As we move closer to the tail-end of 2020 (everyone’s annus horribilis), The Yak decided to meet some of the fearless few who have planned or opened new businesses in these tougher-than-tough times. Here we talk to Desmond and Shierley of The Shampoo Lounge and Bali Barber,
Right you two … name, rank and serial number please.
Shierley and Desmond, we’re The Shampoo Lounge (TSL) & Bali Barber. We have multiple locations in Bali and also our outlet salon location Hair Shop Store. We’re fully in the salon, spa and barber space and our Hair Shop Store exports premium grade hair extensions both domestically and internationally.
What experiences or services does your brand offer?
We get you ready,
We’re all about being the one-stop Bali destination for professional styling, cuts, color, premium hair extensions, keratin, straightening, nails, lashes, facials, massage, and professional men’s barbering in our co-located Bali Barber shops. We’re an Indonesian and English speaking business and deliver five-star work at very reasonable prices. The Shampoo Lounge is Bali’s original full service integrated salon, spa and barbershop destination and has been serving both an international and local clientele since 2012.
When did you first start planning this business?
Our business grew from something of a hobby to a full on venue. When we moved to Bali, it was such a hassle to find a place to go for both my husband and I to have our hair done. It kind of dawned on us that Bali needed a one stop destination for families to attend to their salon, spa and barber needs in one location. Traffic was quite bad in 2011 when we thought of this.
Is your business open yet and if so what date did you open?
Our original Seminyak location opened in 2012 and we opened Nusa Dua shortly thereafter. We also opened five-star on-site resort locations along the way. Hair Shop Store opened in 2018. Our Sanur location was our big bet for 2020. We started construction in 2019 and opened just at the start of the pandemic in March.
Due to the pandemic, we have temporarily closed our Nusa Dua location and our resort locations are still TBD if they’ll be reopening.
While everyone around you was laying-off workers and closing businesses what was it that made you keep going and continue the dream within the unfolding nightmare?
We’re definitely “the show must go on” kind of people and frankly so many of our staff have been with us since 2012 we owed it to them to make a go of this situation and keep as many as possible gainfully employed. Given our business backgrounds, we’re no strangers to market fluctuations and promptly got our costs in order, restructured our operations, staffing, hours and refocused all of our efforts upon the significant Bali-based clientele we have and building upon that. So far, so good but another year of this will be quite challenging.
How long have you been in your chosen field of business?
Succinctly, eight years. Prior to that Desmond had a career in international manufacturing and Shierley in marketing and tradeshows.
This was new to both of us in 2012. Certainly, we knew what we would like in an ideal salon, spa, and barbershop but we entered this space in 2012 with only that knowledge. We supplemented that with professional training by both domestic and international stylists.
How many people do you employ?
Close to a hundred when all locations are operational. We currently have around 65 full time core employees.
What are the factors that you appreciate about this C19 business hiatus?
Hmmm, the quietness and beauty of Bali is more accessible than ever. It’s given us pause to restructure our business, fully understand our economic metrics, and maintain running with only our absolute best employees on board. Everyone now fully appreciates having their jobs and is doing their best for our clients. We look at this as the perfect opportunity to grow our domestic client base and have been surprisingly successful with that despite everyone’s economic purse tightening. We’re also experiencing a spike in demand for our export hair extensions as salons around the world are looking for alternatives to China and the questionable sources of hair they export.
What upcoming challenges do you foresee?
Uncertainty is the biggest challenge of all. No one knows when this will end. At TSL, we’re assuming it’s another year from today. Vaccine approval and distribution takes us into mid 2021 and the tourism that resume will be a small fraction of previous years.
Also the longer this goes on, the less people have to spend on nonessential activities. We are struggling like everyone else and have tightened our own personal spending accordingly. This will only be more of a challenge as the months progress.
Local people are truly struggling and we’re only about six months in. Community service has always been part of what we do and we anticipate the need to get dramatically more involved in this.
We are optimistic that many people desire to move to Bali so perhaps the loss in tourism will be a bit supplemented with additional full time expats with the means and ability to move here.
Are you currently running any promotional campaigns and / or amazing offers?
Yes for sure. TSL was already the go-to for our incredible monthly promos and we’ve taken this to the next level during the crisis as so many have lost their sources of income entirely and/or had it reduced dramatically, we need to adapt to this reality as we want to make it through this not only with all of our employees but also with all of our Bali-based clients struggling to make ends meet. We all need to adapt and persevere until the next upcycle.
Do you have a mantra, music or a motto that you have used, weekly or daily, as you have completed and opened in these trying times?
It’s simplistic but Shierley and I are focused upon GAP. Gratitude, Attitude and Perseverance; we check each other on this regularly to keep a positive trajectory through this very depressing time.
Lastly, can you let us know your business opening times and address so we can come visit, and thank you in person for your optimism and passion.
Seminyak is located at 8x Raya Basangkasa open everyday 10-6pm.
Sanur is located at 152 Danau Tamblingan open everyday 10-7pm.
Hair Shop Store is at Nakula #7, Denpasar open everyday 10-7pm.
Matur Suksema and as ever – may The Yak be with you.
And us with you!