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Interview with Jacqui Victor of True Grit – 2016 New Zealand Salon of the Year

30 Jan 2017 by Kitomba

You’ve just won 2016 Kitomba NZARH New Zealand Salon of the Year, congratulations!

What’s the underlying philosophy of True Grit? What do you believe it offers clients?

Our salons mission statement really says it all. True Grit is a dynamic team of stylists working together in a supportive, trusting and creative environment. We reflect commitment, growth and integrity in the industry. True Grit is committed to being committed, unique and fabulous.

That’s been our mission statement since 2007 and it’s just as true 10 years later. It’s because it’s all about True Grit’s people – the team who we train, mentor and coach. They really are the most important part of the business.

True Grit believes we offer our clients the best in hairdressing that we can possibly offer. This is because my entire team strive to be the best and we train them to be the best through training in both hairdressing and life skills. It’s not just about the hair. We also train based on our client’s journey through the salon, something we pride ourselves on and is evident in every aspect of what we do.

What motivates you personally and professionally each day?

There’s two things I’ve struggled with in my career. I’ve definitely been in a place where my work life balance has been really bad and also our experience following the Christchurch earthquakes. True Grit has had to move eight times before we ended up in our beautiful salon and each time I had to find the motivation to rebuild again.

I’ve always found the motivation in my team. That’s both personally and professionally too, they’re the reason I get up in the morning. Simply seeing the smiles on their faces or watching them thrive and achieve is why I love my job and this industry.

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What direction do you see your business taking in the future?

Honestly, I’m still relishing in normality. For so many years, it was all about the earthquakes, trying to keep the business running and dealing with the team coming and going. Now I no longer have to be in survival mode, it’s about True Grit being in a normal situation and enjoying a work life balance. But I want to focus on growing my business and actually reaping the benefits of that.

How did it feel to take out Kitomba NZARH New Zealand Salon of the Year? And an additional three Business Awards – Grand Salon of the Year, Best Salon Design and Excellence in Marketing?

There’s absolutely no words to explain it, I even have a tear in my eye right now thinking about it! I don’t think I’ve come down to earth yet and I definitely haven’t realised the impact it will have on True Grit.

This has really been ten years in the making. I entered the Business Awards for the first time in 2006 and since then I’ve usually been a finalist in categories here and there, but never have we won. Winning New Zealand Salon of the Year has to be the biggest surprise, I really thought we had scooped up three awards and the evening was over. I can’t describe how proud I am.

I’m completely blown away to be the winner of Grand Salon of the Year too, I just didn’t think we would get it because we were up against so many amazing businesses. It really means so much to us to have won Best Salon Design too. Not having been in ideal locations and salons during the earthquakes meant the design of our salon was incredibly important to us. We put so much work into it and we are so proud to have such a beautiful salon. As for Excellence in Marketing, I’ve been wanting to win this one! We put in a lot of time and effort, and while it pays off for us, it’s so nice to be rewarded for it.


How does the process of entering the Business Awards help you as a business owner?

Actually sitting down and writing your entry allows you to really look into the heart of your business. Not only do you look at the figures, but all aspects of your business. As an owner, dissecting your business  and looking at it with a magnifying glass to see what you’re doing well and where you can improve is so important. As a salon we work with our figures everyday but stopping to look at your business as a whole is such a valuable exercise. Now I really know where my business stands and how well I’m performing.

What would you say to salons considering entering the Business Awards in the future?  

Do it, enter! Even if you don’t win, the bonus is that you get to really look at your business. There are so many great questions you have to answer as part of your entry and I’ve always found that they really get you to look at what you’re doing. I’ve entered many times now and something I’ve seriously taken away from the process is changing the way you do things that you’ve done for years. The ability to see where change can be made is incredible and we’re a more successful business because of it.

Now I won’t lie, it takes a lot of time to create your entry and I found it full on, but the benefits of entering totally outweigh this.

What part has technology or software played in supporting your success?

I find it scary how important technology has become. True Grit relies on it so heavily, it really is integral part of our business. It’s like the old saying, “if you don’t get on the boat, you’ll miss it”. That’s why we work really hard to keep on top of it, especially when it comes to social media and the software we use in our salon. We need Kitomba to keep our business running. We use Kitomba everyday for everything, in fact it’s used every moment of the day and has become a big part of everyone’s life at True Grit. I believe Kitomba has played a very large role in our success and we could not have done it without it. They’re at the forefront of salon software and can’t believe how many new features are consistently released.

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  1. Hi guys, loved reading that article, just wondering if jacqui does any salon appearances, guest speaking, i have so many questions about her career, staffing, such an amazing lady to be so successful in a crazy environment over the years, and to have shifted the salon 8 bloody times!!! i dont have a business partner in my business, and find it hard at times to know what the best directions are, i myself and so many would benefit from a true industry leader, by being able to hear from jacqui!!!

  2. Hi Jaimee, thank you so much for your lovely message! Jacqui is truly inspirational! I wouldn’t be able to answer your question unfortunately, but I will pass your message onto Jacqui. Thanks, Alyssa.

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