A customer came into the store during the interview and bought a small bath bomb. Kiya wrapped the $5 item with a big smile on her face. “No matter how busy I am, if a customer wants it, I will wrap it for them. I know a lot of joy comes out of gift wrapping.”