Bhavna Sohal: Director of Visage Beauty
“I opened Visage in April 1995, with one treatment room and a small waiting area above jewellery shop. I was newly married when I began to set up my business, so the responsibility and expectations of being an Asian wife, daughter in law and new business proprietor was hard to balance.
In 2000 I was able to move to bigger premises with a shop front. It was conveniently only 5 doors down from the original salon. Going from one beauty room to a 3 storey building with 5 treatment rooms and a large downstairs area was daunting.
Over the following summer two hair stylists took over the downstairs area leaving myself and another therapist to be able to focus on building up the beauty side of business.
We trained in Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) hair reduction in August 2001 and business went through the roof, enabling us to employ more staff.
Over the next few years we introduced a self-employed massage therapist, Crystal Clear Microdermabrasion facials and Semi-permanent eyelash extensions.
Ever since having children 2003 and 2004, balancing work was extremely hard and still is as family commitments are raising. In 2006 my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and sadly lost her battle in 2010.
Amazingly, the property next door had become available and with help and support from family I was able to buy the building. Just as everything seemed to be coming into place, the recession struck.
As things started to settle and people relaxed, business picked up again, enough so that the building work next door could begin on the extension next door.
Plans for the new extension include a nail extension bar, eyebrow and eye treatment studio, express pedicures and a ground floor beauty room.”