Back in February, this Yorkshire-based sisters’ salon in Menston was flourishing… however, like for many, during the Covid lockdown their beauty salon was closed down and the sisters went from thriving in a busy fun environment to twiddling their thumbs and not earning. Not content to just close their doors and wait in limbo, they were committed to sprinkling a bit of joy during lockdown to help people smile and also give women a focus on self care and an opportunity to be pampered, when many were feeling overwhelmed, and run down.
Kim Stockdale, 36 and Tiff Fawcett, 46, are sisters from Leeds, who live on the same street in the small village of Apperley Bridge. In 2012 the sisters set up Aspire Beauty & Skincare in Menston, West Yorkshire. Working alongside each other with different therapy specialisms, they quickly built a loyal local following – the sisters are known and loved for their playfulness and positivity.
During the first lockdown, the pair were asked by clients for facial kits, which they swiftly pulled together and these proved really popular, and this spurred their idea of creating something more substantial, as an extension of their business. Tiff said; “The idea initially wasn’t to launch a second business, but a nice idea to ensure that we stayed connected with our much loved clients and friends… however, the business idea grew and grew as it became clear many were missing their salons and many women were feeling overwhelmed, and run down and were in need of some self care and pampering.”
‘People people’ full of fun, who love to make others smile, the dream team who have 5 kids be-tween, seized the opportunity to launch an online business focused on lifting mind, body and spirits of other women across the country. So in July 2020, they pooled their creative resources and entrepreneurial flair to create a luxury pamper box, skincare box and subscription box business, which also supports and showcases other small independent businesses too. Blonde & Brown Co. (Kim having blonde hair and Tiff having brown) was born and launched in July 2020.
Joining arms with other independent businesses for whom lockdown had taken its toll the sisters, approached other small businesses they loved, to collaborate with. They handpicked the contents, sourcing as much from artisan makers as possible, alongside Blonde & Brown products and bigger well-known brands. Managing the whole process themselves from sourcing the products, to developing the branding to organising the online logistics and stock, to actually making the candles and lip balms in their own kitchens the girls have developed new skills and thrived doing so when their original business had to close its doors.
Kim said: “As mums we often find that we look after everyone else but ourselves – I know that I really struggle with treating myself. I’ll make sure the kids have new hats and gloves but wouldn’t dream of buying myself a new pair and when looking at a nice perfume in the shop I almost feel guilty buying something for me. As women, especially British women we are not great at self care but we are in great need of it! So our message is love yourself, treat yourself and if you have a friend like me, who is unlikely to do that, be a great friend treat them as well! We all deserve some luxury pampering right now!”
She added: “One of the things I love about what we’re doing is it is enabling people to let loved ones know that someone is there for them in times when they can’t take them out for a meal or give them a hug.”