Gorgeous You skin wound and scar management clinic owner and operator Francis Swart had been running her small business out of her home since 2013. But she was starting to experience growing pains. Thanks to a Prospa Small Business Loan, Francis was able to realise her dream of owning her own salon.
Francis’s Gorgeous You salon in Burswood, Auckland, offers a wide range of skin and beauty treatments, including facials and massages. But much of her passion lies in wound and scar management, and helping people of all ages feel comfortable in their own skin.
“You might not be able to ever get rid of a scar or wound completely, but we can manage it in such a way that, when you apply make-up over it, you won’t even see it,” she says. “Or if it’s a body scar, we can manage it to a point where you can look at it and not feel like, ‘Oh, I don’t want to look at that part of my body.'”
Experiencing growing pains
For a few years, Francis operated Gorgeous You out of her own home. That worked for a while, but it soon became time to expand.
“I used to work from home, and we got to a stage where my family really needed their home back,” she says.
“The only way to do that was to move the business out of the house and into premises where I can actually grow my business.”
Having her own premises was also a long-held dream for Francis.
“I’ve always had a home-based salon – while raising children it was just easier. And I would say to my husband, ‘When I’m big, I’m going to own my own salon.'”
The scars of bank rejection
But finding funding from traditional lenders to realise that dream was tough, partly because Francis and her husband didn’t own property.
“They would ask, ‘Are you a property owner?’ When we said, ‘No,’ they would say, ‘Sorry, we can’t help you.'”
One day, Francis and her husband stumbled across Prospa on social media. After enquiring about a Prospa Small Business Loan, the couple heard back within 24 hours.
Francis appreciated that Prospa was easy to deal with, quick, and willing to work with her on a suitable repayment plan.
“Prospa gave us the option to make a weekly repayment,” Francis says. “As a small business owner, I can manage a smaller weekly repayment much better than a huge monthly repayment.”
Dreams do come true
Thanks to a small business loan, Francis has been able to achieve her dream of opening her own salon in Auckland, and fitting out the space.
“The premises were quite old and dilapidated,” she says. “I needed to freshen them up and make it a beautiful space where people wanted to come, where it’s nice, cosy and inviting. That’s what Prospa helped me do.”
Hear more about Gorgeous You’s story:
What’s next for Gorgeous You?
Now that she’s in her own space, Francis is determined to keep her small business moving forward.
“I’ve met with a business coach, and we are busy sorting out goals and how I’m going to grow my business in the next 12 months,” she says.
While Francis hopes to handle the marketing for Gorgeous You, she would like to employ another therapist to help with treatments.
“I just feel so blessed,” she says. “I said to my husband, ‘After all these years, I got to where I’m supposed to be.'”
It seems that with a bit of backing and hard work, dreams can come true.
A Prospa Small Business Loan has helped Gorgeous You:
- Purchase a new salon.
- Renovate her new premises.
- Hire a business coach.
If you have a small business dream that you’d like to turn into reality, talk to Prospa about how a small business loan could help on 0800 005 797 or apply online.
The information on this website is provided for general information only and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from financial, legal and taxation advisors. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information, Prospa, its officers, employees and agents disclaim all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded), for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.