Beauty Store Business

JUL 2016

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38 July 2016 | beautystorebusiness.com "The consumer is now so much more educated on beauty products because of the Internet. So your products must live up to the expectations, and your brand must have great appeal to be relevant." Kelley Baker knew early on that she was meant to influ- ence the industry by beautifying brows. But it wasn't until after she'd experienced enormous success as a celebrity makeup artist that she decided to brand her brow artistry—opening her own salon and launching her own line of eyebrow products. "I knew my calling early on after witnessing the confidence boost each of my clients left with after I transformed their brows," Baker says. Helping her clients develop pride in their brow game, Baker took to social media to share her arch-shaping skills and took to a familiar road when opening her salon. "Opening my own salon on Abbot Kinney, one of the world's most popular streets, was the launch pad of my brand awareness," Baker says. Bringing to it her beloved personality and style was another key to the salon's success. "I have always had a love for interior decorating, and my vision for KBB was to have a salon that was stylish and made women feel special when they walked in the door." Having already stepped out on her own with the Kelley Baker Brows Salon, Baker nonetheless found it difficult to go the next step and launch her own product line—especially when her success was already drawing attention from other brands. "I wanted the line to consist of the best brow products on the market," Baker says. "There was a lot of pressure during the development, and it took some time to get it just the way I wanted it. It was a timely process. But I stuck to it even though I was getting approached by big brands to represent their brow lines." Since then, Kelley Baker Brows has built its success on a few core products, which Baker dubs her "Fab Four": Brow Powder, Angle Spooly Brush, Camo-Light High- lighter Pencil and Highlighter Smudge Brush. "These are my everyday essentials that I've used in my salon from day one. This is the set every brow artist must have." Today, Baker is glad she took the tough road and ventured out on her own. "Developing high-performing brow products was a huge risk. But today, I am so thank- ful I chose to stay true to myself and put the sweat in. Now brow artists around the world use my products, and it's so rewarding to hear all the success stories and [see] pictures they all share using my products." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . STAYING RELEVANT Social media was a major asset of Kelley Baker when branding her signature brow artistry and products. With the advent of self-taught and eager-to-learn consumers, she says the industry must adapt more than ever to the demand for relevant products. "With social media, it's much more competitive with the awareness of new indie brands, which is really cool. The consumer is now so much more educated on beauty products because of the Internet. So your products must live up to the expectations, and your brand must have great appeal to be relevant. I hope it changes for the better in 10 years, I think it will still be booming, and I see more tech and gadgets involved." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "We really believe that peaceful people create a peaceful world." Briana Borten CEO/Founder, The Dragontree Age: 35 thedragontree.com IG: @thedragontree Twitter: @dragontreespa For Briana Borten, the spa business is about more than just pampering—it's about creating peace. "We really believe that peaceful people create a peaceful world," she says. "There are all these things that stand in the way of our own peace, and we really want to help people move through those things." Borten herself is familiar with overcoming obstacles to peace. At 18, she suffered a debilitating neck injury that derailed the course of her career—but ultimately, led her to discover the healing power of massage. By 23, she had opened The Dragontree spa with her husband, Dr. Peter Borten, a specialist in traditional Chinese medicine. Soon they were approached by the Portland airport to open a location on their grounds, and Borten had to focus on creating a self-sufficient organization. "There were a lot of challenges in creating the spa to run without me, and really setting up the systems and structures so that could happen," Borten says. Running the business from a focused set of core values—and finding the right team to instill them—has been instrumental to The Dragontree's success. "When we look to make decisions or hire people, we really look to see that they line up with our core values," Borten says. "Just knowing that our mission and our core values are really what drive the company." These core beliefs include educating clients on the true benefit of their services. "Spa treatments, taking care of yourself and setting goals are not things that are secondary. They really should come first in your life. It's not pampering, it's actually really important for your health and your happiness." Nothing has reflected the whole breadth of the company's values more than its own line of apothecary products. "From our Muscle Melt line, which helps aches in the joints and muscles, to our tincture line, which [consists of] our condition-specific herbal tinc- tures that my husband created—and then, our bath and body line, which is all about self care and relaxation, [our line] really shows what our whole philosophy is." In addition to expanding its product line and continu- ing to forge connections with clients through lifestyle courses that the business offers, Borten is focused on expanding on a grander level in the future—through franchising. "I want to create something that is really connected, where our franchisees are part of our extended family." Borten's unique approach to franchising stems from her overall hope for the spa industry. "When I first got into the spa industry, it was very centered around this 'pampering' experience," she says. "Where I'd love to see it go is in the direction of whole wellness, and [being] really supportive of each other. The more we bring connection into this industry, the more we're going to be able to make a difference in people's lives." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LEADING WITH HEART Through her business, Briana Borten has become a champion for peace. Running her business from an authentic place, however, has been pivotal to its suc- cess, she says. "I think for our success, some of the key factors have been having a brand that means something to us. It's not just colors and keywords—it's really things that mean something to us. We really dive into that a lot—what that means and how to go deeper with it, how to really bring that to the world. I really think that makes a difference to our success because I feel that people can really feel who we are. It's like feeling someone's heart, really than just feeling their words." . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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