Episode · 1 year ago

11: Karen Ward


Andrew talks with Karen Ward, the owner of Bladez Hair and Beauty and Dundee Hair Bank.

Hi, my name is undrew Batchor Ind,welcome to Dundee cast a podcast Shorcissan Dundese, amazing people on anew patform, sharing their stories undeir aspirations. On today's episode,I speak to Karen Ward, who is the owner of blades here, ING beauty and Dunde.Hairbank carn has been working on a lot of stuff rigt into our Pisia wereness,and also reason, awareness of this condition, and also you know, helpingwomen who have had this Ha. This condition, as well as cancer, no getworks, and you know te help them be more confident so hol their car andfirst things. First, as I always ask my guest as brieflyexplain to the Westeners who you are and what you do: Okay, I'm Kalen Wardand I'm the owner of blades here and Beauty Salon and Dundee and Dundeharebank. How did you want to you know? Get involved in here dress and was thatkind of a thing you've always wanted to do when you were younger and whatprompted you to you know start that journey from a very young age. Actually,I've always wanted been interested in here. Obviously the S was such aniconic yer with big. Her big meet a lot of mekcup. That kind of thing so alwayspracticed with me and my friends and my sister doing each other's hear andMakup an NAM yeah. It was just something that was always keen andinterested in and developing as acreer. In fact, actually I thought the mostglamorous thing to do would be a work on a cruise ship, and that was myactual initial first ream of becoming a he djs. Ai. A makeup part is on acuship which never happened but yeah. That was that was my originaldream to do to do that. What was the steps like from chaining to you know,because, obviously you own your own, your own business. Now, what was, howdid it start off? So was it like course, Yot went on or what was that like andhow? So how did you get from likee from e, where you started to be Wiin abusiness? What was that like? Well, actually, I sat one day with my mom andwent through the Holl of the yellow pages full in every single salon andDundee asking if they were looking for the Saterdigetal, and I was just luckyenough that one of the SISLANDS that did contact says that there were andcould have come diwn street away for an interview and got the job. So that wasat fourteen years old and you begin your training straight Aweey, prettymuch in the industry when you start whether your own reception to take anbook, Bekins, Meetin and grating clients to shampoon cleaning, cleaning,the equipment, your health and safety.

All these different things. So Istarted in the Salo when I was fourteen years old. Obviously, things haveprogressed, I didn't stay in the Saland envioonment. I left and I ventured offand got lots of experience in Lhot lots of different avenues from resectioncaacashier administration supervising staff. All these different things- andthis is whatas- helped me to obviously become a business owner,because all these different jobs that I've had throughout the years is helpedme, run a business or the last ten years and support staff customerservice. All these different things, so I haven't only just been in Hejsonenvironment in originally begun the business with a business partner, welresplect, the work t fifty, but every days Alan, an d when you've got yourown business, you have to constantly keep updated with things. Obviously,things have changed and social media is a big part of the business now and withyour help and a lot of other people's help. Obviously I've tried to to brand my business a lot better andthat helps too. So I think you always have to be open to change and open toevolve on a daily weekly monthly basis to whatever the needs of the businessand to what's happening around you and so Dunthe hairbank you set up a fewyears ago. What was the idea behind that and how did all come about andlike what Wa sort like setting up? So I opend a blads, her inputy salon and Ithink I'd been open roughly about a year and I've always I've always beeninvolved in wigs, because my mom had alapicha. So I was always ot iinto, herakanerwegs Stylin, her wigs for our all these different things, so it wasactually her wig herjes or the new knew meobviously through the years and knew that they were needing somebodyelse in the area to help out with NF clients, and they she contacted my mom and asked ifit would be something that I would be interested in, and I hadn't reallythought about going down that root, because obviously I still felt that Iwas quite new n to have in my own business, because we wuld only a yearthen so I was still finding my feet and finding trens and you know developing staff developingmyself all these different things. At that point, I knew how excited my mom.We, the idea of me possibly being able to supply her her wigs. So I contactthem said that I'm you know looking for MoD information, they came ininterviewed me came and obviously looked over, the salon looked at theplamisas. I have to see if there were suitar ball and the next day I got aphone call, s yeah would like Yoon Board, come and do some training withus and that's kind of how it evolved.

But so I started that side of thebusiness providing wigs her pieces, things like that for peopleon the NHS and for private clients and then Dunde herebyand kind of evolved, abigger, a bigger business from that, because people were bringing back wigsthat they maybe only used once or unfortunately, maybe people had passedaway before they even got the opportunity to wear them, or sometimespeople didn't actually lose their hair and didn't end up using the wigs andthen didn't want to just obviously chuck these in the Ben so brought themback to me. Thinking that I could e use themo, recycle them or give them tosomebody else that was needing it. So that's kind of where the wigbank ideacame from so where people bring along free loved wegs and it maybe never beenworn or maybe only on an a handful of times, and I stillize them cleaning onVbox tem and then sail them on for a very, very reasonable price were then Itake some of that money which I've used for products or anything like that, andthen the rest is denited to local Charles and to help them out. So peoplenot only feel like they're, given something back to me, but they're,actually given back to the community as Beil, because that money is filteredback into local chatities and other her lot. Charteis that that deal with thison a daily basis like myself and when the hairbank was set up and Youre Pinto you, know, release everything out and direct pyoull know about it. Whatstrategies TDIT you use? Obviously social media is quite a big big factorin help and promote like products and services, and what was what was yoursteps to? You know Hewlp promote what what you created. I didn't. I didn'tactually really plan too much because, like I said this, this business kind ofjust evolved over time, so it wasn't anything that was that I had a plan ofaction and place for but yeah. I agree with you. Social media is such a bigbig factor for a lot of businesses now and it a lot of that's free, which isfantastic fo for like a small business, thats sitting up and somewhere to getthe word out now and to get to get your name out thereand what product do you use? What projects you sell and how you getinvolved in that kind of thing? So really it just began with the idea oflet's create a facebook page and knew how successful that was from from bleedhe and Beauty Salon and the response that we get from that. Then I was in the process of settind,putting together a website for Toplatat and beauty. So therefore thought wellI' I'll do one for Dundeher Bank, along with it they just kind of left it forquite a while. I got a help from people like yourself from dunde culture. Youad a huge help and kind of gading me and and putting steps in place to buildup the hype, sort of speak for like a...

...launch and not that we had anything inplace for a launch deep, but I was asked to go along to a charot eventfrom a lovely friend of mine, Sophi Sigal and she was doing an event todaysmoney for a Magy Center and she asked me to come along with the stall, apromoteand Thunde hairbank and the wigs and the services that are provide. So Iused that counter as a platform to promote that a event that I was goingto, but not only that I thought I'll use this as a a platform to justlaunche, Dundo, herbank and that's been mean yourself spoke, and we did areally relacdent ofview and I kind of tied it in with that. We, both you,launched the interview on your page and I launched onto hear bank on facebookand then within days. Obviously, people had shared it. People Huld, like hitpeople, had cormined from all round the world. I mean I had comments fromAustrulia from all over Britain from France. That's to name a few of peoplethat were just loving the idea of the Dunde herebank and then the localnewspaper got involved and then STV news got en folved and thatas kind ofwere that started, and then it just got bigger and bigger and bigger, and itjust seems to be evolvedin and getting vigor every time. But I constantly needto keep the social side as a high priority, because that's how peopleknow where Ti'm at what I'm doing. I am still here and I am sill providing aservice. What partnerships have you made was dunte, Harbank and connections and what and how effective is as goodrelationship as Ik meeing people, and you know, Getintino like tell them Aleabout what you do and like what kind of stuff have you done? was that, like youknow, I mean yeah, it's very important. I think people in business shouldalways support. Other people in business were all looking for the sameachievement. You know wer wanting to do one, a job that we love for, wanting tomake people happy and we're trying to provide for ourselves and our familiesand for stuff that you employ is fail. So I think it's a huge part that youmeet contact with other local businesses and see howways that you cansupport each other and I've been fortunate along my path over the lastten years to build up retty good relationships with a lot of localcompanies and a lot a lot of lokal businesses. So we've got dunde cult,Joe Wi've got the evening telegraph. We've got hiatin t other head, an beauty. silonswe've got prestige, medical beauty, Wi've got clear, spullion and MakelaDamabeagion. We've got all these different companies, Alapicha UK andyou have to connect with these people because they also give you ideas andhope to promote your business and you can learn from them, but also they canhelp you as well and certainly built up your your followers on a social mediaplatform. And hopefully you know bring...

...spring business your ways well and youwould thinkwise do the same for them to recovered. Naiteen pandemics put storeeverything at the moment and it's had an effect on how people have changedthe way they run their businesses and the way they you know Okera, and howhas that affected you and what ways have you going to run that, to you know,continue doing what you do, but on the like making sure its Wellw operatindwell during the pandemic. Nobody expected something like this to happenin their lifetime and I certainly never and hadn't had any plans in place soyeah. So I was just basically a learning car for me and from the minutewe got told that we had to look down like all other businesses. Your panic,you worry about money. You worry about your staff in wor you're, going to havea business when you reopen so again. I know I keep thefarin back to this, butsocial media had a huge part and keep in keeping the business to live so,like so o for a Blatin and beauty salon. You know I was Ng posting up that wehad colors that didn't nead putoxside, that I could hom deliver in the localarea. You know you could pay by Ban Transper, so it's of making sure thatyourput it with maybe using a p Pale system. You know people can par dilectin your bank, anm offereing votures, just posting, you know things ikt,they're, touching beast with them a making name Awerd of what we were doingin the background or thought we weren't open. We were still providing keepingour out training up today. You know we were were following the local mediafindsnot. What we needed to put in place for reopening but Dunde herebankwas probably the biggest challenge through throughout the locktown,because I wasn't sure what was going to happen with that at all, but fortunate.For me, one of my main suppliers trained Col. they still had one personoperatin from the Weirdhouse, so I decided to make I decided to contactthem fint out what the situation is, how I could work around this, becausepeople didn't stop having Kam O theopy people didn't stop neen to have newwigs throughout that time and nobody knew how long it was going to last. Forso once I made contact with him, I then contacted everybody who obviously sends clientsand patience my way to make them aware that I was still going to try this andsee how it worked. So how I started it was. I just made Tu that people had mymobile number. They need t contact with me whether that was through text ofwhats ap through Messenger through a fisboot and Stignam that kind of thing,and then once we touched this, I then didicted them to the website. Sothankfully train col had a website and then they would then get back in touchwith me, and we would do something like similar to what we're doing now. So wewould do as been calle a facetime call through what up and I would then speak.Tha talk comes through the process. I...

...would order the WIG for them. It gotsent direct to them home and they would then contact me once iy deceive that,and I talked them through about how to look after the Wak I woulthen be ableto see them trying to on show them how to or at least tell them hove to try onproperly and then from that. I would get an idea whether any further workcuswould need done so whether it wel need all tired, whether the fench with theCOT short Ar. Unfortunately, it was unable to do that at the time. But assoon as I opened again, they were able to come to me and get all these thingsfixed for their Wik to fit them correctly imdproperly and it seemed towork which I was. I was really happy with so continue to wark throughoutlockdown and again that help build my profile, because I do know that I wasonly one in the area and one part I think the Holl of Scotlandat was only providing works for the NHS. So I was pleased that I do carry onthat part through Locktom. I remember it wasn't too Longo hat. You againappeared in the toly and was about Alpisha awarenessment, and what whatkind of Stut did you do then? What was that, like doing wat reason, thewireness of what you do during that awareness month? Well, that came aboutagain through a social media post and from one of my clients. So one of myclients was brave enough Karen and she came in for her Yuli Prescription andwe tried on various styles and colors of wigs and she went away with newstyle and a slightly different color as there, and was very brief enough topost a picture of Hor sale n having a new her did so having been into theSalonnd, got a new hero. She posted the picture and then obviously thatgenidied a lot of fame talk a lot of likes a lot of shoting, and then I hadbeen reposted this and making people aware that it was actually Alapisiawerenthiss month and the even until they can ap obviously follow the pagesand realize that there was a story involved in this. So what came aboutfrom just a routine a headly appointment? I got got in touch withcadon again on another client, Lauda and tey be able to tell their storyabout how they've lost her here or why they were awake and the process aboutmaking contact with their GP first then getting refaired to the hospital andthen being affair to myself and about the whole process. So it was reallygood that the were able to share thei storyto everybody, because it's not just older people that have wigs it's alldifferent age groups that we are wigs and for lots of different reasons. It'snot just from having cancer treatment is for various other reasons. So it wasfantastic to make people aweire that the there is options out there for youand from that has a massive response in an influx of clients again, not realizing that. That's what I didyou know, and it wasn't just for cancel...

...patiens. It was for anybody that wassuffering from medical here loss, so the the Bealy Aboue to touch base andI've been able to sencehap them to which is fantastic and if anything, onSocial Media F, I'm able to reach out to one person. I feel like I've donedone my job one. One of the things I lave to askpeople when they do this sort of stuff is: What do you love about? What you doand also as a heardresser as well, what you're about doing ou as a profession,wel first of all, mean I do love my job and I think youhave to love your job to do it every day and to still be in a endeshy, andobviously you get days that that you'R that you're having a bad day, but itdoesn't everybody, but you learn from that and you move on the next day Ienjoy from running the salons point of view I enjoy seeing the other sylistscome up. You know from the Juniors Teaching Themlaon and you know landingthem their skills. I also learn from the other girdls that work in Mysylonto you know that even the beauty, girls that work there, they bring some freshnew ideas and the salon so you're constantly working together and I enjoythat that that time with other people and it's the same goes with the clientsas Wele. You end up with getting a relationship with them. You know whenyou become friends, not just you know, you're, not just doing a job for them.You know you're there for a lot, a lot of other reasons and yeah, so I reallyenjoy and I enjoy seeing from start to finish the transformation of people,and that then follows into the webside of things to you know some people comin not feeling good about themselves, not knowing that there's options outthere for them and the delight that they have and the response that theygive me when I see them and explain to them that there is other options therefor them, that they know that they're not alone, that there is help out thereand there is things to make them feel like themselves again and it to makethem look good and feel good and that's a massive factar, especially noadas.You know a lot of mental health issues going on and the feel good and lookgood factor has a massive partto play in your mental health and- and I thinka lot of people know realize that having had a lockdown and realizing Ohcan get my hair don. I couldn't get my nails done all these things, because itmakes you feel good and it's not just for Gauntin event or going out for anoccasion. It's the feel good factor of it, and that's that's what I love aboutit. I love seeing that transformation in somemody and seeing them walk outthe door, knowing that the look good and that they feel good. What dvicewould you want to give somebody who would want to be where you are todayand who wants to get involved in here dressing and like even if they wanttoget involved in like Reasin e winness for Alpsha, and that would face? Wouldyou give to a young person whoould want to be in that position where you're innow? Well I mean, if that's what what you want to do. You know just followevery avenue that you can. You know, do...

...some training try and get some salonexperience. There's lots of different ways out there that you can train thebest wey that, I would always say to train is when you're in the Salum,because you've got that whole hustle bustle the mix. The mix of clients, themix of treatments that you can get involved in and it's a differentdifferent piece as well, so I think that's always. He first step is to tryand get into asalund get employment or even just some. You know some volunteerminisyl on social media again as a massive part, you know there's lots ofthings available. I mean I find myself at night times, scralling throughdifferent videos, pages Sparzkouf Radmon or all these different peoplethat have now got social media pages that are telling me all about herJesson about the background to hear Jess- and you know it's not just aboutthe the looking good is how you get there in the first place. So stick withit ask people don't be scared to ask anybody. Well, I know that if anybodywas to ask me, I would you know, be open and honest with them and try andhelp them as much as it could. We all have to start somewhere, but if it's adream for you to have your own sylon go for absolutely Gofer it. You knownothing's in your way, you know overcome all the obstacles but yeah itdoesn't coust you anothing to dream, and I had TA dream once and- and I havemy own Sylan now so you know I'm very thankful for that. Thank you for muchCarin and it was great talking to you and if you like, the work that I do,why not conserder support and dundiculture on cofee by either givingone oftenation or a Montal dination and remember if you like, dundicast, whennot consirders e grate Ben to the podcast on spotify apple podcast andtune in, and I come with to see you in the next episode. Thank you very much.

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