Nothing is impossible, give yourself the means to achieve it and you will get there
Here is the leitmotiv of Charlotte Gypteau who manages the Maison de Beauté Charlotte in Fresnay sur Sarthe. It is in a village of 2,000 inhabitants and is very successful in offering organic and technological…
CHANGE OF DIRECTION TOWARDS AESTHETICS
I am of Spanish origin and after a degree in Spanish literature and civilization, I realized one day during a course that this was not what I wanted to do anymore. I then made a point and as I always liked the plastic art and the manual side, little by little, after six months of reflection, the aesthetics appeared to me as an evidence. So I decided to change my life to put my first love forward: the manual and the human. I obtained my CAP, then a BP in Alençon at Silvya Terrade, formerly Beauté Coiffure Formation. My training took place with only people in professional reconversion, it was very enriching.
THE CREATION OF THE BEAUTY HOUSE CHARLOTTE
During my apprenticeship in BP, I was lucky to have a boss who trusted me and let me take the lead, which allowed me to have great
responsibilities. I was in charge of the openings and closings of the institute, I went to the bank, I managed the supplier orders and I was often alone to work at the institute on Saturdays… I knew that I was capable of managing an institute and that I had the soul of a manager. So, three weeks after obtaining my BP, I opened my own institute in Fresnay sur Sarthe in 2009, I was only 23 years old. I had previously visited three different cities and this is where I felt most comfortable. It is a very pretty town of 2,000 inhabitants. I bought a space previously occupied by
a real estate agency. I wanted a cozy space but I also wanted the client to feel comfortable. I started with two treatment rooms and one UV room. Today, I have four cabins, a sauna and a manicure area. For the financing, the Chamber of Trades followed me for three years, I was able to benefit from interest-free loans while defending my project in front of a jury. I also got a loan from the bank.
OF ORGANIC FARMING, STARTING IN 2009!
There was already a very traditional institute in Fresnay sur Sarthe. The idea was to bring something new in the concept as well as in the schedules with, for example, a night on Thursday evening. My institute is a cosy, warm and vintage beauty house. At the beginning, my concept was to work only with organic products. In 2009, offering organic food in the countryside was very avant-garde! Little by little, my concept has grown to welcome the whole family: women, children with the baby massage workshop, future mothers, little girls for birthday parties, men and couples for duo treatments. I started with Phyt’s and Couleur Caramel. Today, I also offer Baija, TooFruit, Manucurist, Starvac, Fille au Pluriel, Sun Institute, Autour du Bain, Green Skin Care with its ephemeral skin care collections and, recently, pulsed light with Cesam.
To attract the first clients, I distributed flyers, especially in shopping malls, during the three weeks my institute was under construction. I wanted to be in direct contact with my future clients to introduce them to my institute in person and, for the first 25 clients, I offered a gift.
I was also present in the local newspapers. On the window, I had written in very big letters “Coming soon: opening of a beauty salon” without saying more, to create a surprise effect… I had customers from the very first day.
I quickly set up a sponsorship system that ensured my development. Today, what I like about my institute is the atmosphere, the quality products, the precise and professional know-how and the permanent innovation. I have achieved all this in eleven years!
MOVE FORWARD, EVOLVE, DESPITE EVERYTHING…
I started on my own and hired an employee in 2011, but it was a little premature because two years after opening, we had to pay all the expenses and we both got pregnant at almost the same time. Her baby was born three months early… I was on my own but I kept it up for a while. At a certain point, I was really overwhelmed and I couldn’t offer any new treatments to my clients, even though my goal was to have an attractive institute! I had no family life anymore, I was running around,
it was no longer possible! It was a very difficult time but I never thought of giving up. I decided to hang on and believe in my lucky star. During my second pregnancy, I had a really great intern who was also in a career transition. I hired her and now there is an additional apprentice, so there are three of us. Looking back, I realize that I probably should have taken on an apprentice rather than hiring from the start, but I wasn’t very well advised… It’s important to surround yourself with the right people.
I love manual care but there is something for everyone.
THE CHOICE OF TECHNOLOGY
Having technology in your institute is a real source of profitability, it’s obvious! When I invested in a new technology, I wanted to give a more professional image because manual care is good, I love manual, but you have to have something for everyone and you also have to be up to date. And then there is supply and demand, if you don’t offer, you won’t be asked.
At the beginning, I had some preconceived ideas about the reaction of some of my clients because I am an organic institute, I thought they would not be ready to spend a lot of money on a treatment, and yet, they were not reluctant to treat themselves to body and face treatments! If the client really wants something, if she trusts you, if she trusts your precious advice, she will finance it because the results are there. It’s all very well to say it, but it must be repeated: don’t have any preconceptions!
STARVAC, ONE OF THE KEYS TO MY SUCCESS!
I discovered Starvac at school, and that’s when I decided that I absolutely had to bring technology to my future institute. At Starvac, I appreciated that this
that is, high-performance technology made in France! I really wanted to innovate with a professional device that would bring results, so I bought my first “S One” palpating and rolling device from Starvac in January 2009. It was ideal to start with the technology because it is a compact and easy to use device that brings quickly very nice results. Recently, I decided to invest in the new generation of Starvac equipment, the “Cellular Stretching”, the “DX Smart”, to offer a type of innovative care that works on slimming and anti-aging. This device offers a treatment head that allows you to work simultaneously on two skin folds of varying shape and depth for both surface and deep action. It can be used with adapted creams for even greater effectiveness. And the big plus: it’s painless and natural! This device works the face and body, I do not regret it, it works very well! I follow the Starvac protocols scrupulously: before and after pictures,
the estimate, the consent, everything is well tied up we do not do anything. All this highlights my professionalism and enhances my image with my clients.
Technology in an organic institute
Reconciling an organic institute with technology is coherent but it all depends on the device you have. The “DX Smart” is not at all invasive for the skin, there is no need for injections! Clients know that every brand and every appliance I choose is meticulously researched. They are always professional specialists, not ordinary suppliers. My organic positioning obliged me to choose a
My clients have switched to the Starvac method with great satisfaction and I have also acquired new clients! At the end of my Starvac training in Toulouse, I immediately informed my clients via social networks by writing: “Attention, big news, there is something new happening in your institute”.
My clients are aware of everything, I share with them all the life of the institute! Of course, I also use my website and social networks with before and after pictures to show my beautiful results.
Selling is not an issue for me at all. It is our role as beauticians to advise our clients as best we can. We are consultants first and foremost, not saleswomen! In relation to my cash register software, in
December, I achieved 49% product sales! My accountant couldn’t believe it. In fact, there is not a customer who does not leave without a product that pleases her and is adapted to her skin. I never force but I advise what is best. Before the Covid, I often proposed make-up or care animations. These are privileged moments of complicity with my customers and it is also the occasion to give the right sample after having talked about it in the cabin and I give good advice. It all happens very naturally: “Oh, we have a new product that has such and such an effect, here, you will discover it”. The clients trust me because the results of the products are effective. There are no secrets, to be successful in sales, you have to bring a lot of novelties and new brands. You also have to know how to surround yourself with people and I am lucky to have recruited them. My employee was in sales before her career change. She advises well, it’s a boost for me and we regularly change the location of products to create a turnover, a shelf is never empty. We motivate each other and bring the apprentice with us in this energy because it is not innate.
THE EFFECTS OF CONTAINMENT
The confinement was a real blow, humanly and professionally. It was a hard blow because I am a very active person… I thought about how to continue to sell my products despite everything, to give advice to customers because they could not remain without anything, without news… For the first time, I did Facebook lives, at least once a week. I have also made tutorials on the sun theme, for example: how to prepare your skin for the sun? How to choose your sun protection ? How to prolong your tan? And it is thanks to this that I have sold all my suncare products to my clients but also to new ones!
Being active during the lockdown definitely helped me when I got back on track, I was back on track! I communicated a lot on the professional part but also on the personal part with my feelings, by telling them that I was there for them, that I had a lot of goodwill for them. They know that I am passionate, that I love my job and that it would break my heart not to be able to work anymore, they knew it very well. In the country, people are loyal and have rallied to keep the local business going. The
click & collect worked really well, I have never sold so many products!
ALWAYS MOVE FORWARD
My personal leitmoiv is: “Nothing is impossible, give yourself the means to achieve it and you will get there”. When I have a crush on something and I have a good feeling about it, I go there. I am working on a project with a hypnotherapist in my town to create a limited edition box on the well-being of the body and mind. I am working on many different projects to offer my clients new services that are always in line with the spirit of the institute: to offer well-being, a special moment and quality services. Anything is possible! I never imagined that my institute would work so well, that I would be so fulfilled in what I do and that I would have such a relationship with my clients. It’s very rewarding, I’m having a blast!
MY MESSAGE TO BEAUTICIANS
Believe in your dreams, don’t put limits on yourself, don’t think in your clients’ shoes. If you feel like doing something, do it! We can know failures but it is to better rise again. I went through some complicated phases but the end result is that today I have an employee and an apprentice and that it works well. We need to move forward, to offer things that are different from what we see elsewhere. Just because you’re in a village of 2,000 people doesn’t mean that your customers aren’t up to date with the latest technology, that they don’t read magazines or look on the web. I have clients who come to my institute and say: “I know you have this device with this technology… I would be interested.