The name “Abyssinia” refers the Ethiopian empire that covered the northern half of Ethiopia till 1974. Even though Taffese is a Kenyan native, she named her salon in honor of her Ethiopian roots. Miny Tafesse might greet you with a hug and warm sentiments. She might lead you into her salon with a gracious smile and a sincere interest in how you’re doing. It’s her soft, welcoming nature that can make her salon, Abyssinia Hair & Beauty Clinic, feel like home. But there is nothing soft about how Tafesse runs her business.This entrepreneur still remembers her meek beginnings in Kenya where she opened her first salon with barely enough cash and a fiery passion for her craft.“I started the salon in Kenya with only $50,” she said. That salon, since its opening in 2000, has grown into a “high-end” hair and beauty clinic and has been Tafesse’s pride and joy. When she moved to Renton in 2013 to stay with her brother for a while, Tafesse couldn’t help but feel restless. So she worked to get her cosmetology license.
“I didn’t plan to be here forever,” she said. “But after I finished my training and got my license, I thought it was a good idea to start the business.”
Taffese prides herself in being able to start this salon all on her own and that too, without a loan. The salon doors opened in May 2015 and business has been booming since.
“The whole year I was testing the water,” said Taffese. “I saw the potential for a promising and amazing place. I’m still hiring people and there’s a chance to expand.”
“The place caters to everyone,” she said. “Why? Because I’ve trained in different countries. So that eliminates discrimination. It’s 2016; it’s all about diversity!”
The salon also provides beauty therapy, styling sessions and a wide range of cosmetics and skin care products. Taffese credits her success to her ability to work hard and pass along her business values and ethics to her trainees. “Me being here helps… immigrants,” she said. “Hard work can pay. Living in the United States, you have a huge opportunity. You have to do your part. Miracles cannot just fall from nowhere.” “When I give [my] story to people, when I mentor young girls, I tell them, ‘If you have something to offer, you are an asset. Don’t start a business because you have money. Go into business with integrity. Ask yourself if I can do this without anybody backing me up. If the answer is yes, then you’re successful.’ “Taffese plans on opening other locations, preferably on a global scale, but isn’t in a hurry.
“I don’t believe in spreading your wings too much too fast,” she said. Currently, she is focused on training her staff to perfect their craft and teach them the ropes of the business. For Taffese, money has never been the motivating factor to expand her salon kingdom. Rather, it’s been her genuine love for the craft.
“It’s all about passion,” she said. “I never even considered myself to be money-minded. I don’t prioritize money. I don’t have that kind of mindset. Am I creating a good atmosphere for my clients? Do I have all the necessary things for my clients? Those are my priorities.”
Taffese also helps less-advantaged students get education and training for free.
“If I see potential, I help them get placed,” she said. With an empire that is slowly growing, Taffese isn’t about sitting back and relax anytime soon. “When things become challenging… when you give me a hard time and I can’t give you what you’re looking for, that’s my favorite part,” she said. “Because it makes me work harder. If everything is smooth, then I sleep. And I don’t like sleep. I work seven days a week.”
The following points are the individual aspects of Abyssinia that demonstrate a strong potential for duplication of the business model through franchising:
Operating Prototype – Abyssinia has two strong operating locations, the more relevant in Renton, Washington, which opened in 2015. These units are run and operated by the Managing Director of the Franchisor Organization and have a history of strong year-over- year growth as well as a tremendous following within the community. The unit in Renton will act as the prototype for the franchise model and will show very well to prospective franchisees at a formalized Discovery Day.
Point Of Difference – Abyssinia has a non- traditional approach to marketing when compared to the traditional salon market. The business has an international appeal, rooted in Africa with products sourced from France. It also has a focus on customer service as well as value.
Teachable to Others – Abyssinia is a simple operation that can be plugged into almost any strip center with qualifying demographics and ample foot traffic. The business model is designed to be simple in order to remove operational complexities and shorten the ramp-up time for someone to generate cash flow and profitability in their franchise.
Operationally Sound – The Abyssinia model is operationally simple and can be replicated in several markets across the U.S. The current locations are being run efficiently with high levels of service, systematic processes, repeat customers, and a professional and friendly staff.
Adaptable Nationally – The Abyssinia model is adaptable nationally (and most likely, even internationally) as long as we focus the franchise growth in markets that have the proper density of clientele. We expect the franchise will be readily accepted by the customer base in any market with qualifying demographics.
AREAS OF SUPPORT INCLUDE:
- Operational Support
- Marketing Support
- Accounting Support
- Audit Support
- Legal Support
Abyssinia will also continue ongoing research and development, which will stream down to each franchise location. With these great areas of support, becoming a franchisee of Abyssinia could not be easier!
The best Abyssinia franchisees will be great in dealing with people and will operate with complete integrity in the business and in front of the customer. They will understand and grasp the culture and the change that Abyssinia brings to the salon industry.
The number one quality we will look for in a potential candidate for Abyssinia is their comfort level in sales and marketing the services and managing relationships with clients – we want business people to join the franchise model who will be aggressive and share the same vision for the company.