Interview: Candi&Co. salon

Our Fashion and Beauty Editor has been ranting and raving about her great experience reviewing a certain beauty store, so the team thought to let you in on the brand.

Candi&Co. has taken the hair and beauty industry by storm in the past year, so The Guide sat down with the salon chain’s Managing Director, Candice Thurston,  to find out a bit more about the growing beauty franchise.

Candice-Managing Director- Candi&Co
Candice Thurston -Managing Director- Candi&Co ( picture credit: Destiny magazine South Africa destinyconnect.com )
  1. Where and how did the beauty brand Candi & Co. form?

Myself and Sorbet founded Candi&Co. in 2013. I had worked at Unilever for 5 years and whilst working in the hair category realised the amount of damage, incorrect techniques, poor service and emotional heartache that was being experienced by black woman. I vowed that I would someday change this via great products or service as had also experienced and witnessed emotional hair heartache with my close family and friends. Five years later after my time at MTN, I met Ian Fuhr the founder of Sorbet and fell in love with the vision and culture of the Sorbet business. It was here that I said to my husband that I would love to create a Sorbet experience for black woman in the hair environment as believe all woman deserved to be spoilt, no matter what the industry.  I than presented to the Sorbet team who loved the concept and agreed on building a brand that would revolutionise the industry. And that’s how Candi&Co. was born.

  1. The salon has gained so much traction in the beauty space, what do you think has been the unique selling point in this regard?

The No 1 USP is that our focus is on making woman feel spoilt, taken-care off and respected whilst doing their hair. We say we don’t sell hair services we sell confidence. After being candi-coated, you must leave feeling like you can take over the world.

Our Free-wi-fi, complimentary refreshment menu, beauty services like nails, threading, make-up and eyelashes, credit services, 50% off on your birthday and our loyalty program are but a few reasons that Candi&Co is many woman’s ultimate one-stop shop.

With Candi&Co. woman must know that they have found a home for themselves and their hair and will always be in good hands.

2. From personal experience, I know it’s been difficult finding the right products and service for my ethnic hair – would you say that Candi & Co. is fulfilling a gap in the African beauty market with regards to this?

At the heart of Candi&Co. we are about healthy hair no matter what style our guests choose. We are also passionate about de-racialising hair and profile hair according to Hair Type. Type 1 being straight, 2 wavy, 3 curly and 4 highly textured.  Due to this we have invested in offering all hair types, a range of services and products that will suit their needs and hair goals. One of our focus areas is highly-textured natural hair. Through our research we realised that there is a large amount of black woman that needed help and education on how to take care and style their natural hair. Due to this we ensure we offer a natural hair menu, products, and our stylists are trained on the correct natural hair techniques and styles. We definitely think we are addressing a gap in the market and will continue to invest in this area with new innovation and practices.

3. How would you describe Candi & Co. in 5 words?

Affordable, Aspirational, Fun, Loving and Confident

 

4. Your brand has also attracted a lot of local celebrities, was this purposeful if not, did you expect it?

It was a mix of both. We had various celebs and media contact us and we also approached a few to get the candi-coating experience. Once they did many of them where hooked. The media and celebs also assisted us with constructive feedback on how to improve some of our areas. We are truly appreciative to both the media and celebs for supporting the brand and spreading the word.  

5. Are there any exciting projects besides seeing more franchises that we can expect from Candi & Co.?

There are many great projects on the horizon. One of which is starting our own line of products and hair extensions. Our ongoing project is always ensuring we giving our guests the best experience and customer service.

6. For our aspirational readers who want to start their own brands, what advice would you give to them?

My  6P’s to starting and managing a business and brand is:

1) PASSION:

Being an entrepreneur is not as glamorous as most people think. You need to have the greatest passion for the industry you choose. The main reason is when times are tough u will still pursue your passion, which will drive your business and most of all your job will hardly feel like work because u love what u doing.
2) PREPARATION:

Conduct your business with the utmost preparation by dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s. Take time to build a solid business plan that covers the key principles of your business: idea, target market, marketing your idea, due diligence and expected profit.  Monitor these closely to ensure you staying on track and know where to make tweaks if needed. I always believe that you can never be too prepared so don’t take short cuts, as it will cost you more in the long run. Preparation is not only related to internal business measures but even more important when dealing with external partners. Whether it is meeting partners, clients and especially your staff. When you are prepared you are professional and nothing beats professionalism.
3) PRIDE

Stay humble. You will build meaningful relationships and people will bend over backwards for you. Too much pride holds many businesses from growing due to the owners not wanting to pursue relationships or simply asking for help. Don’t ever think you better than anyone as you never know when that person could be a crucial link to the success of your business
4) PERFECTION

They say being a perfectionist can sometimes be a negative. In my books it’s a positive. When you’re an entrepreneur you need to ensure every level of your business is run like a well-oiled machine. Strive for perfection, u might not always get it 100% right but guaranteed u will meet expectations.
5) PEOPLE

This is my most crucial tip, as I strongly believe that if your purpose in business is individualistic you have a small chance of success. If you care for and grow your people and partners, they will help you grow your business. The same goes for your customers, give them what they want in a way they can’t live without.  Ian Fuhr says: People before profits. If you put people first the money will come.
6) PROUDLY FEMALE

For female entrepreneurs, always be proud to be a woman. Don’t feel like you need to play like the boys or be a boy. If you are professional and knowledgeable no one can debate that. If they do, they should not be your partners. Lastly, let us promote female owned businesses. They might not always be the best out there but it’s our duty as female entrepreneurs to mentor and build each other’s business. Let’s stop the message that woman are catty and not great leaders and move towards us being presidents and leaders of industry.

Candi&Co Details:

Visit us @

Website: www.candiandco.co.za

Instagram: @candiandcosalon

FB/twitter: @candiandcosalon

Email:  info@candiandco.co.za
Stores:

Randburg Square Mall: 011 781 36 11

Carlswald Midrand: 011 318 0090

Bluehills Midrand: 011 028 9929

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