Kavita Kaith, franchise owner in Upper Canada Mall in Newmarket, joined the Caryl Baker Visage family in 2002. Kavita has been the perfect franchise partner for Caryl Baker Visage; her strong work ethic, excellent leadership skills and charming personality have enabled her and her team to become a top performing location. Kavita is also an integral part of Caryl Baker Visage’s broader company success - sharing feedback, best practices and new product ideas to help the entire franchise base improve. Aside from her accomplishments in business, Kavita and her husband Steve have two beautiful children, her two year old son Cruz and her three year old daughter Nakita.
BeTheBoss: What made you choose Caryl Baker Visage from all the franchise opportunities you looked at?
Kavita Kaith: I come from a family of entrepreneurs. So, you could say spotting opportunities and a good business plan are engrained in my DNA. And naturally I developed a keen interest in business from a young age, and eventually enrolled in the Bachelor of Commerce program at the University of Toronto. It was a comprehensive learning experience that provided me with the foundation I needed to be a successful manager and business owner. Upon graduating, I began exploring various business opportunities. I was dispassionate about most, regardless of their income generating possibilities. I knew I needed to find something that wasn’t just about money. Fashion has played a role in my life since my youth – I modelled for Simpsons, The Bay and L’Oreal. That experience gave me a healthy appreciation for proper skincare and the almost magical properties of makeup. When I discovered Caryl Baker Visage, I found the perfect marriage of my education and life experiences. The company’s strong sense of family is what I appreciated after years of working for my family’s businesses which also made the transition easy.
BTB: Can you please describe the support you got from the Caryl Baker Visage head office team as you got started?
KK:Right from the start the Caryl Baker Visage Education Program taught me the company philosophy, products, and services. I then progressed to onsite training where I experienced the real day-to-day operations with an incredible owner/supervisor for three months at a corporate location. This training was invaluable. Just having the opportunity to watch an existing operator follow through every day with staff, clients and administrative tasks gave me the confidence to walk into my salon and do the same thing. Once my salon was built and ready to open, Head Office gave me additional support for two weeks by sending a company supervisor in daily to help me get my business off to a successful start. Company support is still provided every month and I have also had educators come to the salon to do one-on-one training with me and my staff to help us improve the business every day.
BTB: What have you found to be your greatest key to success?
KK:Going to work and immersing myself completely in every aspect of the business. I truly believe that a good leader must lead by example from the simplest aspect of the salon to the most complicated. Having your finger on the pulse of your staff and customers is so important, and every dollar that comes in and out of the salon is my responsibility, so being an active owner is imperative to your success. I also believe you get out of life what you put into it. Your staff will rise or fall to your level, so set the bar high for yourself and good things will inevitably follow. Remember to treat your staff as you would like to be treated. A little understanding and compassion goes a long way. Lastly, I advise you to keep your customer at the forefront. Every interaction with your customer should be the same regardless of who is serving her. The customer is the centre of the universe while they are with you. When they feel special, you can bet they’ll be back.
BTB: Describe the most rewarding part of owning your business?
KK:When you do this job well, you’re improving the life of your customer. Helping her look good by making the extra effort to find her the perfect products changes the way she feels about herself, and the way she interacts with those around her until her next visit. I also find it rewarding to watch my staff grow both professionally and personally. I lend advice and mentor them whenever possible because I like seeing them succeed.
BTB: What are your goals going forward?
KK:To expand my business. I’d like to offer additional services and products to consumers and one day become a one-stop shop that solves an entire spectrum of beauty needs.
BTB: What advice would you give to a potential franchisee?
KK:First, after 11 years in the business I can say that one must have a clear desire to learn the health and beauty industry. Products are continuously evolving and being refined. Staying on top of the latest and greatest, as well as the trends, assures you give the best possible solution to your customers. Second, I would emphasize that managing the business and its finances on a daily basis is the key to your success. When you don’t look after your books, they won’t look after you. Also, I advise staying in touch with your team and ensuring they have the right mindset to make each customer feel they are being attended to with the highest quality products and service. This is the key to consumer loyalty. My final piece of advice is to join the Caryl Baker Visage organization and join a tightknit family that shares in each other’s success.