Making customers feel fantastic is at the heart of Gina Conway’s business. But for owner of a London-based salon business, Gina, it doesn’t stop there. She’s passionate about creating an environment where her team thrive and want to come to work every day.
I originally come from Lake Tahoe, California and moved to London nearly 20 years ago. I joined a leading salon in Mayfair where I worked with fashion shows and Vogue magazine. However, I realised that high-end salon customer service wasn’t established at this point. They seemed to lack the warmth and welcoming environment I had felt in US salons.
I wanted to create salons where my team would want to – and enjoy – coming to work. A place where they would love their jobs, so their fantastic energy would feed through to customers.
Coming from Lake Tahoe I’m no stranger to the outdoors. Skiing has been a fundamental part of my life and I’m passionate about being surrounded by fresh, clean air.
Tennis and cycling are also important hobbies of mine and I’ve taken part in the RideLondon 100 cycling marathon to fundraise for WaterAid. Activities like this keep me strong, healthy and happy.
It’s important that my team want to come to work and leave their stresses and any negative feelings at the door. We call our team meetings “team celebrations” and we always include a wellness aspect – this could be five minutes of breathing exercises, aromatherapy or practicing mindfulness.
We want to ensure we are all achieving the right balance in all areas of our lives, including work. I want my team to feel that they can always speak to us about things that might be causing stress in their lives and we strive to make work a happy place for everybody.
It’s also important that I have a business which has products that are non-pollutant and non-toxic — it is our responsibility as a business to look after the environment.
People are looking for natural solutions to a busy and often crazy world. My salons are a small oasis where people can escape and rejuvenate. I always aim to hire people who thrive in these environments and are naturally warm towards others.
My customers are my ‘guests’ and my team are integral to our nurturing, holistic approach.
Gina outlines her wellbeing philosophy at work
Gina gives her top tip for young entrepreneurs starting out in business today