Behind Kerie Hoy Salon
A love of design and a desire to stand out from the crowd led therapist Kerie Hoy to open her first salon, which incorporates the UK’s first Billion Dollar Brow bar.
A new career as a trainer and distributor led experienced therapist Kerie Hoy to open her first salon. Having taken on the UK distribution for hit US brow treatment Billion Dollar Brows (BDB), Hoy and her partner Howard Davis decided they needed premises to train therapists and showcase the brand.
“I’ve grown up in the beauty industry and always worked for other people but the time was finally right to run my own business,” she says. “I’ve made mistakes and learned a lot from them so at 42 I’m finally ready to take the plunge and be confident it will be a success.”
The salon opened in Hitchin, Hertfordshire on March 31 and comprises two brow bars at the front, which are open plan creating a sociable area, plus a large treatment room with an open fire and a second room, used for private training sessions.
Hoy became the UK master trainer for BDB in February after seeking a new challenge. “I’ve always been obsessed with brows and how they shape the face and I wanted to learn more. There are so many threading bars now so that wasn’t exciting for me,” she says.
Hoy came across US brand Billion Dollar Brows, which involves using a set of callipers to measure and achieve the right brow shape for each client, and contacted the owners to see if they would let her train in the treatment. The company had no presence in the UK and eventually asked Hoy to become UK trainer and distributor.
“In recession brows are such an affordable treatment and we decided to make it luxurious. You can come and have a tint, shape, make-up and feel like you’ve had a proper treatment,” she says.
The salon itself is in a quiet but well-healed area of Hitchin. With less access to passing trade than a busier high street location would afford, Hoy knew she had to create a point of difference to drive business through word of mouth.
“I wanted to train as an interior designer when I was younger and have always been very into design so I created quite an unusual but really stylish 1920s look, sourcing pieces from local furniture dealers,” she says.
With brows as the key treatment, the salon had to be inviting to men as well as women. “We used a strong silver and purple colour scheme and chose a deep grey silver rather than anything too light and pretty.”
With the majority of clientele likely to come from the affluent local area, Hoy is mainly targeting the 40-plus age group. “We do have clients of all ages but the idea was to create a grown up salon that’s not overly trendy or off-putting for older clients.”
To reach her new market, Hoy has already made links with local businesses. “We’re hosting a fashion show in partnership with the women’s boutique down the road next week,” she says. “We’re doing the ladies’ brows and vintage lashes. Local networking is so important.”
Hoy is now training therapists on site and has also made links with the local colleges to offer training for Level 3 therapists. “I want to pass on some of the lessons I’ve learned. As a youngster, I didn’t understand the business side and I want to help them not to be afraid of big business. There are so many opportunities to work with businesses if they understand commerce and don’t get put off by the formality.” PB
Kerie Hoy Salon
Size: 1,000sq ft
Opened: March 31, 2012
Treatment rooms: One and one training room
Staff: Two therapists and a receptionist
Brands: Dermalogica; Gelish; Billion Dollar Brows; Lycon; Yumi lashes; Bio-Therapeutic; Venus Veil body art