Miny Tafesse’s first foray into entrepreneurship came in 2000, when she opened a salon in Kenya with just $50 and a passion for her craft.
Moving to Washington State, she brought that same entrepreneurial spirit, plus the years of knowledge and experience that now came with it, and in 2015, opened the doors to Renton’s thriving Abyssinia Hair & Beauty Clinic.
“Abyssinia” refers the northern Ethiopian empire that existed through the mid-1970s, and although Taffese hails from Kenya, she wanted to honor her Ethiopian roots. Her business philosophy is grounded in a natural warmth she shares with customers, and a belief in providing quality products and value-added service regardless of the value of the cut or style.
Today, Tafesse is both grateful for and inspired by the response she’s received, and by the numerous requests from clients to open a location nearer their homes.
While she first to considered a second location, the prospect of dividing her time and attention between two locations was concerning. “You have to choose between quality and quantity, and for me, I choose quality every time,” reflects Tafesse, an Ambassador for the Renton Chamber of Commerce and community volunteer.
The solution, and one that speaks to her commitment to promoting entrepreneurship amongst women and immigrants, was a franchise built on her tried-and-true business philosophy.
“Perhaps they have the drive to open their own shop, but don’t know how. Others can be so smart and creative, but don’t have the opportunity. I can provide the knowledge and wisdom I have gained,” Tafesse says.
Without that expertise, it can be challenging to get ahead, and many skilled stylists simply leave the profession, Tafesse says. Others try a home-based studio but that doesn’t allow the professionalism to build a long-lasting, financially rewarding career. “At the end of the day, they have nothing to show for it.
“You can rent a chair but that doesn’t take you any further. Owning your own business – investing in yourself – is something different,” Tafesse says. “It may be a little challenging at first, but it also offers real opportunity. Clients will pay for true expertise, patience and customer service.”
Take the next step
Tafesse’s story resonated with the franchise developer who recently evaluated her business. “He said, ‘You have so much to offer,’” she says.
Offering the franchise at $30,000, Tafesse will provide full training, both on business matters and her time-honoured approach to styling and customer service. Franchisees also receive ongoing support, grand opening and marketing support, and of course, the caché of the Abyssinia name.
To learn more, call Miny at 425-429-8241 or email firstname.lastname@example.org