The beauty industry has come of age and shows signs of getting even bigger. After the life threatening period during Covid, we realized how valuable life is, how much those small moments of happiness meant to all of us. That is where The Beauty Lab steps in. The Lab is here to bring happiness by helping people learn skills and fulfill their dreams of becoming experts in hair and the beauty industry. With state-of-the-art facilities, it trains students to learn and nurture themselves by overcoming challenges and to build self-confidence through education and information. By splurging on themselves some people feel important, and it starts a new journey of exploring their own beauty. Kulada Nepal, the Manager of Operations and Training at The Beauty Lab, talks to Living about the enterprise and his own experience in the business.

What is the specialty of The Beauty Lab?
Well!  Talking about this, we can actually find some places in the market where they are trying to teach about hair and beauty with whatever limited knowledge they have. If we look at those places closely, we can find that most of them are operated in one small room with no proper facilities for training. And that’s one of the many things we have taken care of. We have access to state-of-the-art infrastructures and are equipped with studio facilities of international standards.The class sizes are kept small, ensuring our students receive individual attention and guidance. We are not only limited to teaching our students but we also make sure that our trainer is getting updated too so that our students can get the latest and most knowledge. TBL not only has internationally certified full time faculty but students also get frequent opportunities to be guided by guest professional trainers from different countries. Once you are in TBL, we are an organizational family so our relation does not end with the end of the course. We do follow up with the students even after the completion of their course to help them if they need any training related assistance. We believe in empowering students with real life skills and knowledge.

What inspired you to join this business?
First of all, it is an unexplored market. I wanted to come out of my comfort zone to accept the challenges found in the Nepali market. Our team is going strong with a readiness to learn and execute, which I find so inspirational.

How is the response you receive from the students?
The response has been overwhelming. Since there are very few proper training academies, people’s queries and enthusiasm about this unexplored market is phenomenal. Once they join a class, they learn how deep and outstanding this sector really is; a fact that has been totally neglected before. Now they are aware and recommend the courses to their friends and family.

What are the achievements of The Beauty Lab?
To provide the most recognized certificate ITEC, which is a first in Nepal along with the high tech training studio, professional trainer can be taken as one of the achievements and there are many. However more than that I feel converting the dream of our students of becoming professionals into reality and providing a reason for them to stay back in their own country and invest can never be compared with anything else. Being the reason behind their happy faces is our real achievement. 

What is the motto of The Beauty Lab?

Beauty and Wellness is one of the most sensitive industries. It requires highly dedicated professionals who value people’s trust and expectation. The industry strives to help individuals feel good in their own skin and confident to deal with others. That’s why the only motto we carry is “where beauty blends with expertise” taking it to the level of commitment that gives quality education to all our students. 

Who are your targeted customers?
Our main target are people seeking new opportunities and those who are willing to spend money abroad to learn the skills related to hair, nails and makeup. People who want to invest in themselves and in their own country and willing to start up their own business. 

What is the most memorable moment for you while working in The Beauty Lab?
I am still in the phase of creating memories in TBL as there is much more to experience. However, one memory that is close to my heart is the journey of one particular student. Before coming into the Beauty Lab she had already been working as an assistant in one particular salon for the past twelve years. She was an introvert but also curious to learn and had never got the opportunity. During the teaching period we realized that even though she had spent so many years in this industry, she had no proper knowledge. We were shocked actually. But the change in her personality and the courage she built up, overcoming her fears made us proud. Now she owns her own salon. The journey from working for others to becoming the proud owner of her own salon was quite an achievement.

What are the challenges you have faced while managing The Beauty Lab?

As I said earlier, it is an unexplored market so the first challenge was to find a proper professional trainer which was quite hard. The one working with us now is from Darjeeling; we could not find a professional trainer here in Nepal and that’s one thing we want to change. Another was to bring ITEC to Nepal. It was very challenging for us since they assume Nepal will not have proper studios or facilities to provide to students as it is a small country. So now you can see how hard it was for us to convince them. We wanted to give international experience to our students so all of our equipment are from Italy. Setting up the infrastructure was also a thing.  Then, there was the Covid pandemic that brought a lot of disturbances in the operations of TBL
If you had to choose the classes for yourself, which one would you choose and why?
I would love to take every single course available at TBL as I believe there is no end to learning. We can see the trade going on in the market about beauty, fashion and self-love so I believe learning all the courses here gives nothing but opportunity to explore ourselves. Getting expertise in this flied is never wrong.

How did Covid affect your business?
Remembering that time it was actually quite difficult for us, we were about to launch when omicron hit Nepal. Beauty treatment requires a lot of touch and feel. So the restrictions impacted us as for safety reasons we had to close in order to stop the spread. Salons were completely shut, and the number of customers visiting the salons had reduced by 80%. Social gatherings also reduced during this period because of which people did not feel the need to go to salons, creating less demand for training. Despite such difficulties, we still took the initiative to keep the engagement high with our partner salons and stylists. We engaged with them over a lot of online moral boosting classes, along with online training classes led by international trainers.

What are your grievances?

What we hear repeatedly from people is, “Why didn’t you launch TBL earlier and why you are only located at Kathmandu".

What is your advice to our readers?
If you are okay with grabbing the same opportunity abroad by paying way more, why not spend less and invest in your own country. Be the change and let the new generation admire you for the choice you made.