QUBEA salon owner – how to start a beauty business in London and make it successful

11.10.2023Daria Kizenkova

The story of QUBEA beauty salon, now listed as one of the most popular beauty spots in Central London, began with a bold idea multiplied by a desire to find a profession to suit. In 2013, Nelly Malinina Ravilova moved from Spain to the UK and since then has managed to go through all the stages of creating a business, turning her once dream of her favorite business into a reality. "ZIMA" talked to Nelly about how she developed the project and the challenges she faced.

About opening the salon and how it all started.

“I am a linguist-translator by education, but I have worked in IT all my life. In fact, working in fintech companies is not really my thing at all, so moving to another country was a great reason to try to find myself,” says Nelly. After arriving in London, the future owner of the salon immediately began working as a master of eyelash extensions, so that in parallel with the search for herself to do business. “Since then, what I started 10 years ago has gradually become my vocation,” she continues.

As Nelly explains, QUBEA was one of the first salons in London to specialize in eyelash extensions. “Until a few years ago, eyelash extension masters could be counted on the fingers here, this sector of the beauty industry was quite undeveloped in the UK.”

In the beginning with Nellie, there was only one master in the salon. The quick and quality database helped to reach a large number of clients immediately, which now include a large number of English and Europeans. A couple of years later, QUBEA became a full-fledged beauty spot on the London map and opened two salons in the city center. As Nelly herself adds, it was due to the professional team of masters and management director Maria Panina that the salon managed to gain popularity so quickly.

About the global rebranding and change of strategy

The pandemic – namely, a rather long hiatus from the salon – was in many ways a turning point for the business. “We realized that we were getting bigger, and therefore we needed to change the concept globally,” explains Nelly. Over the coveted time period, in addition to eyelash extension services, Queens Lashes added eyebrow care, followed by manicures, pedicures and finally hair care, makeup and body treatments. The team has also expanded considerably and has managed to become international in a few years.

“Before the pandemic, Queens Lashes was primarily aimed at a younger audience: we emphasized this with the salon’s naming and design. When you walked in, you were literally surrounded by an all pink interior, as if from the Barbie universe,” explains Nelly. However, when the business grew quite seriously, it became obvious that we needed to take it to the next, new level. “We made the decision to kind of become more ‘grown up,’ which the expansion has helped a lot.” Thus, the rather youthful Queen’s Lashes turned first into Queens Veattu and then into QUBEA.

Together with the change of the logo, the positioning of the salon has also changed. When asked which procedures are in the greatest demand now, the salon answers that a lot depends on the guests. While some – mainly English-speaking clients – prefer eyelash extensions and laminations, for others it is more important to have time for several procedures at once.

If you spend an entire day in the salon, you may notice that a different audience comes in each time slot. For example, in the mornings at QUBEA, you can see a large number of moms who have taken their kids to school and now have a few hours to themselves. That’s why for these guests – and there are quite a few of them in the salon – it’s crucial to get everything done in a fairly short time frame.

“From the very beginning, we staked on high quality services and speed of service. The trend today is for naturalness and naturalness, and this is largely due to the speed of the process,” explains Nelly.

What procedures to go for at QUBEA

Especially for our readers, the editorial staff of “Winters” has chosen the services in the salon, which are recommended by both guests and QUBEA itself.

Following Nelly’s advice and client testimonials, the editorial team decided to test the service from which today’s successful business once started – eyelash lamination. At the same time, we were offered to have a manicure at the same time as eyelash care – in this way, two masters work with the guest at once.

The whole set of procedures takes about an hour and a half. The first thing that the master does before starting to work with eyelashes – checks the reaction of the client to the chemical compositions that are used in lamination. It literally takes a few minutes – the products are specially applied to the hand before further use. After the “express-test” is conducted”, the procedure itself begins: lifting, which allows you to open the eyelashes for further work with them, creating the desired bend (which will remain with you for a month and a half or two months), coloring and, finally, fixing the effect with the help of the final composition. At the same time the master does your manicure and as a result you save time without worrying about the quality of the work done.

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