A new business success story. Tatiana Karelina launched Tatiana Hair Extensions in January 2009 and her company is now approaching £1,000,000 in turnover.
How did you get the idea?
It was in the US where I was first introduced to the concept of hair extensions and the various different attachment techniques. Upon returning to the UK I worked at what was then regarded as the largest hair extensions salon in the country to gain experience, with a view to open my own. The technology I had seen in the US was not yet offered in the UK and I felt that implementing certain techniques in my own salon would be a huge advantage for me.
How it was financed?
I needed £30,000 for start-up which went primarily on fixtures and furnishing and was paid for out of personal savings. Subsequent investment of £80,000 was needed to have a large inventory of hair to allow us to do same-day fitting for almost anyone that comes in. This was raised through cash flow.
How it was marketed?
In the early days I relied entirely on word of mouth. While I had a website I knew nothing about SEO or digital strategy and consequently our website lay dormant on the 7th page of Google. I discovered the benefits of a well-designed website and implementing a digital strategy alongside using PR. We are now extremely visible on the web and rank high for all hair extensions search terms.
Expansion. With Manchester up and running we are looking to North America, including Toronto, New York and Los Angeles. The demand for hair extensions in these cities is extremely high yet the quality of hair is very low. We are also in discussions with people in Bahrain, Sydney and Melbourne about possible franchise arrangements. We feel that our product is so complete and unique that it is transportable to any major city in the world.