Marie Yexley, owner of Beauty at the Bay, the Colchester salon that scooped two awards at the Scratch Stars Awards 2015, shares what it means to be a dual award winner…
“Since winning two awards at the Scratch Stars 2015, business at Beauty at the Bay has exploded!
It was the first time I had entered the salon into any kind of competition but I decided the time was right to give it a go and filled in an entry form. When filling in the information required on the entry form, it was lovely to reminisce on what we as a team and business had achieved over the past 12 months. Sometimes, you can get so caught up in your business – especially if you are a working owner – that it can be difficult to stop and take stock of exactly what you do to make your business stand out from the competition. I soon found that the answers started flowing and felt moments of extreme pride just looking at what we had achieved in the salon.
After that, the only thing to do was to click send and see what would happen. The salon was announced as one of five finalists in the Nail Salon of the Year: Salon Environment category, and also in the Retail Salon of the Year category. That awards night was absolutely brilliant. As a treat for my team for all working so hard to get us to the awards (especially when it came to the double secret shop!) I treated us to a limo to the event in London – and we had so much fun!
The team all turned up at my house looking glam for photos and Champagne. We then got in the party limo with our stunning star tickets in our trembling hands (we had them pinned on the notice board in the salon from the moment they arrived which was so good for morale) and we were off!
I had arranged ‘Beauty at the Bay’ awards for in the limo while we made our way to the party. We nominated for various fun internal awards and I had collated the results and announced them in the limo on the way down. These awards included things like Biggest Drama Queen and Most Prolific Tanner, but also Most Requested Therapist and Best Nail Artist. I handed out badges and prizes which was great for team building and I really did think that was the end of the awards for the evening. Little did I know, that was just the beginning…
On arrival at Cafe de Paris, nerves we’re running high and we were buzzing with excitement – the glitz and glamour was amazing! We had the best night and I got to meet so many of my industry idols – Samantha and Samuel Sweet to name just two – and as a result of the meet that night they may be visiting us in March!
The icing on the cake was then that we won not only a Scratch Stars Award, but two! The awards have given us great exposure as local press have picked up on the wins as well as trade magazines. It’s really put us on the map – at an event we held I met our local MP Will Quince who said WE were putting Colchester on the map!
The awards also gave us some great recognition from customers. People came in to congratulate us with flowers and chocolates and we had huge stars with our award wins on blown up and put into our shop windows which was great for passing trade! Our Facebook and Instagram followers went up dramatically and we also got some of my industry idols to follow us as a result of the awards.
I’ve still not come down and have the awards pride of place in the salon!”
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