Quality the key to Grace's beauty spot
HARD-working beauty therapist Grace O' Rourke was hesitant about setting up a new business in the middle of a recession but determined to work for herself.
'I said I would give it a year to see how it would work out,' said the woman behind Grace with Beauty over Keville's Hairdressing Salon in Selskar. Four years on, the business is well-established and satisfied customers keep coming back.
Beauty might be regarded as a luxury in a time of dwindling disposable income but according to Grace, many of the treatments she does are essential for her female clients.
Seasonal highs are a feature of the business with summer and Christmas being especially busy periods due to holidays, Communions, weddings and parties.
Grace finds Facebook a useful marketing tool and she is also blessed with a network of supportive friends and loyal clients who recommend her services.
'I've had a lot of support from people in Glynn where I'm from and the hairdressing salon downstairs has also been brilliant,' she said. 'Word of mouth is probably the most common way people find out about us.'
The keys to survival and success are total commitment, quality treatments and personal service, she believes. 'In the four years since I opened, I wouldn't have taken any time off. Personal service is 100% important, even more so in a recession. When times were busier it didn't seem to matter as much.'
'I know nearly everyone who comes in. People want to know that you have experience and that you know what you're doing.
'Also because I have a smaller business, it means I can keep my prices competitive.'
Beauty with Grace uses the Dermalogica range of products and offers the full range of beauty salon treatments from waxing, electrolysis, tanning, manicures, pedicures, make-up, false eyelashes, nails, facials and massage.
Two part-time beauty therapists work with Grace while Nicola Murphy, a specialist in the Pulsar permanent hair removal system, offers the service one day a week on Fridays.
Looking to the future, Grace would like to improve her business skills and is planning to enrol in a course when she gets the time. 'I'm still learning the business end,' she said. To anyone thinking of setting up a new small business, she gives the following advice: 'You have to enjoy it and be prepared to give it your all.' Nothing makes her happier than getting positive feedback from clients. 'That's what keeps you going,' she said.
New Ross Standard