Innovation and enterprise blog

20 August 2014

Top tips from Blink Brow founder Vanita Parti

Vanitafor webBlink Brow Bar founder, Vanita Parti, is the pioneer of the walk-in brow bar and largely responsible for bringing the ancient Indian technique of threading into the 21st century. After resigning from her marketing position at a global airline, she single handedly launched the first ever UK walk-in brow bar in 2004. Fast forward 10 years and blink has over 22 walk in bars in the UK and another opening in SAKS New York this Autumn, as well as an award winning line up of beauty products and services. 

Here she shares some of her advice and top tips. You can hear more from Vanita at our next Inspiring Entrepreneurs event in partnership with Barclays, Movers and Shakers on 22 September.

Whilst struggling to find a decent place to go without an appointment to have my brows groomed, I first had that lightbulb moment 11 years ago and spotted the gap in the market for a quick walk-in, pain-free brow service. Coming from an Indian heritage, threading was the norm in my family and it was a skill that women have been practicing for centuries in the eastern world.

 Quick, precise, clean and holding the ability to create seamless results, I knew that the time-starved modern woman would love the results and flexibility that my concept would offer.

My mission was to offer a beauty essential for everyone; We set out to change the way people think about their eyebrows by offering a super quick, drop-in service with the same process used by the popular drop-in nail bar.

The idea developed from not being able to get an appointment for threading anywhere in London and as a working mum, not having the time for lengthy spa treatments either. I wanted quick but fabulous results, and if I did I knew that other women would be calling out for it too.

To kick-start Blink’s brow domination, we took on some of the most famous, established and conventional department stores in the UK and convinced them to take on this slightly outré beauty treatment of threading that has now become Blink’s trademark.

It wasn’t long before British Vogue was tipping Blink as the next big thing and today we can be found in leading stores including Selfridges, Harvey Nichols, Topshop, John Lewis and SpaceNK. We’ve retained many loyal devotees who make regular visits to get their brows dealt with by super consummate technicians with a sharp eye for precision.

Blink is now known by stores as a high density and hugely successful brand with over 36 chairs across the UK and 150 all-female members of staff.

Vanita’s top tips:

  1. Persevere. Don’t give up. People will knock you down so you’ve got to believe in your concept 100%.
  2. Some people don’t have a vision, so unless proven already they won’t understand. Surround yourself with visionaries.
  3. Market research is good, but isn’t the be all and end all. There isn’t much point in asking whether your market would want the product your looking to launch- How would they know if it’s not on the market yet?
  4. Be unashamedly persistent!
  5. Have a clear plan financially. Set yourself targets of when you plan to reach certain financial goals. This will help motivate you and keep you on track.
  6. I still have to remind myself of this, but don’t get too emotionally attached to your business. Learn to let things go.
  7. A good idea will always be copied and competition will be right behind you. Protect your business as much as you can and never become complacent.

Book your ticket for Movers and Shakers now and you can put your business questions to Vanita!

 

 

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