Kelly-Ann Browne’s love of doing hair runs deep. And even though she has worked in retail, childcare, and other sectors, her passion for hair trumped all, and she is now living her dream as a highly sought-after natural hairstylist.
It all started when the young business owner and mother would occasionally accommodate a few clients after work and on weekends. As her confidence and skills grew, she had a brief stint in a small salon.
According to Browne, this experience gave her the tools necessary to branch out on her own, and thus, the business 4Ever Awesome by Kelly was born.
“As more clients were referred to me, it became difficult to balance having a day job which made me have to turn away new or potential clients,” she explained.
The now thriving salon specialises in microlocs, traditional locs, braids, cornrows, faux locs, and other natural styles. In more recent times, Browne has added nail care to the range of services.
From school-aged children to the busy career woman, the elderly, and even men, Browne has attracted rave reviews that speak to her unique and down-to-earth brand of customer service. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the talented hairstylist has made it her mandate to foster a one-on-one experience.
To achieve this, she created an appointment system intended to reduce wait times while extending the one-on-one experience.
Browne, who will be celebrating four years as a microbusiness owner this month, admits that even though it is tough being an entrepreneur in these challenging times, she is taking the pandemic in stride even though she has been experiencing gaps in income
since last March.
“Obviously not being an essential worker, COVID has caused my business to close, which affected my income, which has also affected bill payments and other everyday expenses,” she shared.
She added that she has even lost a few clients who either can no longer afford professional hair services or have learned to do their own hair during the lockdown last March.
“The main thing COVID has taught me is how to be more organised and how to put aside for a rainy day in the event anything like this happens,” she shared.
Acknowledging that it takes more than the ability to do hair to run a successful salon, Browne told Today’s Business her challenges are quite similar to others in her field.
The rising costs of styling products and the absence of hair supplies on the local market are but a few of the obstacles. In light of the uncertain times ahead, she advises other microbusiness owners to save.
“Make sure you set aside something for the business so that in the event that something like this happens or if you happen to get sick when you reopen, it wouldn’t be such a struggle,” she stressed.
In the meantime, Browne is using the national pause as an opportunity to continue to hone her skills and build her brand while continuing to improve the quality of services that she provides, which includes maintaining a safe and welcoming environment for her clients. (CJ)