When we first set out to launch Cloud Nine, we encountered with many a varying reaction. From caring friends who felt the need to warn us about the risks of a partnership, to those who were happy and full of congratulations to those who’s only response was “you do know there are, like, a million nail salons in Maple Ridge don’t you?!?!”.
Yes we knew how many there were, in fact, the fact that there were so many is what inspired us and gave us the undeniable belief that we would do “just fine thank you”! We signed our lease and got our keys on September 1. We were the proud new tenants of 1300 square feet of big, open, raw, unfinished space that needed to be converted to our visions of a clean, fashionable and inviting nail bar in only 55 days…oh ya, and on top of all that, we needed to find staff, buy everything from curtains to the kitchen sink, implement systems, build websites, engage people on Facebook and still find time to sleep, eat, clean our homes and spend time with our families. Despite all that, we slept at night because we were so incredibly grounded in our WHY for starting our business that we knew it would all work out.
So what are we talking about? Well, what we do is quite similar to the other nail salons in our area (of which there are at least 5 in a 500m radius). We offer manicures and pedicures and nail enhancement services, so do they. How we do our services is probably pretty similar too. It’s the WHY that sets us apart.
The opening line of our business plan is
People are the cornerstone to our success!
Plain and simple our WHY is all about people. Giving our staff a great place to work and embedding in our culture a standard of caring, empathy, compassion and respect. We feel, as business owners that it is our duty, one of our why’s of being in business to support the people who honour us by choosing to bring their talents and their efforts to Cloud Nine each day! Without these amazing ladies on our team our doors wouldn’t be open.
Second is making a place for clients to have their nails taken care of that is clean, sanitary, comfortable and inviting. An environment that doesn’t assault your senses the moment you walk in with the smells most often associated with cheap, dirty, production line style salons most women have come to expect and sadly accept. A place void of gossip and catty employees, where you are made to feel welcome with a cup of tea or coffee, nice music, staff who speak to you and amongst themselves in your native language and is void of trashy magazines and year-old dust bunnies in the corners. Oh and did we mention a massage and hot towel with even a basic service?
Third, we also connect our WHY to creating strong ties in our community. With so much to offer and the ability to reach a wide range of people through our website or social media pages we are not afraid to ask our clients to be part of helping us help others. Through collaboration with other businesses in our community we are helping create roots and embed our need to be more, do more and expect more. We are proud to already have sponsored so many amazing causes her locally and thank our fabulous clients who have helped in our efforts.
Our last why is simple, because we feel fulfilled by reaching our goals, taking on new challenges and having an opportunity to always be learning. Our staff invest in always learning new skills. Natasha our receptionist who many of you have come to love is enrolled in night school and learning accounting as she takes on her next challenge in her role at becoming the in-house bookkeeper. Alicia spent many many hours in 2014 becoming a dermalogica Skin Expert. Chantal, the owner, is learning to use her background in accounting and coaching in an environment that is completely new to her. Our staff are divided on three leadership teams; Quality Assurance, Trends and Customer Experience. These leadership teams represent an opportunity to learn and grow! These challenges keep us inspired and engaged and connected to our WHY.
We are still a young business and each day brings news challenges; from plugged toilets to publishing our hours wrong on our website. It’s exciting to be part of a team, a community of people that allow us to love our why every single day. It’s because of this that we weren’t scared to open our doors with so much “competition” right at our doorstep and why we’re not upset when a client has the unfortunate job of giving us less than favourable feedback. We want to say a huge thank you to the staff and clients that are part of our why and extend a big welcome to those of you we haven’t yet met!!
It’s not what we do or how we do it, it’s why we do it that sets us apart and ensures our success