ASHLEY WONG Founder of Ash B Beauty Room.Image by Lester Tsen | Written by Eve Bandusena
Ashley Wong began her career in the beauty industry by studying in Taiwan and worked as a make-up artist there before returning to Kota Kinabalu to pursue her career in the same line of work. After her arrival back home, she quickly realised that Kota Kinabalu was limiting in terms of options and services in the beauty sector and saw that her low income as a make-up artist reflected the lack of choices available in Kota Kinabalu. Not long after, she returned to Taiwan yet again to pursue her studies in semi-permanent and operated her business out of her home briefly before settling in a studio at Hilltop. During this period, she continually pushed herself to search for business opportunities, generate income and often traveled for local bookings.
HER FIRST EVER SHOP
After a year, she successfully opened her first branch at Lintas and of course, every new business venture isn’t exempt from its own unique set of challenges. Ashley recounts that she faced difficulties guiding her team and experienced apprehension yet despite this, she pushed pass her limitations and thrived. Next year, she expanded her business by opening a second branch at Plaza 333 and then a third in Sandakan.
How does one keep their business afloat and ensure that there are enough walk-ins to support their overhead cost? Ashley shares that you need to sponsor, perform buy ins, in stocks and standby. Sales is a very hands on service. A break for a week will result in sales drop. This is why having balance is crucial. Sales will reduce during school holiday, government elections, and with issues concerning GST.
As a business owner, everyday involves maintaining a degree of hard work. Laziness is contagious. If you’re lazy, she says, your staff will follow suit and your business will be affected. With every strength, there’s a weakness to counter it. Ashley cites that the English language and Accounting aren’t her stronger points. That’s why management is important, thanking her assistant Cassandra, who is in charge of managerial duties.
HOW SHE STANDS OUT
With so much competition, what makes her business stand out in the beauty sector in KK? By being confident in your own work, Ashley says. When you’re confident in the work you do, you’ll feel no need to compare yourself to other people’s work. Everyone has their own style and brand, everyone has a different taste. Some people like Louis Vuitton and some like Chanel, she says. If people like a brand’s work, that’s what they’ll gravitate to. She’s confident with her work and products. The products are satisfying and are safe to use and that’s why they her customers continually choose her brand.
And what is the best-selling service at Ash B Beauty Room? Eyebrows. Ashley points out that Asians have significantly less hair and that the weather and our diets are to blame. Most Asian meals are too heavy, the spicy, salty and sour elements are what causes our hair to drop. Koreans, for example, she says like eating Maggi and that what makes their hair decrease. She throws out observational notes that Kadazan’s have thick hair and lashes, more than Chinese and Malays.
As for the future, are there any plans for business expansion? No. Ashley replies. There have been offers to purchase her franchise and suggestions to open one within the KK area but she’s too busy focusing on all branches and currently trains her staff to do semi-permanent to ensure they’re able to attract more customers so she can focus on management and teach. Not a lot of people are on the same wavelength as you, she says. If they’re slow, it affects my work pace too. They’re individuals, and you can’t enforce your control over them, you need to find people who are interested in what you’re focusing on.
GROWING IN TOURISM SECTOR
As for the future, Ashley shared that her company has been selected and sponsored by the Malaysian Tourism to participate in an event in which a steady flow of tourists will be brought in by the government to boost local beauty businesses. She states that opening her business area within the KK area would be difficult as the clientele would only be one time customers and the focus would shift towards tourists and not regulars.
HER MESSAGE TO YOU
And lastly, advice for anyone who wants to try her service? Ashley shares that everyone wants to look pretty and well presented. As a rule of thumb, we need to wax our underarms and private parts. Even after giving birth, mothers are encouraged to wax for clean-up purposes and these apply for women with periods too. For facials, skincare is best if done everyday or, at least every two months. Injections like fillers, collagen and filler are very famous now, Ashley adds. Working together with Aesthetic KL, which is a company similar to that of Dr. Koh, a doctor, consultant and assistant will be appointed to help with various procedures at Ash B Beauty Room.
Current promotion inside
Parents Avenue Magazine by ASH B Beauty Room.
Find it in this latest issue!
Issue No.12 July to September 2018
Find them on Facebook for latest updates and promotions!
WIN! A FREE 3D EYEBROW EMBROIDERY BY ASH B BEAUTY ROOM
DETAILS IN THIS ISSUE OF PARENTS AVENUE MAGAZINE