Yen’s Hair Design
Address: 211 Holland Ave
#03-38/39, Holland Road Shopping Centre
Contact: +65 6467 6562 / 6469 1335
Sister power drives quality in this business
In metropoles where different cultures collide, beauty specialists who cater to specific ethnic groups are not at all an uncommon sight. From posh chains whose decor and style are inspired by the latest Korean fashion craze to the lady down the block who can weave a mane of ‘fro into glorious braids, rarely do hair salons house all kinds of hair experts under one roof. For Yen and Jolene at Yen’s Hair Design, they’ve done just that – stepping up to the bold challenge of catering to every customer all across the style board.
The sisters started their business in early 2004. The duo had a perfect division of tasks – Yen styles and cuts while Jolene uses her years of management experience on the salon’s operation. In the first few months of the salon’s opening, the sisters worked alongside one another every single day, frequently until late at night. The sisters admit to experiencing physical burnout in those early days, but hard work paid off when customers start returning and bringing over friends and family.
The sisters are proud to offer expert advice and service to a very international clientele. Visitors of the salon come from as far as the US, the UK, and Korea. Yen finds this fact particularly invaluable, as many clients are keen to introduce the sisters to the latest trends. The salon often offers hair products which are not seen elsewhere in Singapore, or is one of the first to bring in new products for the local market.
When asked about what makes their salon different from others, “quality” was the sisters’ answer. A frequent customer complaint is that one is unable to style their own hair the day after they’ve got their cut. At Yen’s Hair Design, the owners state that if a customer is unable to handle or style his or her own hairdo after the haircut, the cut isn’t done right. The “post-cut” customer experience, accessibility of their location, innovative products and friendly service is what brings customers back to Yen’s.
The subject of “family time” came up when sisters are asked about the challenges and sacrifices they face, despite running a very successful business. The salon is busiest during evenings, or before and during the holidays. Other than having to skip out on family time, another challenge is knowing when- and how – to stay ambitious but safe in this line of work. As customer demand grows, the salon is ever more focused on the continuous improvement of hygiene, offering of new products, and expansion.
For the sisters, running a business is about being financially equipped, as well as being at the right place and at the right time. The sisters firmly believe that academic training must accompany hands-on work. Their advice to young entrepreneurs? Stay focused, think ahead, and ensures steady cash flow for at least six months. “Skip that date with your sweetheart,” the sisters jokingly suggested.