The hair & beauty industry, all over the world has come along way, from various countries & cities. Where as getting, your hair done, was more than just, the regular hair treatment, with a touch up style, the jumbo & box braids that will remain in style for a very long time, or the creative hair cuts that intrigues many individuals to try from time to time.
At some point, we can all agree that, getting your, hair, nails, facial & body massage has become therapeutic gesture, which we give to ourselves from time to time. Depending with who & what would the occasion be, whether it is to spend time with your bbf, family member or a colleague, who would like to discuss work related matters or personal matters, that might make them feel under the weather & they would like a therapeutic experience, to make them feel & look good about themselves, & being able to realize that life problems, will always be there. But it is, in the manner, how we choose to handle our life problems & how we choose to overcome them without letting them affect us how we persevere in life.
Candi & Co Salon, was founded by Candice Thurston, who has a bubbly personality, contagious laughter & exotic looks, to sum up the most, coolest & freshest managing director, that Candi & Co Salon has come to expand their hair & nail dry bar salons, across the Gauteng province in South Africa.
Growing up, Candice had come across challenges, to find the right hair salon or hair product to maintain her locks, without having to think twice about, how much money she will have to spend or doubts to go back to the very same salon due to poor service. Candice has gained, more than 10 years working in corporate, whereas she has worked with top South African corporate organisations & spent 3 years, working in the hair division, researching & developing products for individuals with different hair textures & hair analysis.
Candice, was more than just prepared, to become an entrepreneur, she had a goal, of fulfilling where there was a gap in the hair industry & that’s how she founded Candi & Co salon.
Candi & Co salon, has become every women’s go to salon, because it brings women & men, from different calibers with different circumstances to feel secured in the hands of trained stylists, who will offer clients complimentary free Wi-Fi, refreshments & head massages, plus 50% off any treatment on a clients birthday. Candi & Co salon, hosts various events where clients get to be treated like royalty with goodie bags filled with hair products & most importantly, having fun with individuals who share similar interests, when it comes to hair, career & the different relationships we build amongst family, friends & colleagues
Engage To Evolve had the opportunity to interview Candice Thurston to get know who she & the evolution of her salon Candi & Co.
ETE: “Who is Candice Thurston?”
CT: “I am 34 years of age, I come from a mixed race family, I am married to an amazing husband, I am driven by passion & changing people’s lives, I am genuinely smiling, because when you smile, your world is your oyster.”
ETE: “What do you admire about yourself?”
CT: “I try not to be judgmental, I see people for who they are, not for their colour of their skin or how they look, I enjoy developing people, who are goal driven & passionate about life.”
ETE: “What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?”
CT: “Many entrepreneurs, who have established & successful businesses, will take every opportunity & will decide to become an entrepreneur, based on a personal choice & for me I come from a mixed race family with different hair & skin colour. Whereas, beauty all over the world, has been defined by the details of having straight hair, light complexion & light eyes. Growing up, my mom had curly & I had straight hair & it was difficult to go to separate hair salons & I was really concerned, by how media brought a particular look on how women should look like. While I worked for Unilever for the hair category, I had the opportunity to do research & work with different brands globally in Turkey, Saudi Arabia & Africa. I came to a realization, that women see hair, the same way, no matter what skin colour you have & I wanted to change the narrative for women, to start loving their hair & that is how Candi & Co salon came about.”
ETE: “What kind of entrepreneurial challenges did you have to overcome?
CT: “There are many challenges, as you grow as an entrepreneur & for me there, are 3 core points to follow, to avoid being in repetitive entrepreneurial challenges. (1) You need to be 300% in it (2) Pay yourself a salary (3) Have an operational structure & funding. I mean, when you start a new business, you want to do everything, because you want understand every department, from human resources to the operations department, being able to hire & coach staff & sail them through the company culture that you want them to develop & maintain the core values of the organisation & those are the things I had to overcome.”
ETE: “What lessons did you take from the challenges you went through?”
CT: “As entrepreneurs, we like putting ourselves in many responsibilities, where there will always be people around us who will assist us when certain days can be over exhausting, we can be very naïve sometimes because, we think that with a small budget, we cannot fulfil the end goal of a project, but on hilarious note, trust me with a small budget, creative & successful projects can be fulfilled. Pride can also come in the way of not putting effort the way you would have planned to work on certain responsibilities, because the type of titles we want to be addressed too, can either break who you are as entrepreneur or have a business breakdown because is not monitored & structured from time to time, always have respect for people, always surround yourself with people who are better than you, within the career or business industry you would like to venture in, because that is where, you get to indulge on the best knowledge to do things differently.”
ETE: “What was your purpose & vision to establish Candi & Co?”
CT: “My vision to establish Candi & Co, was to ensure that I use my past experiences & turn them into unique purposes, where my aim is to ensure that Candi & Co gives women the feel & look of being confident, beautiful, owning the different & unique side of who you are as an individual, without trying to fit in with a particular crowd or to feel insecure, about how your hair looks like & Candi & Co accommodates all women, from different races, because we want to give our clients the best experience, where they can express their confidence through their beauty & hair expressions.”
ETE: “What kind of positive feedback have you discovered about women who get candicoated by Candi & co?”
CT: “Candi & co has developed a hair structure, based on the type of hair that women have, which is type 1 straight hair, type 2 curly hair, type 3 wavy hair & type 4 highly textured hair. Despite the race group, as a woman you could possibly fall into any hair category, whereas Candi & co, we want to teach women to, see their hair, in a scientific spectrum, than seeing it in a racial perspective, because when you break down the hair structure in a scientific spectrum. It becomes a relief for women to be able to off load the weight they have been carrying for a long period of time, because many women have been judged based on the type of hair they have & automatically it brings a women’s confidence really down, so we enjoy seeing women express their happiness & fulfilment after getting their hair done.”
ETE: “Has Candi & co, changed the dynamics of how the hair industry should service & treat clients & their hair?”
CT: “When I designed the strategy, for Candi & co, I wanted a concept that compliments who we are as a salon & developing the hair industry, by brining hair academies, product developers, bloggers & the media together. So that we can give the best customer experience, where we offer free Wi-Fi, free refreshments which comes with a loyalty programme & automatically that becomes a clients one stop salon, where clients can get their hair, nails, brows done in a short space of time, because, as we all know, we lead very busy lives & as women, we have many responsibilities to take care of & as the Candi & co salon, sometimes, we do not get it right & sometimes we do & we will try by all means to win you back whenever you as a client you are unhappy with our service.”
ETE: “Do you think South Africa still has a long way to reach international standards, regarding hair?”
CT: “From a product perspective, we are definitely behind, because more research are being done & more products are being developed & from a salon perspective for black women, Candi & co, does not exist anywhere in the world, because I have travelled to Amsterdam, Paris & even in America specifically in Brooklyn, where it hard to find a salon that does what we do, for instance you can walk into a salon for a cut, colour or blow dry, but you just cannot walk in & get braids done in the style that you want. To have braids done, you need go down, to some alley to get the braids done. I can say that South Africa is one of the countries in world that has come far when running a salon but when it comes to hair products, we still got a long way to go.”
ETE: ”What tips do black women have to consider, when they to look after their hair?”
CT: “Chemicals, environmental changes, brushing & combing the hair too much can affect how the hair can breakdown from time to time, because, if you have natural as a black woman & would like to maintain natural hair, then most definitely, your hair needs more moisture, which means more conditioning & more treatments. When your hair has chemical, then your hair needs more protein treatments to repair the damage that has been done. So the easiest tip, I can give is to wash your hair regularly, stick to the hair product & treatment that makes your hair moist & easy to maintain.
ETE: “What are the benefits of being part of the Candi & co family as a client?”
CT: “When you are part of the Candi & co family, you are well loved & taken care of, we are your information hub & the complimentary free service we offer to our clients.”
ETE: “What are your top 3 beauty items you cannot live without?”
CT: “ (1) Lipstick (2) moisture (3) fragrance.”
ETE: “What do you appreciate about South African women?”
CT: “Women in South Africa, have started to embrace their differences, we have become big supporters of each other in terms, of what we do in our careers, businesses & being able to raise & maintain relationships from family to friendships.”
ETE: “What advice do you have for individuals who want to take control of their destiny?”
CT: “Understand, what you are passionate about, because your passion will be turned into the successful career or business you have always wanted. I am a firm believer of being a person who works hard, who gets to work early & leaves work last & not being afraid to work 7 days a week & being able to create skills for yourself & do it to the best of your ability.”
You can follow Candi & Co on the following social media
Facebook: @candi& co.salon