The advantages and challenges of running a beauty business in Hong Kong

Finding a dress to wear to that special occasion is hard enough, not to mention competing with everyone else to book a hair and makeup artist. Enter On Location Glam, the makeup and hair solution that comes to you. Whether you prefer to get dolled up at home, in the office or at the venue itself, founder Frances Feldmann and her team of artists can make it happen.

See also: 10 Female Entrepreneurs Making It In Hong Kong

For our new Girl Boss series featuring female entrepreneurs in Hong Kong, we spoke with Frances about how she became her own boss, the hardest thing about running her own business and her three best productivity tricks.

Tatler Asia
Above Photo: Moses Ng/Hong Kong Tatler

What did you do before starting up On Location Glam?

I was working as a hairdresser in top salons at different cities around the world. I've lived in London where I had the opportunity to do hairstyling for models at fashion show runways; in Los Angeles styling hair for celebrities and red carpet events such as the Grammy Awards and MTV Music Awards; in Switzerland where I had the privilege of hairstyling for Royal families and international celebrities.

In essence, I was working "on location" as a hairstylist for many salons until I thought to myself, "This should be a business of its own!"

Why did you decide to become your own boss?

Since I was a young girl, I've had the drive to create something of my own. Interestingly enough, working for other companies, I frequently found myself promoted to leadership or managerial roles in every salon, job, or project I was assigned so when I quit my last job at a salon in Switzerland due to differences in management styles and business ideas, I decided that it was time for me to launch my own.

What’s the best thing about having your own business?

The best thing is having the authority and control to make it as true and successful as the vision I have for it. Not only am I the business owner, but I'm also a hairstylist and it's so great to know and understand both sides. I've been so fortunate to have experienced being a hairdresser in so many cities because working with different ethnicities, hair textures, facial structures etc. has given me invaluable experience in order to hire and train an international team of artists. It's the best feeling in the world!

See also: 8 Best Hair Stylists In Hong Kong

What’s the hardest/worst part about it?

The hardest/worst part is that work never stops. I'd love to create a healthy work-life balance but it's a difficult thing to accomplish. Replying promptly to requests is a crucial task for this industry and I simply can't be without my phone or computer nearby at all times. It definitely gets in the way of having a social life but it's also a reminder that in order to have longevity, I have to do all the hard work at first.

How‘s the competition in Hong Kong for what you do?

Even though Hong Kong is extremely competitive, On Location Glam is not a direct competitor to any other mobile beauty companies. We each have a completely different style, client, vision, and focus. Companies that offer on-demand hair and makeup services are a fairly new concept in Asia even though freelancers have been around for years. The more mobile beauty companies open here in Hong Kong, the more awareness it will raise for this concept. It's definitely created a positive impact on us.

What are your thoughts on the term #girlboss, and what does it mean to you?

To me, a girl boss is a woman who is in total control of her craft and aware of her potential without losing ground of the hard work it takes to make it! It means being committed to your brand and offering customers a reason to feel good. A girl boss knows it's not about winning or losing, it's about winning or learning.

What is your management style?

I'm definitely the boss but I'm not bossy. I respect each of my artists and treat them as partners, not employees. On Location Glam represents each artist, but each artist also represents On Location Glam.

The standards of being an artist for On Location Glam are pretty demanding, and each artist has to meet our standards in order to be hired. Once we agree on that aspect, they each have the freedom to be and express themselves as the professionals that they are. As artists, we all teach and learn from one another.

How do you motivate others?

I'm a people person which is why I have such a loyal clientele. It's also why I can easily work with other professionals in the field and have my own team. I have a genuine interest in each of my artists' passions and I love to commend them on their strengths and help them with any challenges they may encounter in their craft. Once I learn about them it's easy for me to keep them busy and motivate them to keep growing, improving and learning.

Finally, what are your personal productivity tricks?

1) Wake up early: I wake up around 6am daily and go for a jog or early morning yoga. It's my one-hour time slot to clear my mind, set my intentions for the day, and start off with a fresh set of ideas.

2) Prioritise my to-do list: Our clients obviously come first so I schedule and prioritise additional tasks according to the amount of time I have in between client appointments.

3) Take small steps: On Location Glam definitely offers quality over quantity. Anything I create for the company is done through small steps. I'm a big believer in having something done extremely well, thoroughly, and honestly, whether it be our social media handles, content, collaborations, partnerships, etc. Taking these small steps to accomplish our work has certainly paid off.

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