Spoiled Spa and Salon in Orchards is a full-service day spa and beauty salon complete with luxurious steam rooms.
“I like to keep money as local as possible,” she adds, sharing her space with local seamstresses, painters, photographers and chocolatiers.
Helping other local businesses and connecting with the community is at the heart of the business. Spoiled Spa and Salon hosts an annual nonprofit fundraiser to celebrate their anniversary. This year’s example is participating in the “Race for the Cure”.
So how does a 25-year-old mother of two very small children achieve all of this?
Before she launched, Truong engulfed herself in classes on running a business, creating a thorough business plan and working with a SCORE mentor. When it came time to put together her financials on the salon, she found a group called Share.
Share is a nonprofit that helps people become self-sufficient. One of their programs, the Individual Development Accounts (IDA) helps individuals save up for a future asset such as a home, education or to start a business. Over the course of two years, participants save up to $2,000 towards the goal, with Share providing a 2:1 match to put toward these assets.
April met her match goal in just six short months. The spa has been open for three years now and provides jobs to 23 employees and has enjoyed double-digit growth.
“I have enjoyed using all types of marketing, but really the best is referrals from our clients themselves. We do a lot with social media and newsletters,” Truong shares.
Part of keeping her clients happy is hiring the right people. Truong says that her interviewing process is very intensive; “It is important to make sure who we bring on board is the right fit.”
A bit of an outlier with other business models, her salon is made almost entirely up of W2 employees. Truong recently began working with a business coach who has specific experience with salons. The consultation has helped her to maintain her business model while ensuring she could afford her employees quality pay, educational opportunities and a healthy balance of paid time off.
This employee-focused model is what she calls her “end plan,” making her vision complete.
“Working with the business coach helped me to help my employees be successful themselves,” Truong says, “That is the kind of business I wanted to have.”
With a forecast to double in business growth again, Truong is mulling expansion to a second Vancouver location.
“Share and great personal support helped me persevere,” she concludes, “We’ll see where we go from here.”