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£140,000 Nottingham beauty salon owner shares her story of how she built her business during lockdown

£140,000 Nottingham beauty salon owner shares her story of how she built her business during lockdown

A Nottingham businesswoman has worked through two Covid-19 lockdowns to launch her dream £100,000 beauty salon.

The Elysian Parlour in West Bridgford has been ten years in the planning for Maliyah Kayani, 31, who says her bookings are now ‘flying in’ now it has opened after lockdown.

It is a true labour of love for the former Rushcliffe School pupil. Maliyah started work as a teenager and went on to be a make-up artist for glamorous catwalk shows around the UK. All the time she was saving her hard-earned cash for the venture. She even sold her car to collect more money.

The high-class Elysian Parlour in Radcliffe Road opened on April 12 and the race is on to keep up with bookings.

Maliyah, who has a daughter, aged five, and a three-year-old son with her husband has seven self-employed staff and one employee at the 890sq ft salon. She has added extra beauty rooms.  

Together, they offer professional beauty treatments, full hair salon service, luxury treatments like aesthetics, microblading, laser and IPL, chemical peels, micro needling, makeup, lashes, manicures, pedicures and brows.

Maliyah said: “My aim is to put smiles back on people’s faces. We have all been through such a lot during lockdown and the restrictions on our lives. As a mum, I know about the struggles we face. Home schooling and the pressures we have been under have taken their toll.

“I want to be an example to all mums and show them you are capable of being a mum and following your dreams. I hope you can find peace and serenity here at Elysian and I am proud to have taken on diverse and talented staff in my salon where the look is definitely pink! 

“My inspiration came from many visits to Dubai and the Elan Café in London. I wanted it to be unique, girly and eye-catching.”

The salon development was not without its challenges.

Maliyah said: “In January last year I agreed to take on the lease. We were ready to go in the first week of March. Then lockdown came and everything was put on hold.

“It wasn’t until June when restrictions eased that we were able to get the lease signed and get started. It was tough home schooling my children, spending quality time with them, covering house chores, sourcing materials and organising the building work too.

“I have used contractors from West Bridgford and across Nottingham. Because of social distancing, each contractor had to wait until the other ones had finished.

“But it has all come together and I managed to source some amazing fittings for my pink and gold look, including bespoke furnishings from China. I didn’t cut corners and have high end furniture, equipment, services and products. My salon is very Instagramme-able and the pink flower wall is very popular for photos!”

She plans to introduce afternoon tea alongside treatments so it’s like a mini spa.

Maliyah said: “People can have a spa day in West Bridgford. I have the perfect space for social distancing too, so my clients can feel safe. I am taking extra care to make sure there are not too many people in at once and have taken the Barbicide Covid-19 infection control course to ensure disinfection in between clients and staff is carried out correctly.”

Maliyah studied law after school but had always wanted to be a businesswoman with her own business in the beauty industry so enrolled on various beauty courses.

She said: “I wanted to return my old love of beauty and that’s when I started to get my funds together. I did bridal bookings at weekends to make money. I was on the catwalk show circuit working at places like the NEC in Birmingham.

“I went to West Bridgford library, the park and coffee shops with my laptop to make sure I had the space and quiet to focus on my marketing and research. I ended up selling my car.

“I signed my contract for the salon in the same week my husband set up his business. He started with one four-bed house and took in four homeless people during the first lockdown. He has now filled up an 18-bed property and is offering all tenants the support they need to get off the street and back on their feet.

“The most important thing to come out of this is the remarkable support of my family. My husband is a star, and my brother treated my salon as if it was his own project.

“I was always taught it is important to be patient. They say patience is a virtue and they are right. Covid proved to me that planning is vital.”

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