The Ups and Downs Of Starting A Business During COVID-19

We discuss the perks and pitfalls of starting a new brand in 2020.

During the shutdown of the beauty and aesthetics industry, many spa and clinic owners have been pumping their energy into revamping their businesses – creating new concepts, redoing menus, adding new services, recruiting new staff or even rebranding while they await their reopening. Creating and launching a totally new business, however, is a bold move for budding entrepreneurs, but with so much extra time to devote complete and utter focus, we can definitely see the benefits.

Piel Aesthetic is a new clinic set to open in Sydney later this year, whose dedicated owner, Kim Nguyen, has been hard at work finishing up her Beauty Therapy studies at the Australian Academy of Beauty and Spa Therapy, and creating a social media presence ahead of the big launch. Kim chats to SPA+CLINIC about what it’s been like launching a new brand amidst a global pandemic.

Tell us about your experience in the industry.
I am currently studying my Diploma in Beauty, Salon Management and laser + IPL so essentially you could say I’m an aesthetician in the making. I work full-time in a completely different industry but have always been interested (you could say borderline obsessed) with the beauty industry. This stemmed in my early adolescence as I experienced severe facial eczema and was determined to heal my skin. I had studied lashes and online courses in the past and opened a home studio years ago specialising in only lashes and brows for a short while, however found it hard to juggle between full-time work. In the end, I fell in the trap of choosing what would help me pay my bills, however with time and maturity I have found myself crawling back to what I believe is my calling and now here I am in the big and scary (but wonderful) world of social media trying to build a name for myself and my future business. 

Tell us about Piel Aesthetic
Piel Aesthetic is a firm believer that skin is our biggest asset and our time is our biggest currency. Beauty is in our skin and by preserving our skin we preserve our beauty. Given the history with my skin, this was essentially why Piel Aesthetic was born; it’s my way of paying it forward; to help my future clientele liberate their inner glow with the support of my bespoke treatments. I aim to use the utmost latest skincare technology combined with a welcoming and relaxing spa-like experience to tailor intuitive treatments to suit every skin type and clients skin goals. I want my future clients to feel comfortable, rejuvenated and that the space I envision to create is theirs as much as it is mine.

When do you plan on opening?
Late 2020 / early 2021. Stage one of the launch is the online store with some brands I have both used and personally believe in. Stage two will be some of my very own products, and finally stage three will be the studio – which will take some time to build.  

The clinic will be in Sydney. It really depends how finances track, and I suppose current market conditions. It may be a home studio initially but I’ve always envisioned a commercial space of my own and the end goal has always been to work towards that. I’m envisioning a small team to start with, up to five.

How long has it been in the making?
You could say it’s well overdue. I only just established my socials recently, thanks to ISO giving me more time on my hands, leaving me with no excuses!

How have you found trying to establish a new business in the midst of COVID-19?
For me, thankfully the only concern I have right now is building my socials and a genuine following. However, whoever said social media was easy is wrong! Instagram’s algorithms are constantly changing so you just never know who will see your page and whether they’ll connect with your content, so only time will tell. But my goal is to really build a genuine connection with my audience.

I hope that this article finds everyone well and safe. We’re certainly living in very strange and interesting times but thankfully but now more than ever it’s important to reflect on our health and wellbeing, and really prioritise ourselves and our loved ones and just take care of one another and be kind. Finally if you’re reading this, please follow my journey! I’d love nothing more than to share a moment of connection with you!

Have you taken this period of isolation as an opportunity to start a new business or brand? We would love to hear your story! Find us at editorial@spaandclinic.com.au

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