Focusing solely on beauty, Vanity Fair in Camden Road provides a variety of treatments, offers and services to clients who want to look and feel fabulous. Owner and beauty therapist Jessica Butler tells us how she and her team have made the salon a ‘home from home’ for their customers…
Tell us the background of the salon
I started the business from scratch just over six years ago in October 2009. It started off really small with myself and my mum, who’s on reception for me. I was working in London, but decided I wanted to open up a beauty salon – I fell in love with the premises and two months later I was open. We’ve slowly but surely grown in size and expanded our client base, so are now really busy. My mum’s on reception and Emma and I are full-time.
What kinds of services do you provide?
We offer treatments like facials, massages, laser hair removal, lash extensions and spray tans. I try to target our audience just on beauty; the IPL laser is great because it’s targeted hair removal, which I class as beauty, but I try not to go more into areas like Botox or clinical treatments. A lot of salons in and around other areas combine hair as well, but I really wanted to provide just a high standard of professional service in beauty, like nails and waxing – all the kinds of things that women want on a monthly basis.
Your slogan is, ‘Beauty treatments for beautiful people…’ – what does this mean?
I think it means that everyone is beautiful, but we’re here to help. It’s about us being able to offer some really good standards of treatment, but in a way that’s approachable to everybody and anybody, for any kind of treatment, whether it’s an eyebrow wax once a month, or three hours’ worth of treatments. Whatever makes a client feel better, we can offer as a service, but hopefully to a good standard.
Why set up the business on Camden Road?
I was born and bred in Tunbridge Wells and have always lived in the town, so it’s a great location for me personally. From a business point of view, clients don’t actually want to go into a town centre where everyone else is; Camden Road is a perfect location in that sense, because they can park down here or walk here from residential areas in and around. I also like Camden Road because it’s a bit quirky and there are lots of independent businesses like myself, which are family-run. I think it’s nice that we’re all located along this road – it’s a lovely road that works for us as a business and I’m glad we’re here.
Do you offer any promotions?
We’ve had the lash extensions on offer for £50, which have been really popular, as they’re normally £82.50 for a full set. They last about a month and you can have in-fills every two weeks to maintain them. We can do it to a length, thickness and curl that suits the individual client. We have clients who have them all year round, as well as clients who have them for special occasions, so that’s usually quite a popular promotion.
How do you set yourselves apart from the competition?
It’s the fact that we offer just beauty, which you don’t tend to find very often, as it’s normally combined with hairdressing. It’s quieter, more peaceful and more relaxing, and my mum’s here to talk to clients. People know who they’re getting when they come here and know that they’re going to get a good coffee and chinwag with either myself or Emma. For us, it’s having the right staff, services and treatments, which are done to a really high standard. The environment itself is quite shabby-chic and a ‘home from home’, which we get a lot of compliments on.
Are there any key trends that clients should look out for in 2016?
Eyebrows has been a really big thing in the last couple of years, which we’re going to be looking into doing soon. It’s not something we offer at the moment, but we’re going to a show to find out about ‘micro-blading’, which is a new form of semi-permanent brow tattooing. Brows is the thing that people should be looking out for over the coming months, especially in our salon.
Where would you like to take Vanity Fair in the future?
I would like to have salon number two in Sevenoaks, hopefully by summer this year. I want to keep it at exactly the same level here in regards to the staff, feel and service, but the main thing is progressing to a second salon.