Our search to showcase the versatility of cabins for work, play and rest led us to Hannah Bath. Hannah has run her beauty business, Serenity beauty, from a cabin in her garden for the last two years now.
It’s been a difficult time for beauty businesses during the ongoing pandemic, but beautician Hannah, from St Neots, Cambridgeshire actually took the time to become a mental health first aider because her clients feel safe talking about their problems with her, meaning she can offer the best possible advice to them, making her service a cut above the competition. We asked Hannah some questions about her beauty business and learned that her customers actually prefer visiting her cabin as it’s more secluded and private.
What prompted you to take this route?
I have 2 children so being able to work around them was the key. I was working from a room inside the house previously but was desperate for a bit of separation to gain that all-important work-life balance. Thankfully things were going well with the business and I was able to have the cabin installed in the garden of our new home.
What do your clients think of your beauty salon cabin?
They love it! I actually looked at renting a premises on the local high street initially. A few clients voiced concerns over parking costs and being seen in public after having certain treatments such as lip waxes and the redness that follows, facials and spray tans. They love the fact that they can park on my driveway and pop into the back garden in their comfy clothes with no make-up without fear of bumping into someone they know. A beauty salon cabin was the ideal solution for everyone.
What services do you offer from your cabin?
I offer treatments such as eyebrow and eyelash services. Spray tans. Facials and massage. Manicure, pedicure and all waxing services too.
How do you promote your business?
I have built my business up mostly through my Facebook page and word of mouth. In the beginning, I did a couple of school fetes and gained a few clients that way, but word of mouth really is the best form of endorsement; people go where their friends feel comfortable.[adsense]
How did COVID affect your business?
I was actually on maternity leave during a chunk of lockdown, so I felt as though the world had stopped with me. I kept in touch with my clients and gave them the option to be contacted when I was back to work and I’m very thankful to say that most of them have returned. It was hard at first when Boris had restrictions such as no facial treatments, but people were mostly just happy to be able to have any form of pampering done, and instead of their eyelash extensions people treated themselves to a pedicure or something else. They were just grateful to get out of the house for a treat.
How easy was it to install the necessary equipment?
It was surprisingly easy. I just had to gauge where I wanted things to be placed such as where I would need plug sockets for my equipment. I had the cabin purpose-built from scratch with foundations by a builder who is a family friend. It has 2 windows and a nice sturdy door. It’s insulated and plaster-boarded, in total it cost £5,000 for the cabin. I then decorated it myself and added flooring at around £200. I opted for vinyl flooring as it’s easy to clean and replace if needed. It took him around 3 weeks to complete the build, we were really lucky we had great weather at the time so he could just get on.
I have electricity running in there with its own fuse box it was connected from the house. They laid the cable under the patio slabs, there is no water out there currently. I have a downstairs cloakroom just inside the back door which my clients have always been able to use. Now with COVID I have asked them to only use it in emergency’s and everyone has been fine with this, no one has needed to use it so far.
How did COVID affect your business?
I think like everyone in the beauty industry I suffered from not being able to come back as soon as some other industries could, but on a personal level, it has certainly made me reflect on my business and think about how I operate and how I can maximise my clients’ experience and my earnings. I have also had the time to research some new treatments and become a mental health first aider as I find a lot of my clients like to talk to me about a wide range of subjects and I now feel like I’m in a better position to listen and offer the right advice to help them.
We have been inspired by Hannah’s resilience, she took the time to do a little market research with her clients and actually found that a cabin in her garden was a firm favourite as clients prefer to be somewhere quiet and secluded without the feeling of judgment post-treatment.