Interview with Charlotte & Marie, business owners of IDYL
The spirit of the times lends itself beautifully for an escape from reality. With the perfect balance between relaxation, body and mind. Welcome to IDYL, the Brussels beauty salon where natural beauty is central. Because that’s what we like to look for during this period of crisis: pure and healthy aesthetics, with body in balance.
“Loving yourself is the greatest revolution”
What is IDYL?
“IDYL is a beauty salon that focuses on body positivity and the use of 100% natural products. The first salon opened its doors four years ago in Saint-Gilles. This was followed by the second location in Merode, on May 5. We made the decision for the second location over a year ago, just before the first wave of COVID-19.”
“We live and work in Brussels, so we like to do our thing here. Brussels is a city on a human scale, with lots of diversity and variety in each neighborhood. That gives us plenty of room to build a network of beauty salons, in order to eventually reach a broad clientele. But our dream doesn’t stop there: in the future we would like to expand further, to other major cities in Belgium.”
Were your plans not thwarted by COVID-19?
“We were forced to close IDYL Saint-Gilles a few times, as a result of the corona measures. For more than a year, we worked on opening the second salon, in a stressful and completely uncertain financial situation. The uncertainty over the reopening of the beauty salons was enormous…. But every time we were allowed to re-open the doors (albeit for short periods of time), there was a great demand from our customers. That gave us confidence and courage to keep going.”
What were your alternatives to counter the crisis?
“We launched a webshop, but that didn’t work as well as we hoped. We therefore resolutely chose to invest as much of our time as possible in the start-up of the new salon in Merode. In order to be able to open immediately as soon as the guidelines were eased.”
What is a good work/life balance for you?
“That’s a real challenge for both of us, since we each have two young children. So, of course we also want to enjoy family life. That’s why when we’re at work, we give it 100%. And we try not to bring work home with us, but that’s practically impossible these days, especially for a female entrepreneur with kids.”
Did you face any obstacles as a female entrepreneur?
“No, for us it was rather an asset, I think. And we are surrounded by people for whom gender equality is the most normal thing in the world.”
Which services of hub.brussels did you rely on? And how has our support helped, inspired…?
“The help and support was very diverse: advice in our search for a suitable commercial space and location, help with the financial and legal aspect, subsidies and grants, communication, PR coaching…. the whole package! We really got to know the services and employees of hub.brussels very well, and fully appreciate their immense value. We receive newsletters and information, we follow their updates on Facebook… We invite you to do the same!”
Want to start or develop a business, like Charlotte & Marie? Discover our services:
Do you want to open your own restaurant? Come test your culinary concept for less and with less risk at Kokotte, our hospitality incubator.
Do you want to get started in the retail business? Come test your concept for less and with less risk at the Auberge Espagnole Etterbeek and Saint-Gilles, our two retail pop-up store incubators!
Are you opening a retail business soon? Have you recently opened one or are you planning on expanding? hub.brussels’ coaches follow your commercial project, from idea to realisation.
Do you want to learn the business from qualified entrepreneurs? Participate in the “Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs” programme!