Salon London survived 2020 after losing six months’ worth of turnover. Ego Iwegbu, co-founder and CEO shares what it means to be resilient.
Ego hails from London, and when she first arrived in South Africa after her husband was transferred to Johannesburg, she thought she’d only be here for two years.
Instead, she saw the opportunity to purchase and rebrand a salon in Morningside and Miss Salon London was born. 11 years later, the business includes three salons and a cosmetics line – but for Ego, her biggest accomplishment has been surviving the global pandemic.
“The pandemic was a complete shock, because the beauty industry never suffers,” she says. “We’ve seen recessions come and go, and beauty is always sheltered. A women might not afford that fancy holiday, but she will get her hair and nails done. The fact that salons and restaurants were hit so hard was unprecedented.”
So, how did Ego keep her business going with no turnover for six months and a whole team of staff? These are her lessons:
Build great relationships. Ego and her landlord worked together to figure out how to keep both their businesses alive.
Support your staff. From pre-ordering online to setting up ways customers could donate or purchase treatments in advance, Ego’s commitment to her staff was reciprocated in their own resilience to keep the business going.
Think fast. Face reality, accept what’s happening and make a plan.
Lean on each other. Whether its suppliers and customer, employees, partners – we are in an ecosystem.
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