Hi Queila, you’re the founder of My Beauty Squad, can you tell us a bit about what makes it different from other salons?
My Beauty Squad is a mobile beauty app where stylists can go to your location offering an array of beauty treatments. Our clients can create bespoke services and booking hours start from as early as 6am. The main difference is the flexibility given to both customers and beauticians so they can have the same professional appointment without leaving your home. We are very proud to be POC and female-owned. My Beauty Squad is also the only mobile beauty company created by beauticians!
How did the idea come about and what was the journey like from then on?
I was working full time and by the time I got home, I never had the time to get my hair or nails done during the week. What triggered me to start was when my husband booked us a surprise holiday and we were flying out the next morning. He told me the news at 7pm and I went around everywhere trying to find an open salon but I couldn’t find any. At the time I wished I had an app to book an appointment easily and since I couldn’t find a really good one, I decided to create my own. The journey was definitely not easy, but we grew extremely fast and perfected the experience based on our customer’s feedback and of course my experience as a former beautician.
You clearly know your industry, from your time spent working as a beautician to running your own company; what are your thoughts on diversity in the beauty industry?
I’ve always wanted My Beauty Squad to be a company where everyone feels comfortable booking an appointment. It doesn’t matter if you have curly hair, straight, afro or if you’re a crossdresser. Every woman deserves to feel special considering we are often taking care of others and having little time to ourselves. The beauty industry is starting to break the old standards of beauty and it’s now understanding that we should embrace our differences. There is still a lot of work to be done for diversity to be implemented and it starts from the very bottom at beauty schools. Models of all skin tones should be provided in order to create professionals that can truly cater to everyone.
Tell us about your specialist services for people of colour and trans clients?
Our number one rule at My Beauty Squad is that to work with us you need to be able to provide services for everyone. We often had beauticians applying that could only cater to a certain ethnicity and we strongly advised them to gain further qualifications and experience and re-apply in the future. This stems from my own experiences of going to salons, quite often getting a hairdresser that was clearly concerned about doing my hair. I don’t want my clients to have the same issue, so that’s why with our beauty on-demand services, people of colour and trans clients know they are being treated by experienced professionals always.
You’ve often mentioned the importance of supporting your team and adapting to their needs, how did your own experiences inform this ethos and how have you found ways to support each other in the last nine months?
I am a true believer that if you take care of your team, they will take care of your clients. I’ve worked for pretty bad bosses in the past that taught me what I do not want to be like. It’s very important to be relatable, approachable and show your team that you are going through the same uncertainties as they are. When they see you are also going through the same issues as them, that’s when open conversations happen within the team. I believe you can show your weaknesses but also show that you keep going which will inspire others to have hope and strengthen their character.
What advice do you have for professionals who may have had similar experiences to you, on how to make a difference in their own industries?
Education is the cure for all our issues. Learn different cultures, become friends with people from different backgrounds, I believe this will open your eyes for so many different things. Once you learn what other people go through you gain the wisdom to start making differences in your own environment. Always lead by example even if no one is watching and always aim to be the best in what you do. In a world where so many people are happy to do the bare minimum, the one that dares to go beyond expectations will always stand out.
What’s your favourite beauty treatment at the moment?
Due to the lack of events, I am surely missing out on my favourite treat, which is a party makeup look. Instead, I like to use a protein hair mask and follow that up with a blow-dry appointment. My hair stays strong and silky for the whole week!
What’s next for you?
We just launched our ‘Lashes For Everyone’ collection, which are false lash styles inspired by everyday women and our clients. Our lash collection aims to bridge the gap between ‘dramatic lashes’ and ‘barely there natural lashes’ which is the biggest issue our clientele faces when choosing lashes for party looks, so we got my trusted team of professional makeup artists together to create five deluxe silk and faux mink lash styles. I aim to combine My Beauty Squad’s mobile beauty services with our own cosmetics line to create an all-encompassing beauty brand.
My Beauty Squad is a top mobile beauty services company that covers London, Birmingham, Dublin, and Cork. My Beauty Squad’s app is available to download free on the App Store and Google Play Store. You can visit them online at www.mybeautysquad.com