Written by Judy Daghestani, Founder, Curated ME
With quarantine protocols around the world, in-person services have adjusted to slower footfall by expanding their offerings online in order to appease a home-based lifestyle. Kelly Lundberg, Style Expert and Business Mentor, offers consulting support both on and offline in order to cater to a variety of clients and their personal needs.
Below Kelly explains her tailored approach to her business which has enabled her to successfully spearhead her current ventures during COVID-19.
COVID-19 forced a halt on in-person services during stage three and four of lockdown around the world. The businesses that were able to thrive offered new services virtually. Especially challenging for in-person businesses such as hair and nail sons, a successful example would be from Jayne Matthews, co-owner and creative director of Edo Salon, California, started to demonstrate a hair styling tip for a tutorial to customers and reaped “tens of thousands of dollars from virtual haircut classes and sales commission from directing customers to purchase branded hair products during the pandemic.”
However there are businesses that can function just as well online such as consulting, tutoring or teaching. While the downside of offering virtual services is that the journey feels less personalized, it is up to the business to understand each client’s strengths, weaknesses, pain points and opportunities for growth in order to put the customer first.
Take Chalhoub Group for example who has just launched a virtual concierge shopping service in collaboration with GetBee; a new startup in Dubai aimed at providing virtual shopping support for 15 brands such as Dolce & Gabbana, Lancome and more. Kristof Lukovich, Head of Digital for Beauty at Chalhoub Group says: “We understand and love our customers. It is one of the most important elements to our successful digital transformation journey that we become more and more obsessed about them, putting them first, and finding innovative ways to delight them.”
Dubai-based Stylist and Business Consultant, Kelly Lundberg , follows suit by having pioneered her own training business online. Read more from here below.
1. Briefly tell us about your styling services, and how you came about launching.
In early 2005 I saw an opportunity; Dubai is and always has been supportive of innovation and fresh ideas. I had been working as cabin crew for Emirates but shopping and styling for family and friends on layovers and day offs in Dubai. Then, it was a crazy time of expediential growth for Dubai as it was cementing its position in the world as the go-to destination. The city was buzzing and had a massive entrepreneurial surge of new businesses springing up. There was energy and a can-do attitude that was very encouraging. Time for that leap of faith! Leaving Emirates, I hung up my wings and launched the Middle East’s first personal shopping and styling service.
Eighteen years later I am still here, growing my business, evolving and learning from every occasion that is presented to me or that I uncover. From the early years of launching personal shopping services in Wafi Mall and Mall of the Emirates, I built a successful styling agency and a team of stylists, working with both residents and tourists.
Embryonic growth found my niche in the personal styling arena, where I worked with Emirati men and Royalty looking for a capsule & stylish wardrobe for their travels. There were also clients in the corporate market looking to find their signature style.
In 2019, I sold my styling agency and have been dedicating my time and energy to the S.Academy where I have a growing community of global stylist’s and lifestyle business owners that I mentor through a highly effective program on how to grow their styling business.
As a direct result of the successes of working with clients, creating marketable and sustainable businesses and building their personal brand, Brand YOU was born. It has been my driving force to develop and launch this 7-week online course on how to build an in-demand personal brand whether you are an employee or an entrepreneur that wants to make an impact.
2. In addition to styling services, you also offer coaching and business communications services—tell us more about the synergy between all and how they might complement each other.
Personal styling was my initial passion, but I quickly identified that if I wanted to succeed, I needed to learn what it takes to be a successful business owner too; you have to be so much more adaptable, resilient and tenacious in order to be successful.
Through trial and error, taking courses, having coaches & mentors, reading books and listening to podcasts, I have built up a wealth of knowledge of building a personal brand and what it takes to thrive and flourish in business. To be in the position where I am able to share and empower others to achieve greater results and fast track them to their goals without having to perhaps make the same mistakes as I did, is hugely rewarding.
3. How have your services and/or the ways in which you offer your services, changed during COVID-19 to reflect current shopping behaviors?
Approximately 50% of my operating model was via online mentoring, which works really well for my clients and for me. It’s flexible, I can work anywhere and in different time zones, it allows me to mentor globally and safely, supporting business owners during unprecedented times. I can see a trend developing with this model as I am being approached more & more to take on new mentoring clients; it’s so exciting.
The retail sector has been hit hard. Prior to COVID-19 I would be a regular visitor to the malls and boutiques, and found hosting educational style events to the likes of Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Banana Republic. I now host these via ZOOM so customers can still enjoy the benefits and it’s working really well. I am exploring new ideas with retail outlets for in-store training so that I can continue the work I do, inspiring and adding value to sales consultants.
4. Do you consider yourself to operate via a customer-centric/customer-focused approach? How so?
Absolutely, everyone who embarks on mentoring for example has their own reasons and challenges for doing so. What is easy for some to overcome is harder for others and vice versa. It’s about instilling confidence in their own capabilities and nurturing them in the process.
5. What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to follow their passions but need a dose of motivation during this challenging time?
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% of how you react to it. Yes, times are so challenging right now, but it is up to you on how you deal with it.
I have been so impressed by those who I mentor who are hungrier now more than ever to build a successful business and have not let the current situation bring them down. Don’t be the person who waits for the perfect time (it doesn’t exist). Go out there today and start pursuing your dreams.
6. What is next in Kelly Lundberg’s future?
Asides another book in the pipeline, I am dedicated to working on my daily goal to engage with and enthuse a minimum of 5 people a day to take action and show up as the best version of themselves.
I am committed to helping entrepreneurs develop their brand YOU, there is no time better than now to let people see the real authentic you and hopefully with the skills I share they will have the confidence to do this.
Kelly’s mission is to inspire a minimum of 5 people a day to take inspired action; whether that is to follow their dreams or just show up as the best version of themselves.
Her journey started in ‘sunny’ Scotland, but her dreams really became reality the day she hung up her wings (bye-bye cabin crew) and started her dream business at 24 years old as a global fashion stylist in the UK – Dubai - USA. It was a risk, launching a business originally in the Middle East and as a woman, but one she was fully prepared to take and has paid off in so many ways.
Over the years Kelly have worked with so many incredible men and women, styling for extraordinary international events and helping them with their personal brand and style.
She now helps the next generation of lifestyle businesses owners and aspiring fashion stylists to build their authenticity, credibility and brand awareness on and offline through social media, speaking engagements and personal style.