Tucked away in the breezeway between the Mint Museum and Duke Energy Center, The Daily Details, a beauty boutique, serves business professionals who need a manicure, pedicure, blowout or wax. Sisters and owners of The Daily Details, Kiri Longa, 28 (photographed above, left), and Nicole Vieira, 32 (photographed above, right), saw a need in uptown Charlotte for this type of service and opened up The Daily Details in February.
Both attended Wake Forest University and became certified public accountants in Charlotte. Longa traveled quite a bit and found it hard to get her nails and brows done during her short weekends.
One day at work, Longa’s male co-worker disappeared for 30 minutes. When he came back, she asked where he had been. He had gotten a haircut at one of many grooming places for men in uptown. She realized that there was nothing equivalent for women.
With a trained staff of 20, The Daily Details offer manicures and pedicures ($15-$40), blowouts ($25-$65) and facial waxing ($10-$35). They offer early morning, evening and weekend hours to accommodate a busy schedule.
Longa and Vieira answered CharlotteFive’s questions for the Small Business Series:
(1) How important is choosing a location when you start a business?
Vieira: “For our business, it was essential. We both previously worked in Uptown and Kiri currently lives in Uptown. We saw that there was a gap between where people worked and where people played/took care of their essential tasks and errands. Our target audience is the working professional. We saw that there was tremendous opportunity in Uptown for the services we offer.”
(2) What goes into forming a business plan?
Vieira: “The first thing is to think about is who are you writing the business plan for — Yourself, banks to get lending, landlord or venture capitalists to fund you? We used LivePlan. It’s an awesome resource that walks you through every step of creating a business plan, providing examples of what other businesses have done, and formatting everything for you along the way. It’s very reasonably priced and a cloud-based software, so you can access and work on it from anywhere, any time.”
(3)Why is repeat business so important?
Longa: “Our business relies heavily on word of mouth. That’s a huge marketing tactic for us, and likely for a lot of other new small businesses that don’t have big marketing budgets. Repeat customers, through their actions, are saying that they have bought into our concept and are more than likely to then tell their friends. Especially in the hair and beauty care industry, most people want a personal vouch that the hair stylists, nail techs, etc. know what they’re doing and provide consistent results. We love having repeat customers because then we get to know them on a personal level.”
(4) Any epic fails during the process you care to share?
Longa: “Our construction build-out of the space was a gigantic learning curve for us. We ended up getting delayed a significant amount of time, so much so that we had hired a full staff that were waiting for us. We thought we would be open during the 2015 holiday season. When we realized that wasn’t a possibility, we pivoted and ended up doing a mobile beauty service. We went to people’s houses and apartments and got them ready for New Year’s Eve.”
(5) What do you do for fun?
Longa: “I’m getting ready for my first full marathon in November — the Charlotte Marathon! I’m also a big foodie so I love trying new restaurants around town. I follow them pretty closely. Good Food on Montford is probably my all-time favorite. Beef and Bottle is also a tried and true favorite.”
Vieira: “I got married last year, so my husband and I enjoy cooking together and meeting up with friends at different breweries. We just recently bought a new house, so all our ‘fun’ is currently doing home improvement projects.”
Family history and my own fascination with people and their motivations prompted me to begin this series about Charlotte’s small business owners. Industry, situation and questions will vary. Have a suggestion for a small business owner or entrepreneur to interview? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Small Business Series.”
Photos: Amy Ellis Photography