Ileana Totanji is a Romanian hairstylist and colour expert, in particular for blonde and the balayage technique, at her own salon, Totanji’s Studio Concept, based in Bucharest. And, as it was expected, one of her most-requested services at the salon is the balayage in blonde shades.
In today’s article, Ileana decided to share with us her experience as a beauty business owner, along with advice and strategies, but also tips when it comes to hair care.
Q: Thank you for accepting our interview invitation. Could you introduce yourself to the Beauty Booker UK audience?
A: Thank you for the invitation. My name is Ileana Totanji and I own the salon which shares my namesake, since 2015.
Q: How did you discover your passion for haircare?
A: I was born with this passion, I loved beauty since forever. With regards to the hair, I started practising first of all on myself and my hair.
Q: In which haircare product do you consider we should invest the most?
A: In thermic protection and/or hair masks.
Q: Which rules are the most important when it comes to hair care?
A: To understand your hair structure and to not try excessively to change it. For instance, if you have curly hair, don’t straighten it daily and vice versa. Also, use products dedicated to your hair type and inform yourself correctly when you purchase hair products for the home.
Q: How did you start your beauty career, before opening your salon?
A: I started working in my own salon, after a year since I launched it, following by my participation at multiple national and international contests, improving my techniques and gaining a lot of information. After these experiences, now I am a trainer in my own academy and a collaborator with an international brand.
Q: What do you think makes your salon unique? What do you think is attracting clients to come to you?
A: My honesty, along with my techniques, which are constantly improved, in order for my clients to not have to go constantly to the salon for maintenance after a hair change, but also to have beautiful hair even after 6, 9 or even 12 months since the change happened.
Q: How do you make both yourself, as a hairstylist, but also your salon remarkable, in a world with so many options when it comes to beauty services?
A: I work after my own set of rules, which are different from the other salons because they are personal and personalized. Moreover, I try to have a good online marketing strategy, in a correct and informative way. Also, I don’t hesitate to share my little tips and tricks and I try to target high-value clients.
Q: How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected you and your business? What solutions did you find to solve the problem?
A: I took the personal decision of temporary closing my salon during the pandemic, before the official lockdown. It affected me financially, however, I felt that morally I did the right thing because I felt that my family and I, along with my clients were safe at home. Then, I changed the location of the salon and I was in charge of the renovations and decorations of the new space, which opened on the 1st of June 2020.
Q: What social media strategies do you use to get more views and followers, to be noticed online by people?
A: My social media strategy is to post constantly, with clear content and to grow organic. I recently started to rely also on video posts. Despite Google, Facebook and Instagram, TikTok is as well a good way to make myself noticed online. Moreover, I have already formed my own group of clients in the past years of work and I am very happy about it.
Q: What steps did you follow to create your own beauty business? What advice do you have in this regard for people who want to do this too?
A: I opened the salon thinking that I will be only the boss and that would be all. However, I realised that is also necessary for the business to be connected with the profession of the owner. That is the only way you can be truly present and productive. This is not a business that would allow you much free time, so you have to be prepared with both the financial and physical resources.
Q: What advice do you have for people who want a career in the beauty industry?
A: To be passionate about beauty before the financial interest. That part comes along with the effort you put into it.
Q: What consequences would be in the beauty industry, in the long-term, after the Covid-19 pandemic?
A: I believe that slowly we will move the training and educational part online and we would be more careful at hygiene and social distancing.
Q: What beauty means to you?
A: Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. To me, beauty is all about the details that make the difference.
Thank you for your time, Ileana! Keep up the good work!
You can find Ileana Totanji on Facebook and Instagram :
Facebook: Ileana Totanji
You can find Ileana’s salon on:
Facebook: Totanji’s Studio Concept