Brows have an incredible ability to transform your features, but it can disastrous when things at the salon go wrong. As convenient as it is to thread, wax or tint your brows can be alongside your manicure or hair appointment, the “quick fix” service could leave you with uneven brows that don’t compliment you in any way.
A small tweak in expert hands, and you have a set of brows that enhance your facial contours that boost your confidence. This is exactly what founder of premium Dubai salon Brau, Joud Odeh, wanted to achieve.
A brow wonderland, it offers innovative treatments like microblading, Brau Henna, Brau lamination, and Brau filler alongside more traditional services. Brau curates from world-class beauty innovations and customized for an individualised approach so you can be sure your brows will finally get the attention they deserve.
Brau also extends beyond eyebrows – after all, every facial feature needs to compliments one another – so you can also book in for services like lash extensions or lift, Million Dollar Facial, semi-permanent makeup and lip blush.
The newly opened studio is nestled in The Springs Souk – a luxurious and intimate space that offers six beauty bays including three private treatment rooms. There’s also a cute retail space to stock up on all your aftercare essentials.
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What was your favourite subject at school?
Definitely Mathematics and Physics. I’m very analytical by nature and I absolutely love problem-solving.
What was your first job?
My first job was working in an oil rig in Singapore. Following that I started my career with IBM, where I worked for 10 years as a business and technology consultant in the Public Sector and Healthcare industries.
What inspired you to launch Brau?
I couldn’t find anywhere good and affordable to do my brows in Dubai. The norm in Dubai was for women to do their brows in hair salons, where a therapist that doesn’t specialize in brows would thread your brows and they would always come out too thin and uneven. As I started my research, the idea grew from there to include other related treatments.
I found this industry to be very exciting, with advancements in technologies, new beauty treatments are coming out every day that are less invasive and highly effective such as microblading, semi-permanent makeup, hyaluronic lip fillers, microneedling, laser facials etc. So, I saw a gap in the market for beauty studios that specialize in women’s facial grooming treatments offered in a relaxed retail atmosphere while maintaining clinical-grade standards and procedures.
What are the key elements of your role?
I spend most of my time perfecting our customer experience by staying close to our clients. However, as a business owner, I also get heavily involved in hiring, training, managing teams, marketing, constantly evolving our standard operating procedures and building partnerships and collaboration agreements – everything pretty much.
Talk us through your daily routine.
My day starts pretty early around 6am, I enjoy working out early in the morning as it sets positive energy for my day. After the gym, I head back home to spend time with my husband and daughter every morning. I then get ready and head to the studio, I like to start by reviewing our appointments for the day and I run a team briefing to go over the treatments and other activities for that day. I spend the rest of day meeting suppliers and partners, planning marketing activities and attending to other operational needs. Each day is different, but I like to spend as much time as possible meeting customers and getting firsthand feedback. I head home around 6pm for family dinner and to see my daughter before she goes to bed. When I have additional paperwork, I continue working in the evening and head to bed by 10:30pm maximum – I’m definitely more of a morning person.
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What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
When deciding to open a business, you can never be 100 per cent sure. If you’ve built a solid business case and your 30-40 per cent sure, then that’s good enough.
When you leave a stable job to venture out on your own, you will hear a lot of resistance from your family and friends telling you its not a good idea because of timing, the economy, the idea etc. and its normal because they worry about you. It’s important to block out the noise, keep going and stay confident in what you’re trying to achieve.
Also, when opening a business, you can feel lost, lonely and stressed and you need to know that this is part of the process, it would be not normal to feel otherwise, so you just need to embrace it and keep going with perseverance.
Which fashion brands can we find in your work wardrobe?
I like to wear classic pieces that super comfortable as I move around a lot during the day. Brands I usually wear are Uterque, Sandro, Urban Outfitters and &Other Stories.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
While operating the business someone told me that I need to give myself time off and if I can’t do that then you don’t have the right people in place so that really pushed me to recruit a team of A-players which is allowing me to be able to allocate some time for myself and my family.
What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
I heard once that you need to be naïve to start a business and persistent to keep going – that is 100 per cent true. There are many aspects of a business you won’t know about whether its branding or construction or trade licensing etc and that’s completely normal because there is no single source that can direct you. To overcome these challenges, it’s important to be humble and ask the most basic questions, to document every note, do a lot of research and meet people in the industry that you can learn from. I found that every person I met opened a new door for me to meet someone else and learn something new. Repeating this gave me a lot of knowledge and confidence but more importantly, it taught me the process of how to search for answers and find solutions to problems in the world of entrepreneurship.
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