Business Name: Betty’s Unisex Hair Studio
It is many people’s dream to start a family business. Having passed on her passion for styling hair to her daughter, Elizabeth Kungu has achieved this by setting up Betty’s Unisex Hair Studio, which launched in August 2016 in the heart of Barking.
Together, Elizabeth and her daughter, Sandra run the salon, based in Vicarage Field Shopping Centre, offering expertise in African, Caribbean, Asian and European hair, as well as hair and beauty products, and good quality wigs from Kenya and Brazil.
We spoke to Elizabeth about her start-up journey and the support she received from the London Small Business Centre.
Tell us more about Betty’s Unisex Hair Studio and your background
It’s a mother and daughter business, with a friendly, family atmosphere.
I have over twenty years’ hairdressing experience, and I passed on my passion for hair to my daughter, Sandra.
Having always worked with hair, even when I was a child, I first opened a salon in Kenya in 1994 and grew the business until I was employing eight members of staff and considered some of the country’s elite as my regular customers. I moved to the UK in 2001 and went mobile, while also attending a hairdressing college to improve my knowledge and learn new skills and techniques. Despite also working for others, and having a child along the way, I never lost sight of my dream to, once again run my own salon – this time with Sandra.
What is your secret to success?
It’s a combination of my experience and ability to build strong relationships with my clients – lots of them have been loyal to me for many years and have followed me everywhere
I work as a team with my daughter, and I want everyone working with me to feel they are part of the team and the business. That’s why I don’t rent out chairs but employ staff instead. I don’t want people to fight for customers; I want everyone to focus on being friendly to customers.
It’s an ethos which is paying off. We endeavour to make every customer feel special, ensuring they not only return, but bring their friends and family too. We are currently gaining around five new clients every week.