Ethereal is a luxury salon that offers beauty and wellness services that ranges from haircuts, styling, colour treatments and make-up for every occasion. Junaid Khan and Inzar Fawzy are known to provide their clients with fashion-forward hair styling and make-up services. Read on to find out all about their journey.
What inspired you to come into the beauty and hair industry and how has your journey been so far?
Inzar: Junaid and I, always find an unexplainable fascination with grooming people around us in any way that can enhance their beautiful personalities. With such mutuality of interests, I think it was only natural that we found ourselves dwelling into creating something of our own. As for our experience, Ethereal gave us a platform to unleash an instant and everlasting release of our creative energies. It has been a catharsis of sorts which has brought us indefinable pleasures. This field is vast, and competition is immense. To see our clients giving us their loyalties every single time they cross the threshold of Ethereal is perhaps the most fulfilling experience of our lives.
What are some of the make-up and hair trends that your salon is offering?
Junaid: We offer all the latest trends in hair and make-up. We conduct detailed consultation with the client as to determine their requirements. We also advise about the suitability of the trend according to the client’s own profile. As for me, carbon black smokey eyes and melted baylage are my favourite looks for this season.
How is Ethereal different from any other salon in the city?
Inzar: Ethereal is different in three ways: (1) Ethereal is not a salon, it is, what I dearly call, a school. At Ethereal, we don’t turn up every day to “make up” our clients. That would be beyond boring. We come here with a burning desire to learn every single time. We aspire to create standards, not merely follow them. (2) We don’t see our clients merely as our customers, but as our large extended family. Once you step inside Ethereal, we ensure (and our client-cum-family-members would testify) that your stay is as relaxing and natural as it would be in the midst of your own home, your own family. We are not in a competition to become the best money-minting franchise, rather to become the most comfortable outdoor space in this city when it comes to salon industry. (3) Having spent my whole life in this industry, I can tell you by experience that for the quality of our services we provide we are highly underpriced. For the same quality and experience, if we asked for two or three times more than we actually do, we would be well within the practices that are prevalent nowadays.
What is your area of expertise?
Junaid: My expertise is in hair colour, cuts and make-up.
What are the challenges that come with your job?
Inzar: Just like any other profession that entails public dealing, road can at times become bumpy. Humans differ in their our temperaments. At Ethereal, however, our mantra is: Customer is always right. If there is some issue, we must be the ones sacrificing instead of it being the other way around. Also, it’s a non-stop job. There is no holiday. In fact, holidays of all are the busiest of days for us. Sometimes that can be really challenging given how family time is affected by it. However, to be fair, if I undertake a cost-benefit analysis, benefits would surpass costs by some distance.
What is your greatest professional and personal strength?
Junaid: My professional strength is definitely my dedication and enthusiasm towards my work, and I think that really is one of my personal strengths as well. Dedication, however, requires a lot of patience (as a stylist) when it comes to dealing with different clients. So you can say that where dedication is my strength in both professional and personal life, its patience that helps me to go on every day.
In your opinion, what social stigma related to beauty does society need to get over?
Inzar: I actually believe that our society is evolving for the better, particularly when it comes to the beauty industry. Over the course of my life in this industry, I have seen a genuine transformation in people’s interest in the notion of beautifying themselves. There is a whole stratum of society now that considers it to be a part and parcel of their existence to maintain themselves and the standards they personally aspire for, and I think that’s absolutely amazing. After all, who doesn’t appreciate beauty, how may ever one might define it? I am not saying there are no stigmas left. While there is an ever-increasing proportion of populace attracted towards maintaining a lifestyle in which grooming is central, there is a counter-faction which still deems anything concerning beauty as unnecessarily ornamenting oneself and thus indulging in excessiveness, even sin. I think that’s utterly parochial. In appreciating beauty, one is seeking to follow God. After all, doesn’t He love beauty? He does! I strongly believe that the greater exposure, this industry will only become a household thing for all, if it hasn’t become as yet.
What is the most gratifying part about your job?
Junaid and Inzar: Winning over the loyalties of our clients through sheer quality of our work is definitely the single most gratifying aspect of our job. Seeing that sheen on their faces every time they find themselves to be “stunning” and ready to post tens of pictures on Instagram is a joy beyond any other.