Realising Retail Potential

Independent Retailer Profile – Female Entrepeneur Safia Khalid and her Beauty Empire

Eight years ago when Safia Khalid was a single mum supporting two young children she had a life choice to make.  She could either depend on the state to support her and her family or take a risk and start her own business.  Luckily for her, Safia chose the latter and although she has overcome many challenges along the way and learnt that getting it wrong on occasion is a part of the journey of becoming a success, it’s been an exciting journey so far.

Safia began working on a market stall selling handbags. But, as she had always had a passion for beauty she decided to follow that route. Safia opened her first beauty unit in Gravesend Market and today she has expanded to 15 beauty and barber businesses at locations from Kent to Birmingham.

List of locations and businesses

  • Safia’s Beauty opened February 2009 at Gravesend Indoor Market
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened September 2009 at Ashford Designer Outlet
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar March 2010 at Thamesgate Centre in Gravesend
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened January 2012 at The Pentagon Shopping Centre in Chatham
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened in January 2013 at New Road, Gravesend
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened in May 2014 at The Vancouver Quarter in Kings Lynn
  • Safia’s Barber’s opened in October 2014 at Fareham Shopping Centre
  • Safia’s Barber’s opened in May 2015 at The Pentagon in Chatham
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened in June 2015 at Westgate Shopping Centre in Stevenage
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened in September 2016 at Dockside Shopping Centre in Chatham
  • Safia’s Barber opened in February 2016 at The Orchards Shopping Centre in Dartford
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened in May 2017 at Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre Birmingham
  • Safia’s Barber opened at Broadway Shopping Centre, Bexley Heath July 2017
  • Safia’s Barber opened in September 2017 at The Priory in Dartford
  • Safia’s Beauty Bar opened their first retail unit in The Priory, Dartford in September 2017

Safia told us, ‘there have been many highlights along the way’.  Opening her first beauty business unit at Gravesend was a huge achievement and the launch of her first Barbers at Fareham Shopping Centre in October 2017 was a shift in a slightly different direction. Safia’s Barber at Fareham was nominated for and won an Opal Award in 2015 in the Mall Retail (New To Market, Less than One Year Trading) category.  In September 2017, Safia opened her first retail unit inside a shopping centre at The Priory in Dartford,  a deal that was facilitated with Ellandi, by her mentor Paul Clifford.

Safia concluded by telling us, ‘There have been a number of challenges, ranging from finding the right technicians to serve customers to unit design. The greatest challenge is being patient, it’s too easy to become despondent when business is slow or something goes wrong, and it will, but believe in your dream, stick with it and it will happen. It did for me.

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