We sat down with Jacqui Victor, owner of True Grit in Christchurch, New Zealand, to talk about her salon team and the importance of training and supporting her staff to be the best hairstylists they can be.
Jacqui also talks about their journey through the 2010 Christchurch earthquake. Despite the devastation to the city and having to move their salon nine times, it was the perseverance and passion of their incredible team, the loyalty of their clients, and a little help from Kitomba that got them through.
Watch the video below for an overview and keep reading to learn more.
How long have you owned True Grit?
I’ve owned True Grit since 2005 and prior to that, I had another salon named The Front Room in Christchurch. So I’ve been in business now for over 27 years!
I was actually one of the first founding clients for Kitomba back in 2006. I met the founder, Tom, at a hairdressing competition and we spoke a lot about my business. Tom finally convinced us to switch to Kitomba when I bought True Grit since I was running both salons and I was about to manage both businesses at the same time with Kitomba Enterprise.
Tell us about your team and how you maintain a great culture
At True Grit, we are a team of 14, which includes master stylists, style directors, new generation stylists, two salon coordinators, and four apprentices. We have a great team who are loyal and it feels like a nice happy family.
True Grit is renowned for its focus on training. I’m always bringing on new talent as apprentices, and we contract an external educator who visits on Wednesdays and each team member has quality training time aligned with their goals and the True Grit way. Training is so important because if you don’t train your team, your clients don’t get the hair they deserve!
We want our girls to be the best hairdressers they can be and we want our clients to receive the most exceptional care. It’s an ongoing thing and I’m always looking for creative ways to enhance the team’s development, which results in the best possible service for our clients.
The team won NZ Hair Salon of the Year at The Industry Awards 2016 and many of our team took out a number of other awards that year. It was incredible being recognised for the hard work we did, and it really brought the team together
Tell us something that people may not know about True Grit
This business has possibly been to hell and back! So in September of 2010, we had our largest earthquake here in Christchurch and we lost our beautiful building. From then, we moved from building to building, all while dealing with more earthquakes and fires and floods, and over the years True Grit moved nine times. Finally, in 2015, we began construction on our new building and by October that year, we eventually made our way to our current location, ending up next door to our original building.
Going through it all, it really pushed us to think on our feet; it could be as simple as a phone call one morning telling you that your current building is unsafe and you need to move immediately, and we’d have to jump into organising and doing anything we could to survive.
I’ve got to say, the clientele have been incredible. Through all of the tumultuous moves and ever-changing situations, they moved with us everywhere we went. We kept in touch with them right from the beginning, and we’ve always been up there when it comes to keeping communication going with newsletters and social media.
What’s your favourite Kitomba feature?
I would have to say my favourite part of Kitomba is all of the marketing and communication tools. As I mentioned before, our communication with our clients is of the utmost importance to me as a business owner, and being able to keep our clients informed of what’s happening at True Grit is essential.
Working with Kitomba has been fantastic, because it has evolved over the years, becoming more and more handy. Especially in our industry, you need to stay up to the minute with all the latest innovations.
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