From humble beginnings with one threading chair at Fenwick Bond Street almost 15 years ago Vanita Parti has built one hell of a brand. Today there are 30 Blink Brow Bar locations that do brows, lashes, nails, and so much more.
Best part about working for yourself
For me it’s definitely the variety and the fact that one day is never the same. Every day is a new challenge from different parts of the business and I love being hands on to get a full idea of everything that is happening. I also love how I am always meeting new people and the ability to try new things.
Toughest part about working for yourself
Trying to run a company and bring up children has been tough. The earlier years were particularly difficult trying to set up a business on a shoestring and look after two young children at the same time. Everything is challenging at the beginning as it takes time to prove your credibility, but it is also fun as you have little to lose.
What do you wish someone had told you before going solo?
That it takes a long time to get established and there is no such thing as an ‘overnight’ success.
What advice would you give someone starting a business and raising kids?
The main thing I would say is just got for it and don’t lose your sense of humour! It’s always slightly overwhelming when you have children and you’re trying to do everything. I was by no means the perfect mother of the perfect entrepreneur, mistakes have been made and balls have been dropped along the way but that’s such a key part of the process. Just go for it and keep on going even during the hurdles.
If you went for a coffee with your 18 year old self, what would you say?
[Laughs} Oh if I could talk to my 18 year old self I would say – have a bit more confidence. I know it’s very easy to say and I think confidence comes with age but it’s such a time to celebrate your youth. You have so many opportunities ahead and so much time make mistakes, try not to be too anxious about things and just giving them a go as you never know where they could lead.
What does the future look like for Blink?
To grow into a fabulous Eyebrow Emporium globally. We are on our way with a wonderful range of products and our 4TH recent US launch at Nordstrum in New York – it’s a really exciting time for us. –we also have some innovative treatments such as Brow Lamination and fabulous products being launched this year to give your eyebrows that ‘wow’ factor.
Describe your typical day
There isn’t really a typical day as it is so varied. My most predictable days are when I am in the office to work through weekly numbers and strategize with the team. Those are the days where I drop my daughter to school and then head in to the Marylebone HQs. I always look forward to catching up with the team but often don’t leave the bolthole until it is dark. I often meet potential partners who might be looking for new opportunities of working with us, especially globally or have calls with extended team members such as our PR consultants. We have a collaborative feel in the office and like to brainstorm and discuss all ideas. It is really important that we remain agile and move in another direction if something is not working. On ‘non office’ days, I like to network, meet other entrepreneur friends, visit the brow bars or simply look for inspiration on how best to move the business forwards.
What do you wish you'd invented
The most amazing company has to be Apple (under Steve Jobs). The creativity and understanding customer intuition was amazing.
Tell us about the day you got your MBE
I got a phone call from the Cabinet Office asking me if I had received a letter awarding me an Honour and whether I wished to accept it or not. I thought it was a joke and went to the office to look through my pile of mail. Lo and behold, there it was in a brown envelope and I nearly missed it! I was of course thrilled to accept and called my parents who were beyond happy.
Which boss has taught you the most and how?
I had a great boss at British Airways that was super detailed and wouldn’t accept anything less than perfect. At the time, it drove me mad but I realise now how vital both these aspects are in running a business. I can’t help but stick my nose into everything and it is important that we don’t accept anything less than the best.
To learn more about Blink Brow Bar London head to https://bbb-london.com/