PETALING JAYA: Utilising a recent workplace trend, a rising beauty and wellness firm is hoping to disrupt the industry by pooling resources to deliver a more complete product to customers.
The strategy, envisioned by Beauty and Co founder and CEO Yap Yann Fang, entails aggregating various beauty and health services under one roof, much like a co-working space.
Over the last decade or so, co-working spaces have mushroomed in major cities all over the world.
Initially used by start-ups and freelancers, early adopters were primarily attracted to the immediate availability of office space and facilities for their operations without having to incur upfront costs.
These days, however, co-working has penetrated a wider range of services, particularly technology, media and marketing.
According to the Global Co-working Unconference Conference (GCUC), there are 11,592 flexible workspaces in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by 6,850 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and 6,293 in the US.
GCUC estimates that co-worker numbers will grow from 1.74 million in 2017 to 5.1 million this year.
While growth has been significant in some sectors, co-working has been slow to catch on with others. That may well change for the beauty industry very soon.
A substantial rise in women’s spending power is encouraging beauty-preneurs to turn to co-working to provide more complete high-quality treatments while offering customers access to a wider and more flexible workforce.
So, what made these beauty-preneurs gravitate towards co-working, and why is it having such a profound impact?
Beauty and Co was established in 2020 as a dedicated beauty and wellness co-working space aimed at being a one-stop centre for consumers, and this is being done by aggregating the services of beauticians and beauty salons.
There are presently more than 50,000 beauticians and 10,000 small beauty salons in the Klang Valley offering a wide variety of services but professing different values and beliefs.
At the same time, Yap told FMT Business, more people are turning to co-working in search of flexible hours and a greater sense of entrepreneurship.
This led Yap to envision a platform that could unite all beauticians and empower them to build a new eco-system where they collaborate with one another instead of competing against each other.
Attending a 2017 culture camp in Las Vegas was a turning point in her entrepreneurial journey. Yap is now looking to work with industry players to launch a movement that will fundamentally change the country’s beauty and wellness industry.
Her own company has benefited immensely from the shift in approach, with revenues increasing by more than 60% from six outlets across the Klang Valley.
It provides trained beauty professionals with a common space, structured support in marketing their services and cutting-edge beauty technology, including US Food and Drug Administration-approved beauty and aesthetic machines, leaving beauty professionals to focus on their skills and on attending to the needs of their customers, Yap said.
She recognises that the beauty industry is presently plagued with a negative perception brought about by gimmicky hard selling methods, emotional blackmail, and body shaming. However, Yap believes that a structured marketing programme is key to eradicating that image.
She hopes that her movement will have a ripple effect across the beauty and wellness industry, for the better.
The beauty and wellness sector is said to be worth more than US$1.5 trillion (RM6.6 trillion) globally and is expected to rise by 63% in 2022.