For Julie Jeffs and Hilary Cragg customer satisfaction and wellbeing come first above anything else. This stems from their personal backgrounds, working with people struggling with mental health and human rights throughout their working lives.
Julie has been self-employed for over 20 years as a psychotherapist and owns her own training program. She progressed her career as a business entrepreneur, always seeking new opportunities to get stuck in to. Julie also organises her own mindfulness and meditation retreats on top of everything else.
Hilary has been working as a human rights lawyer for Nash & Co for many years, working with elderly and disabled clients. Much like Julie, she prefers to keep herself busy, and as a result she has managed to write a book about dementia.
Julie and Hilary originally met at a monthly self-developing group and hit it off from the word go. In 2018, they both went on holiday to Morocco together after a cancellation of plans, this holiday brought their relationship up to a very strong friendship, which has been stronger than ever since.
This particular business venture was originally investigated by Julie to begin with after searching for something new to undertake. She spoke with the owner at the time, they came up with a deal and transfer of the business was done in March 2019, 1 month after enquiring. Julie and Hilary had never envisaged working together as business partners, yet they both thought it could be an exciting adventure to go on with a great friend. After hearing the news that Julie was going ahead with the business idea, Hilary said “Oh, I’d quite like to be part of that!” And with that they took over Treat: Beauty & Gifts.
Once purchased they re-opened the salon and shop to the public 10 only days later, on Julie’s Birthday to be exact! A few changes were made with the stock they purchased but nothing major was altered.
The shop itself has been in Peverell for 11 years therefore, all of the locals know about it and they know its uniqueness of being both a gift shop and a beauty salon. Julie and Hilary’s aims are not to make it unrecognisable for those who already love the shop, they would simply like to develop both the shop and make it obvious that it is a beauty salon as well and share their love of this business with more people. A change of name is the first step, and due to the rapid expansion, the next step is recruiting more brilliant therapists to join their team.
As it stands, their team consists of 4 retail staff members, Julie and Hilary, the directors and Donna, their part-time therapist. To apply for the vacancy as therapist in this friendly company, contact them via their Facebook page @TreatPlymouth or give them a call on 01752 222777
Due to Julie and Hilary’s busy lifestyle, they are unable to spend much time working on the shop floor or not as much as they would have liked too. They focus primarily on the stock and the behind the scenes work because they believe that if you have the business side in order, then everything else simply falls into place. This is where their brilliant and welcoming staff come in, treating every customer with respect and attention which is how they stand out above large retail companies.
They have a sustainable outlook to support the planet and their local community by sourcing products from small, local companies. A lot of the products they have on offer are relatively rare due to this reason. When Julie or Hilary go on holiday, they will also try to source something they find in independent shops all across the world. This means that a lot of their products are limited or one-offs, therefore “When it’s gone, it’s gone!” Caring for the environment is key to the success of the business at the current time and it really is the way forward, therefore, they have sourced chemically friendly beauty products for all of their treatments.
The treatments on offer include:
• Full body massage
• Eyebrow tint and shape
• Henna Brows/threading
• Lash tint and lift
If you are highly qualified in all of these areas and are looking for a happy, friendly company to work for, give them a call.
The run-up to Christmas can be a stressful time, so treat yourself with a relaxing treatment and whilst you’re there, what better place to buy some Christmas gifts than your local, sustainable gift shop! To book a treatment, head to their Facebook page and send them a message or give them a phone call on 01752 222777. If you fancy going into the store for a browse and having a chat with the lovely staff members and then decide to book an appointment, this is also possible and same-day appointments are sometimes available!
Julie and Hilary’s passion for the business is more than just about the money. They both live very pressured and full-on lifestyles with the types of jobs they undertake. For busy women, B!#@*in Beauty offer a service to ensure that they can still have first class beauty treatments in a time frame that works for them. When women have more time, they can enjoy a cuppa (outside of the corona restrictions) and a browse in the shop in a relaxed manner.
During the lockdown from Covid-19, beauty salons were unable to reopen for a while after most other businesses. This affected their company; however, their customer’s safety is paramount and they have adapted accordingly to ensure everyone’s safety. When customers come in, they are asked to hand sanitise and facemasks are worn by everyone unless they have a valid reason not to or if the treatment is facial. Donna, their therapist wears a facemask and a face shield and will hand-sanitise her hands before and after each client, as well as clean the therapy room between clients.
A lot of people have come back after the lockdown restrictions because they miss that social interaction with people, they miss being touched. This can be fundamental to people struggling with mental health issues that have been heightened by the pandemic.
They want it to feel like an experience from the moment the door opens. Hilary had a couple come into the store a while ago and the gentleman took a seat and got his phone out as he felt out of place. After tending to the woman, Hilary asked the man if he would like a cup of tea and he appeared shocked. Hilary then said “I’ll put the kettle on, you tell me about the last holiday you went on.” And after that, the gentleman said to his wife, “Babe, you take as long as you want!” Hilary believes it really is that simple to make someone feel happy and welcome in their shop.
Looking towards the future, they strive to ensure every customer walks out of the store happy and nurtured. They wish to have multiple branches across Devon and Cornwall and they are even thinking about setting up their own skincare range and selling it at their shops.
A welcoming approach and smiling staff members are paramount to their business and how it is successful. This is the most important thing to Julie and Hilary and ‘That is why it is a business owned by a psychotherapist and a human rights lawyer.’