This week Renaissance The Art of Beauty celebrates a magnificent achievement:
Runner Up Best New Business Model at the NZ Beauty Awards 2015.
|Renaissance The Art of Beauty was created by best friends Emma Nijman and Sharnelle Mitchell. Both qualified Beauty Therapists, with a combined experience of 23 years in the industry. They first met back in 2006 when Sharnelle came to Emma for a beauty treatment through a recommendation from another of Emma’s clients.
Sharnelle was a beauty student at the time. The mutual respect for one another was instant. Even though they are quite different in personality, they complement each other beautifully.
Emma shares: "We have very different roles within the business, but share the same vision." With a smile she adds "We spend more time together than with our partners, so it’s important that we get along."
Renaissance is superbly located in the vibrant bay-side village of Sumner, Christchurch. Step inside and you discover a clinic which is charming and stylish with a hint of European glamour.
Emma and Sharnelle chose Sumner as a location because of its small town village feel, and because it’s by the seaside, which they say "just felt right". Sharnelle continues: "Before Renaissance opened its doors on St Patricks Day 2014 (and yes, we wore green uniforms just for opening day!), locals had to travel 40 minutes into the city to get a spa treatment, so we saw a niche market here."
Sumner was very badly affected by the Christchurch earthquakes in 2011. Many Sumner businesses were closing down and there were very few buildings able to be occupied for business. The road to Sumner was terribly damaged, making the village hard to access. Both Emma and Sharnelle are passionate about the area and its people, who had been through a lot of personal devastation. They wanted to contribute to the revival of the village and create a haven for locals to relax - a service VERY needed at the time. "We wanted to be part of the city's 'Renaissance', which is why we settled on that for our clinic name. We opened with very few clients but very quickly became busy and after one month hired our first full time therapist! We’ve been growing steadily since. We believe our success and growth is down to focus, education, quality, integrity and teamwork – keeping a really positive team culture is crucial."
Their very first therapist who joined their team travelled from Ashburton every day to come to work – that’s over 100km each way, 5 days per week!
Renaissance has grown to the success it is today mainly through word of mouth - 40% of their customers coming from Christchurch city or further afield.
Emma explains: "We love Ultraceuticals because we achieve incredible results from it time and time again. We can retail with confidence knowing that the product does what it says it will do – it’s proven results offer our customers more than a shiny box and hope in jar. It changes people’s skin and in turn boosts our customers’ confidence through fantastic looking skin – time and time again. We love the in-clinic treatments, the promotions they run and the education given is second to none."
|When asked what this Award means to them, both women agree: "Being recognised against the best in the industry - our peers who we respect and admire - really is the highest honour to us. It is an accolade that each individual team member of Renaissance can be proud of.
Each therapist within our team shares the same values and vision as us, which makes owning this clinic lots of fun – it really is an absolute pleasure. We really appreciate all that our team do and are so thrilled to have been recognised at The NZ Beauty Awards – they are incredible therapists and deserve the recognition."
It’s been hard work, they both agree. Sharnelle and Emma have put in huge hours and energy to make the clinic an incredible environment for their clients and staff, and they both agree that this award makes every challenge they’ve ever come up against even more worth it.