An image consultant, personality groomer and successful businesswoman, Naz Fernando, has created much recognition, having worked with top brands and personalities in an industry which she continues to revolutionize while empowering aspiring individuals.
In addition to juggling a multifaceted career, she has established The Beauty Quest, a one-of-a-kind salon which she is passionate about.
Here she shares snippets of her inspirational journey, struggles and hopes for the beauty industry with ELEGANT MAGAZINE.
What inspired you to establish Beauty Quest?
Opening a salon with state-of-the-art facilities was a childhood dream of mine. I commenced my career in the travel and tourism industry, which led to extensive travel and visits to numerous salons across the globe. This stirred a deep longing within me as I envisioned the Sri Lankan beauty industry equipped with similar facilities.
My previous profession had a lot of involvement in beauty and realized the shortages our industry faced. I was inspired by a host of Lebanese salons and I wanted to incorporate some of the Lebanese beauty trends to the local industry. Beauty Quest is a realization of that dream.
How significant was the change of career from being a personality development trainer to an owner of a beauty salon?
As a Personality Developer, skincare plays a huge part, but most of the time we intend to forget the importance of caring for our hair. The Beauty Quest was initially incorporated as a skin clinic. Thereafter I wanted to shift my focus to hair as the salon is incomplete without hair.
It is almost three years since venturing to this field, and the change, process and progress has been so fulfilling.
What is important when starting a business, especially in the beauty industry?
Starting a business is not easy, but this venture has been a long time passion. I also wanted to feel empowered and empower those having the same passion and drive as me. My tenure in the travel industry meant financial security through a steady income but my natural inclination was towards the beauty industry and yes certain sacrifices had to be made, but it was worth it.
What I learnt in the travel industry is discipline, hard work and the importance of acquiring knowledge and being knowledgeable. Knowledge is a very important factor –, read, research and experience too. Travelling and living in other countries with various communities has helped me a lot in starting the business.
What inspires your work?
Learning, and training those who are yearning for knowledge. When I started my career, I did not wish to invest aimlessly in a salon but understood the pros and cons which was a prerequisite to succeeding in any business.
As a personality groomer and image consultant, the result and the final product appreciated by the person brings me so much joy, and these are what inspires me.
How long have you been in the business and what is your next venture?
I have been a groomer from for more than seven years, and the transformation from a groomer to salon investment has taken three years. I have worked with many cooperates and designs schools and have groomed staff from leading airlines, currently, I have not been associated with any in the grooming aspects as I am focusing on the salon, and some interesting ventures are in the pipeline.
What is your advice to future entrepreneurs?
Create your own identity and start. Take courage as the middle is always the most difficult and setbacks will be constant. My advice is not to get disheartened or disappointed. Go for it as persistence is a must. I feel optimistic about my ability to make something happen despite the challenges and this is a trait which has been inculcated within me since my airline days.
The industry is tough and rife with numerous obstacles in various forms, but it is your prerogative to change your perception and face everything that comes your way with positivity.
By Mena Kumar