Success saga of Beauty entrepreneur: Priya Kapur

Sunil Pol
Sunil Pol Sep 29 2017 - 8 min read
Success saga of Beauty entrepreneur: Priya Kapur
Started her endeavour in beauty and styling by conducting workshops in fashion institutes like NIFT, Priya Kapur has made niche for herself in beauty business by opening multiple salons, make-up and hair studios.

Despite belonging to the family of textile industrialist, Kapur chose to follow her interest of becoming make-up artist at the age of 20, after passing out from the college in 2005. The inspiration behind her force of interest in the field of make-up, was the workshop on make-up she joined in May same year.

The workshop was just a personal make-up and filler, after which, she completed her three months diploma course of hair dressing and business of hair and beauty, which helped her further assist few parlor-oriented people for hair and beauty. Initially, Kapur worked in Dr. Jamuna Pai’s Blush Clinic as a trainee on the floor, before pursuing in a lot of freelance jobs.

Thereafter, she got her first break into a magazine as outdoor shoots’ make-up artists.

“The person who was shooting my portfolio for make-up, just came to me one day and said Seventeen India requires a make-up artist and this was at the age of 22. He asked that would you want to do it just for fun and I agreed, after that, I never looked back. Since then, I have worked on over 150-200 editorials till date.”

Interestingly, at the age of 21, Kapur came across the opportunity of working with brides and weddings.  “The first bride I did, when I was 21, and to do some work and see a person smiling on their wedding day, because of you, is indeed an immensely gratifying feeling,” she exclaimed.

About Ti Amo ventures
At the age of 23, after gaining the initial experience of two years in the beauty industry, Kapur took a leap to open her first salon in 2007 and named it as ‘Ti Amo Hair Make Essentials’. Her dedication and hard work made run her first venture successfully for about four years, along with working for a lot of outdoor shoots for make-up.

However, soon she had to shut it in 2011 following some unforeseen circumstances. After that, Kapur started holding workshops in fashion institutes like NIFT and others. In fact, she traveled abroad often to teach Indian bridal make-up and hair trends to the students besides doing plenty of other projects in the industry.

“Then, I launched ‘Bridal Diaries’ on February 21. That time in ‘Bridal Diaries’, we worked on about 35 bridal looks. It’s basically a handbook for a bride that lent me knowledge on every aspect - from how to do your own make-up, to fitness, diet, bridal calendars etc. The book was launched by Priya Dutt. We had about 1,000 copies sold out and it’s still available online,” noted Kapur.

In the book, Kapur has rightly shared her observation over every woman who has a lot of knowledge, but don’t know the way forward before their wedding. The book authored Bridal Diaries made the entire thing very structured.

Bringing the concepts mentioned in her book to life, Kapur has initiated yet another venture ‘Ti Amo Weddings’. Concentrating on the wedding and event planning with all the other vendors from the word go, so far, Kapur has worked for her NRI friends in the venture.

Offering personal shoppers to the brides, Ti Amo Wedding has a lot of vendors on-board with a good database that includes, entertainment professionals, chefs, trousseau service providers to invites and much more. The venture has a team of make-up artists offering customized on vogue make-up etc. Also the company channels doctors, cosmetologist and dentists as the needs of the wedding professionals.

Revival of Ti Amo Weddings
Notably, Kapur has restarted ‘Ti Amo Weddings’ a few months ago and is aiming to make it more professional and approachable in the wedding affairs. She is aiming Ti Amo Wedding to be well settled and take off within a year or two.

In Ti Amo Weddings she only takes one wedding in two months with the self commitment of delivering best quality. She explains that, “We are dealing with emotions in any wedding, personalized attention to detail and client satisfaction is of utmost importance. Therefore we believe in quality more than quantity of work while having to make sure that everyone is happy at the end of the day”.

Currently she is in the process of setting up one office for ‘Ti Amo Weddings’ and is not marketing or advertising it yet as she want it to be a more personalized experience while hoping take it to the global level.

Planning of Priya Kapur Academy
Priya is planning to get deeply into education with opening the academy very soon either in affiliation with someone from abroad or my own. She wanted to open the academy with the pursuit of giving something back to this industry. Observing that rural side women are not aware of make-up as a profession, as it is still considered a bad work because it is related to beauty, Priya wants to educate them with setting up of an academy.

She is willing to give women respect and a sense of accomplishment, following which the academy will allow women work in the language they want and the techniques they want to work with. Hence, it will help them get the better placements. She thinks it’s just a way of promoting women in creative and skilled work and earning their own living with confidence.

“I want to spread awareness not only for the professionals but for personal application because a lot of people today are very interested but they don’t know how to apply any make-up. On occasions I have met girls and they don't know what some of the products are whereas sometimes they don't know how to use it”, narrated Priya.

In the pursuit, Priya is working towards a full-blown academy offering courses from beginner to advance level with floor experience. Therefore, probably to be opened in the outskirts of Mumbai with the accommodation facilities, the academy will enroll 50 to 100 students per batch. It will offer short-term module spanning between one day master class workshops to three days to a week, monthly courses and diploma courses lasting from three to six months to a year. Thus, in affiliations with lot of brands and events and fashion shows the academy will be affordable and accessible to all. Experts will also be received as visiting faculties. 

Among the courses offered will be air brushing courses, prosthetic make-up, period make, stage and drama make, media makeup beauty and fashion make-up along with teaching bridal makeup for Indian, Asian and Caucasian skin. For these courses Priya is looking to get make-up giants from Hollywood and other Broadway spectaculars to hold make-up master classes and give them a chance to train talented students, 16 to 55 years old with 12th pass qualification here in India.

These trainings will be of higher levels using premium products. Courses will also be taught in Hindi and English would be the plus.

“This is an opportunity I’d like to give a lot of students who are really interested in it. Though people are very interested in the field, the knowledge that is reaching them is not enough and even the skill they are acquiring is not enough compared to foreign markets which are way ahead of us. Indians are more skilled people than the western people but we are not getting opportunities”, acknowledged Priya.

There are certain Angels and PEs and interested to invest in her venture.

At least for a year she wants to set one academy and grow steadily because she believe in not to throw something into the market by spreading branches. Before branching out in two years she expects people to absorb the idea her inclination of what she wants offer them.

Irrespective of the franchising, the academy will be spread of Rs 1000 sqft of area with the investment of Rs 50 to Rs 60 lakh. For first year the academy will be ok with cut even or with a 10 to 20 percent of the profit with setting a firm ground. 

Future plans
In the next five years of time Priya is planning to steadily expand the horizon of Ti Amo Hair, Makeup, Essentials (salon), Ti Amo Weddings and a Make-up academy.   

“I am hoping to open a good number approximate 10 Ti Amo salons in cities like Pune, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangaluru, Delhi, Chennai and Chandigarh by 2020. The initial investment in the Ti Amo salons will be anywhere between Rs. 25 to Rs. 30 Lakh. We are not looking at big studios but the luxury in small spaces which will be comfortable for women even cost wise. We project to cut even with profits in the first year,” acknowledged Priya.

The price of its salon services could start from Rs 30 and go up to Rs 10, 000 to Rs 15, 000. Either these salons will be run by franchisees or controlled by regional heads.

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