I hope you’re all having a fab start to the week. It’s Monday which means it’s time for another Behind the Biz interview. This week we’re discovering the wonderful world of salons.
I’m delighted to share my interview with co-founder, Kirsten Maine of Live True – a full service men’s and women’s hairdressers and beauty salon, with 4 salons across London.
Please tell us about Live True.
Live True is a fashion-forward salon concept based around authenticity – doing whatever makes you feel more “you”. We currently have three salons in London, with our Vauxhall salon also being full service for hair and beauty. The salons are easy going, friendly and judgement free whilst focusing on achieving great hair results for clients.
We are a colour specialist salon group and love to help clients achieve the latest colour trends. We are always using the most up to date techniques.
How did you decide upon the name of your brand?
Our name reflects our brand values – being true to ourselves, putting the client experience at the forefront of what we do , and providing a high quality of service.
We are a brand focused on integrity and high professional standards, whilst at the same time being relaxed and not taking ourselves too seriously – we wanted a name that reflected this.
What sets Live True apart from other brands?
A lot of new clients are surprised with how relaxed, friendly and easy going the atmosphere in our salons is. We pride ourselves on being like a big family, all of the staff members know each other, even ones that work at different locations, and we work very hard to encourage a culture of collaboration and friendship in the salons. The salon atmosphere is very important to us.
Even though we work to a very high professional standards with many of our stylists holding prestigious qualifications, we don’t take ourselves too seriously. We like to have fun and to be creative – there is no room in our salons of judgement, negativity or pretentious attitudes.
What did you do before setting up Live True?
Live True has two managing directors: Valerie Maine and Kirsten Maine (we are sisters in law).
Valerie initially set Live True up and Kirsten joined the business a year ago adding a beauty offering to our Vauxhall salon.
Prior to Live True, Valerie worked as a Derivatives and Structured Products lawyer at Linklaters and Kirsten worked in law in Australia and the Middle East.
Did you plan to be self-employment?
No, this was definitely not the route either of us thought we would take but the opportunity presented itself and it’s definitely been a great outcome.
Please share a business high and low with us.
When you see your customers leave your business happy and you see your business growing month to month, there is a real sense of satisfaction.
As for the lows, unfortunately you find in business that sometimes people let you down. Whether it’s suppliers or employees, this can be very disappointing.
What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?
My advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to realise that success often takes a long time, lots of hard work and is certainly not guaranteed. Unfortunately there is no certainty with setting up and running a business and even the best idea often takes years of very hard work with very little payback to become a success.
When I set up my business, I wanted to get more control over my working life after working very long and often unpredictable hours at a law firm. In reality, I now work longer hours than I did in law and tend to work on every holiday. There is literally no “switch off” time. The upside of this is that the work is incredibly rewarding, fun and, to me, often doesn’t feel like I am working at all. I enjoy what I do now and it is very much a positive part of my life.
Where do you hope to take your business in the year ahead?
We have had incredible growth in 2018 and have set ourselves a very aggressive growth target for 2019.
Thank you so much to Kirsten for taking the time to be a part of Behind the Biz. I hope you enjoyed hearing about her business journey as much as I did.
Kirsten’s advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is very important. Success takes a lot of time, patience and of course, hard work. Be sure to scroll back up and make a mental note of her wise words.
I can’t wait to visit Live True next time I’m down in London.