October is Small Business Month! This year, we are working with the amazing project, Talking Shop, to share great stories of local small businesses. Read Talking Shop's conversation with Natalie, one of the owners of The Natural Hair Salon, a salon inspired by the decor of the Middle East.
Celebrating Small Business Month with Talking Shop
Talking Shop is a project to tell the stories of the local owners and entrepreneurs behind your favourite shopfronts, especially as we battle through these difficult times. On the Talking Shop blog, you can find conversations with local small business owners and leaders and news from the industry. The aim of Talking Shop is to create a community of #supportlocal advocates.
The Natural Hair Salon
In August, Talking Shop posted the article, “In Conversation with Natalie // The Natural Hair Salon”. Natalie, co-owner of The Natural Hair Salon on View Street, talks about the joys and challenges of running a hair salon in 2020. Scroll on for a few excerpts from the article or read the whole thing on Talking Shop’s website!
Talk to us about your beautiful salon.
My husband, Philip Ferreira, co-owns the salon and is the master stylist with a vast and varied career of over 30 years in hair. I’m the other owner and the general manager. I’m so grateful we both have complementary skills; we are the “dynamic duo,” as my staff says. I used to be a school teacher and I also founded PantybyPost.com, which I recently sold. (Keep reading.)
What would you say is your personal style and aesthetic?
Our home is colourful and somewhat minimal, since it’s a cozy home, not too big. I am drawn to bright colours, handmade and unique items. I have a few special pieces of original art and I love to mix and match throw pillows. I like to think of our house as artful but functional too. We have a toddler, so there’s only so many ways you can use a throw to cover up pen marks! Philip can wear anything, he’s the easiest person to shop for. I always think of his style as New York City really, he’s so effortlessly fashionable. I love summer, where I can get away with wearing dresses to put myself together. Philip and I have travelled a good amount, so I would say our fashion choices, our salon and our home reflect an eclectic aesthetic. (Keep reading.)
How has COVID-19 affected your business? What changes have you made?
We were so upset and worried when we were forced to close. We let ourselves feel that pain for a day or so, and then we sprang into action. We are lucky to have each other, so the challenge didn’t feel too heavy — my husband and I are a good team. We decided to launch an online business and Philip went to the salon every day to meet clients (from a distance using our child’s trolley, it was very cute) and make sure they had much-needed root coverage supplies with our colour kits. It was hard, but we managed to pay our rent and stay busy. (Keep reading.)
Downtown Victoria’s favourite quote from Natalie’s interview:
“My tip for entrepreneurs is always the same: work hard, press on, take your losses on the chin and stay positive.”