Noor Al Tamimi turned her passion into a business when she opened her first beauty salon together with her three sisters in 2008.
Dashing Nails came to life while Noor was running her own interior design company and she began to consider what her true passion was. She had the vision to build an empire that could continue beyond her and become her legacy. As a customer herself of the UAE’s beauty salons, she knew there was a gap in the market for a destination that really meets the needs of today’s busy women. Alongside her sisters she set about revolutionising the beauty industry and truly catering to what women are looking for today. Dashing Nails soon progressed into Bedashing Beauty – offering a full spectrum of treatments for clients and offering a truly unique salon experience. The founders consider themselves role models for the women that enter their does and each one represents the key values of the beauty salons.
Throughout the COVID-19 period, Bedashing Beauty saw an opportunity to re-strategize some of its processes and methods of working. With 16 salons now in its portfolio, there has been no time to take a step back and reflect on the work that has been done so far whilst planning for the future. So this was a great moment to do that. Also on the cards for Bedashing Beauty is expansion. After being acquired by a large international investment company early in 2020 the sky is now the limit for the young entrepreneurial family. To find out what are the next steps in the journey we talk to CEO Noor Al Tamimi
Tell us a little about how Bedashing Beauty has functioned this year with the COVID-19 situation?
This year was wonderful for us but at the same time was very challenging. In March, a huge international company acquired Bedashing Beauty. It is called International Holding Company and it is rated number 56 worldwide in terms of market capitalisation. So that’s the wonderful part of what happened for us before COVID-19 arrived. It’s great news because it means it will be much easier for us to expand both regionally and internationally. COVID-19 itself was a big challenge with the nature of our business, as social distancing is very difficult in our line of work. However, it was exciting times because we faced this challenge with a positive attitude. We believe that the greatest opportunities lie in the worst times, so we saw it as an opportunity.
Right before the lockdown, we realised that it might happen and so we started to think outside the box and imagine how our business would be without being physically close to our clients. We had the idea of creating a Beauty Takeaway concept, where we package our traditional services and send it to our clients, along with the instructions of how to conduct each service. This was a big hit and it helped us a lot financially during the COVID period. We were the very first beauty company to launch this idea.
We also took the decision not to try and forecast what was going to happen in this period and I think that was the right decision. We improved communication across the entire company and this has helped us to make decisions quickly. We decided to take things slowly and not act on anything in haste. We took all the measures possible to guard the wellbeing and safety of our staff. Many of the regulations that were laid out by the government we had already set in place before the guidelines came into place. Because of this, we were able to keep some of our branches open in Abu Dhabi and this ensured that we could pay our staff during this period. We took advantage of this time and implemented things that we have wanted to do for a while but didn’t have the time. I truly believe we are one of the companies that handled the situation in the best way. We turned it into an opportunity and many benefits have come from it.
Are there any changes you have made within the company during this time that you think are for the better and is there anything you believe you will do differently moving forward?
So many changes! One of our values at Bedashing is to always be positive no matter what the situation and this is how we acted during the pandemic. We conducted all the changes that we needed to make us a strong company and we have emerged from the situation as a completely restructured company. This allows us not just to cope with COVID, but to cope with the future and what comes next.
What is something that you have learnt throughout this period?
I have learnt how to reduce costs to the minimum possible! Throughout my years as a businesswoman, I have always been good at increasing sales but I have always had a weakness when it comes to controlling costs. So this was my biggest lesson during the period.
Take us back to the beginning – what was the initial idea behind Bedashing Beauty and what did you want to achieve with it?
I look at Bedashing as a person and I have created a personality around her. Bedashing is a young, progressive, modern woman. She is extremely busy, she’s ambitious and she wants to look good all the time. She also has a purpose in life of spreading confidence amongst women but helping them to look their best and feel their best.
What do you think makes it different from other salons in the the UAE?
We’re different at every level. We are a passion-driven company and it has been that way since we first opened our doors. Bedashing always restructures itself, we don’t wait for things to happen and we are a very agile company and that’s why we have managed to pass through the COVID situation without much damage. On the contrary, we emerged stronger than ever. What makes us different is that every day we reinvent ourselves, we re-explore what our client’s expectations are and we try to offer something unique. We are trendsetters. We come up with new ideas and we’re not afraid to take big risks. Otherwise, it would be so boring for me! We are customer-orientated and we aim to serve our customers and what their needs are. The way we deliver our services in our unique Bedashing chair which can facilitate several treatments simultaneously, makes us stand out as no one else has this concept.
There is huge competition in the market – how do you ensure you continue to stand out amongst others?
There is huge competition in the market, but our biggest competitor is ourselves! So we are constantly asking ourselves how we can do better what we have done before. Honestly speaking I don’t have much time to see what our competitors are doing, but I know we are way ahead and the only way to stay way ahead is to compare us to ourselves.
What would you still like to achieve with the company that you haven’t done yet?
International expansion. I was so ready to start this in 2020 but then COVID-19 hit. It’s OK, we have worked on making our foundations stronger and now we’re more ready than ever to go ahead with our plans to expand internationally.
How important has social media been in the growth of your brand and what do you think it adds to your company?
Beauty and social media come hand in hand and it’s something very important and a task that takes up a big chunk of my week. We are constantly looking to add content that our followers can benefit from.
If you could look back, what is something that you would tell your younger self?
I have no regrets whatsoever and I don’t believe anyone should have regrets in life because you cannot come back the person you were when you were younger. Ten years ago I was in very different circumstances and there’s no way I can assess decisions I took even two years ago! I would just say continue moving ahead and have no regrets.
You work closely with your sisters – tell us a little about the dynamic between you?
It is challenging working together as sisters and it’s not always easy. We have to accept each other’s differences and see them as the best thing possible for a company. I believe in a company that it is good to have people with different opinions but in the end, we all must agree and accept the opinions depending on each other’s strengths. As sisters, we all have different takes on things but we all know our strengths and yes we will clash, but we have to use take advantage of our strengths, based on our areas of expertise.
How do you keep a family/work life balance?
I do not keep any balance and I don’t believe anyone that says they do! I don’t think this should be the goal because it would affect my mood and make me constantly feel guilty. I accept the fact, that I’m a human being with my own setbacks, but I always make sure that I compensate whatever shortfall I have given to my family or my work. Some days my work will take the most of my attention and other days it will be my family. We are all human and there are only 24 hours in a day so there is a limit to how much time we can give to people around us! I try to keep my kids busy when I’m busy and spend time with them when they are free. We have really good summers I’ve spent great quality time with them during quarantine!
What is something you would love to change within the beauty industry in the UAE?
Big changes are happening in the beauty industry because Bedashing is going to be a big disrupter! I can’t reveal more but we do have a big strategy and big plans.
What would you say to anyone at the beginning of their business journey?
Do something that you are super-passionate about. Ask yourself what you like and don’t mind spending years dedicated to it. Don’t do something just because someone else has done it, do what you’re really interested in and what sparks curiosity within you. It’s a great thing to think big. Set yourself a huge goal and then come back to the present moment and ask yourself what you can do today with your current circumstances towards achieving this goal and do it. If you take small steps every day you’ll be there in no time.
Who is the person that inspires you the most?
This is the hardest question anyone can ask me because I get inspired by every single person that crosses my path. Everything inspires me.
Where would you like to see Bedashing Beauty in five years?
As a big international market player.
What is the life motto you live by?
I can’t change my past, I can’t do anything in the future, but I live in the present moment and I have full control of this moment so I need to give my best in every living second.