Date Posted: Monday 24th June 2019
DIARY directory will be hosting its first industry event on 25 June. Looking To Grow Your Beauty Business? will consider the positivity currently surrounding the beauty sector and to address some of its future challenges. Ahead of the event, we caught up with Yulia Rorstrom, CEO and Founder of Duck & Dry and Duck & Dry Xpress to find out how she has grown her brand.
Yulia left her career in finance and set out to create a modern styling destination and, in 2014, she opened the doors to Duck & Dry's flagship store, where visitors can enjoy a glass of prosecco, browse through a menu of on-trend blow drys and chic updos, or get a trim by a skilfully trained stylist.
Since then, Duck & Dry has continued to grow with a number of stand alone spaces in London's Spitalfields, Oxford Circus, Soho, Chelsea and Mayfair, and has now expanded into Primark stores with a new concept offering blowdrys/updos, nails and eyebrow services.
Give us a breakdown of an average day for you.
First thing I do in the morning is to check the salon schedules so I understand how the day is looking across both brands, Duck & Dry and Duck & Dry Xpress. Coffee is an essential part of my morning regime!
I try to keep team meetings and catch-ups in the afternoon, but being an entrepreneur with a fairly young brand means that work never really stops!
How do you balance raising a family and building your brand?
I have a strong support network of people around me! Grandmothers are valuable. Also, a supportive husband and a full-time nanny helps. However, it is a constant challenge to balance work and family.
What is the best part of your job?
A sense of pride that you are building something. I am always on the lookout for opportunities to grow my business
What is the biggest lesson that you’ve learned while growing your business?
Be prepared to be agile, and the final product may not be the same as the initial idea. Always be receptive to the market, competition and always be open to opportunities.
What has been the key to your success?
Not giving up and constantly pushing forward – being very determined...
When it comes to the people around you - who do you bounce ideas off & do you have any mentors?
Managing people is one of the toughest tasks in a service business, but I am lucky to have a small team of people who have been on this journey with me since the very start and are as passionate about the business as I am.
I also enjoy speaking to other business owners that we’ve had the opportunity to work with (not just from the beauty industry!).
Your best advice to start up beauty brands?
It is one of the most competitive sectors, therefore something distinctive with a unique selling point is the key.
You’ve recently launched your service in Primark stores, how did this come about?
I was keen to expand our core services to reach out to the high-street consumer and explore the concept of fast beauty with Britain’s largest retailer - Primark.
What are your thoughts on the future of the high street?
Highstreets are popular as people are spending on experiences and wellness. However, there are challenges such as ever-growing rents and rates, operational costs as well as retailers having to be ever more creative to attract people through the door and build a repeat client base.
Where do you see the brand in five years time?
Our vision is to build a consumer brand that will be known and recognized outside of London, beyond just the services. We are currently working on developing our product-line to bring Duck & Dry blow dries to your home.
What is your go-to skincare brand and make-up product?
I really like Fresh skincare – because of its natural ingredients that smell nice, look good and are gentle on my skin. Since our collaboration with Primark, we are also using a lot of their products; I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of their products. Their false lash effect mascara is one my favourites!
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