FACT caught up with Leila Sanii to talk about career, beauty and the developing well-being industry in the GCC region.
Could you please tell us about The Grooming Company and why you’re seen as one of Dubai’s leading operators when it comes to beauty and well-being?
The Grooming Company and its associated brands are pioneers within the region for all things beauty and wellness. With two award-winning brands, innovation and customer service is always at the forefront of whatever we do. I’m proud to say that we have over 675,000+ happy customers across the region and the world, including but not limited to influential social media and media personalities, along with celebrity and sports personalities.
What is the inspiration behind The Grooming Company?
The Grooming Company’s growth is powered by vision and strategic partnerships. Our partners, many of whom are women, act as inspiration and ambassadors to our brands. Customer experience is at the of our brands, which focuses on catering to the ever-evolving needs of modern living. N.Bar is a chain of award-winning nail bars that offers real women with real results. Whereas 1847 mastered the art of traditional grooming for the modern man.
What can customers expect when visiting one of the Grooming Company’s establishments?
Whenever customers visit any of The Grooming Company’s brands, they can expect world-class customer service, second to none, continuous innovation and adherence to the latest trends, tools and techniques in an ultra-hygienic environment provided by award-winning technicians.
What do you think it is about The Grooming Company that has resonated so much with customers in the UAE?
The Grooming Company’s brands – N.Bar and 1847 – have grown with the company. Launched in the early 2000s, a huge majority of UAE residents can recall their first visit to these brands. Providing a home-like, comfortable environment from booking to service.
We understand the fast-paced and ever-changing lives of UAE residents, with our multi-service stations our always-on-the-go customers can get the benefit of several services in a short period of time. This combined with quality and innovation along with the development of new product lines and services is what resonates with our customers in the region.
What did The Grooming Company have to do to stay relevant and ensure success during the pandemic?
Since inception, both N.Bar and 1847 had engraved into each of the brand’s identities, strict hygiene practices, making our already pre-existing practices easily match the hygienic rules and regulations imposed during the pandemic. Additionally, we leveraged retail home delivery and recommended retail brands and products that would help our customers maintain their beauty and hygiene during the lockdown, with tips on how to look after their nails, hair and skin at home.
You have two brands under The Grooming Company. Would you mind talking to us through their significance?
1847: Named after the year in which the safety razor was invented, the brand encapsulates the spirit and style of the traditional barbershop. It is the UAE’s first dedicated grooming lounge for men and has evolved into a thriving brand that is as distinctive and distinguished as its customers. The brand is held in the highest regard for its luxury grooming services, from barbering to facials, hair care to massages. The brand is a proud winner of Global Accolades of Best Luxury Male Spa by the World Luxury Spa Awards, and Best Male Grooming Brand by the World Spa Awards in 2021 and 2020.
N.Bar: Launched in 2001, N.Bar is a chain of award-winning nail bars across the world. The brand has established its position as the most progressive and successful nail salons in the region. The late founder, Neign Fattahi Dasmal transformed the routine nail care into an experience with the first of its kind nail bar in the region. Everything from the ambient interior design to the impeccable technical abilities, the brand is a go-to for real women looking for real results.
The UAE has seen a rise in beauty salons and barbershops in recent years. Why do you think this is?
As the year’s progress, I have observed an increased level of consciousness in customers about their appearance. UAE’s bubbling youth – men and women – aim towards becoming the best version of themselves, whether this is in their personal, professional or social lives. And, looking like the best version of themselves adds on to the equation.
In addition to this, the rise in social media across the UAE in the last few years compliments the youth and adults’ wishes alike to experiment and play around with ongoing trends and styles. Whether it is the latest nail art they’ve watched on Tik Tok or a haircut that sets them apart from the crowd – the beauty salons and barbershops help them reinvent their look from top to toe.
To cater to these soaring customer demands, there is an exponential rise in beauty establishments across the country. N.Bar and 1847 have kept up with the pace by opening branches in significant locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
What was it that specifically drew you to working for The Grooming Company?
The first thing that drew me to join The Grooming Company was the opportunity to work alongside Negin Fattahi-Dasmal, who was (May God rest her soul), a revolutionary, set standards for corporate practices that are still applied today throughout the industry.
The opportunity to learn from her and grow while working on two visionary and impactful brands made my decision to join The Grooming Company, the best and easiest decision I have ever taken. After that, I just was mesmerized by the potential and thought placed behind both brands and wanted to make sure I see them succeed.
How did you start your beauty and boutique management career, and what is it about the industry that inspires you?
I had always been a regular N.Bar client since its opening in 2001. I’ve lived in Dubai for a significant part of my life, and I can surely say that once I experienced N.Bar’s services, I knew that this brand can have a great impact on what nail and beauty services should be.
This passion towards the brand, as a customer first, in addition to my admiration of Negin led me to take the leap and apply to the company.
As for the industry, what doesn’t inspire? From its ability to grow and adapt to global trends and innovate and influence lifestyle changes; and to make you feel like you are the best version of yourself and can achieve anything you set your eye upon. This is the perfect industry for anyone who is trying to express their creativity.
As Managing Director of The Grooming Company, could you please tell us about your day-to-day role and what keeps it challenging and exciting?
At The Grooming Company, no two days are the same. Whether it is leading the brand’s expansion, negotiating contracts, overseeing day-to-day business operations, supporting team members development or supervising marketing efforts – there is never a dull day with N.Bar and 1847.
Are there any exciting openings in the pipeline that you and The Grooming Company team are working on currently?
In the new year, our brands are planning to launch eight branches within UAE with an additional five branches globally. Our customers can expect to hear announcements on these exciting openings throughout the year!
What would you say sets The Grooming Company apart from your competitors in the marketplace?
Ever since its inception, The Grooming Company has focused on four key factors that distinguish it from the competition. The first and most important factor is customer experience. For example, when 1847 launched in 2004, key services such as manicures were considered to be taboo for men back in the day. With this in mind, the brand was conceptualized to be a man’s haven. Elements such as sliding wooden doors for privacy, manicure chairs resembling a first-class plane seat and service rooms designed to look like a luxurious study, contributed towards a unique, exclusive experience.
The second most important factor is training. Both N.Bar and 1847 staff receive continuous, thorough global training to provide them with an award-winning skillset. Helping them elevate and deliver impeccable services.
The third contributing factor is our customer’s ease of mind. Health and hygiene have always been at the heart of both N.Bar and 1847. So much so that once the global pandemic hit last year, the cleaning and sanitization practices went above and beyond the minimum requirements of the UAE government laws.
Last but not the least, both the brands work towards providing globally recognized and renowned beauty brands and products to our customers.
Please share with us some of your professional goals for the rest of the year.
For the year 2022, our professional goals can be best described in three parts. First and foremost, the continuous expansion of our brands with the opening of new branches across the country. Secondly, reinventing and upgrading our services to reach new heights of customer satisfaction. And, finally, supporting and nurturing existing staff while bringing onboard international talents.
Finally, please could you talk us through the expansion plans for The Grooming Company in the next five years.
Within the next five years, N.Bar and 1847 brands aim towards opening branches across all the key areas within Dubai and Abu Dhabi. In addition to launching franchises across every capital city around the world.
GO: Visit www.thegroomingcompany.com for more information.