Rumours Sri Lanka’s Bespoke Salon turns 35 Thirty five years is a long time to be in the hair and beauty business and that's what the Rumours Salon counts on as experience.
In this market, which is both cosmetic and fundamental, Rumours is run more on the business model of a Main Street formula rather than a Wall Street one. The CEO of Rumours, Canice Rajamahendran, fiercely defends her “mom and pop store” stratagem, saying that’s how Rumours has stayed ahead in terms of the service they provide their clients.
“We have not expanded and opened branches, purely as a business strategy, there is just one state-of-the-art Rumours Salon. We initially experimented with a couple of branches in hotels, but quickly withdrew from that strategy as we realised that we couldn't give the best service if we were stretched out,” she says.
Even though Rumours is part of a very large conglomerate of companies, which stretches across several industries in the country, its inward looking formula has helped in giving the salon a bespoke approach, providing exclusive services that are tailor made for their individual clients.
Former Manageress and current Consultant for Rumours, Chantal Cook, says that the salon when it began was modelled on the founder CEO’s passion and love for the business and her desire to create an exclusive place where true professionalism could be offered to clients. “At Rumours it’s more than just hairdressing and beauty; we take into consideration the state of a client’s hair or skin before we undertake to treat or style it.
For example if someone comes in with a bad straightening job and ask us to do another straightening, we will not do it as it would further damage their hair. Likewise skin gets the same treatment and we would instead advise them on how to care for their hairand skin and when another treatment could be done.”
Canice says that she always had a special love for dabbling with hair and make-up and that's how the idea for Rumours was born.
“I literally roped my younger sister Chantal into it and although her background was the travel trade, she caught on pretty fast.”
She says in those old days there were only a handful of good hairdressers around and the industry was not high end. “Most of the hairdressers mainly did haircuts, styled hair or simply dyed or permed it. That's what gave us the impetus to do something different; we wanted to offer more than just cuts and colour for our clients. We did not want to be about just hair styling, but more about the total hair and beauty care package that empowers clients.
The training available in Sri Lanka back then had been fairly basic so Canice decided to train overseas. “We wanted to learn the business thoroughly, and at that time London was a good place to start. We were trained at Robert Fieldings and the L’Oreal Technical Centre where we acquired the well rounded knowledge necessary. This not only helped us to provide a higher quality service to our clients but I would also like to think
that we contributed towards raising the bar within the local industry.”
“In those days training was much more than attending a day’s seminar and getting a certificate. We had to sit for exams over an eight month period in both the practical and theory sections and only then could we get our certificates. In hairdressing colour is one of the most complex of subjects and we began with foundation level and went up to high fashion training,” says Chantal.
According to Canice, Rumours was the first to go bold with colours, introducing reds, pinks and greens. “I can safely say that back then, the knowledge of colour we had, nobody else did. Early on, it was just a case of slapping on some black in your hair, but we brought the concept of more natural lookingcolours as well as the trendy, initiating the crazy colour
revolution. And we did not stop there, we continued to specialise in colour as well as client care, and that’s how I can also say that we are the only Salon who can handle a colour correction in the right way,” she says. Another key factor about Rumours is training. The CEO says that most of their staff have had their training at top beauty schools overseas. “We also send them from time to time for refresher courses abroad. New employees are properly trained and after their training we test them on ourselves before they are allowed to handle clients.”
She says that in this industry, knowledge, training and experience are important components as they deal with chemicals, which wrongly used can cause serious damage, even resulting in death. “For example not just in mixing colours but even when using plant products like henna, one has to know the rules and understand how it can react.
Rumours uses only top of the range, safe products and we use them with care, according to individual skin type – we don't believe that ‘one size fits all,’” says the CEO of Rumours.
Rumours is all set to celebrate 35 years in the industry in grand style. Their gala event ‘Hit The Red Carpet,’ a celebratory night of fashion, live acts, music and dance will be on Saturday, August 22 at the iconic British heritage tea site of Harrison's, Darley Road. The countdown is on to hit the red carpet with street stalls, cocktail bars and partying till dawn with YES FM and Legends.[caption id="attachment_81742" align="alignnone" width="337"] Virat Kholi visits Rumors. Pic courtesy www.facebook.com/rumours.hair.beauty[/caption]
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