lona Emanuelsson grew up in Palanga, a small beach and spa resort on the Baltic Coast. When she moved to the capital city, Vilnius, to study at the College of Arts she could not leave behind her passion for health, food, spirituality and beauty. She moved to London for a year of studies at the Academy of Vidal Sassoon and she never returned home. During her time in London, Ilona oversaw a Virgin Spa and contributed to the launch of a day spa chain with A list clientele. After living in London for almost a decade and finishing her business studies, Ilona developed her entrepreneurial skills, a keen eye for details and a sense of curiosity for better beauty care solutions.
Ilona relocated to Switzerland as an aesthetics expert and soon realised she couldn’t find some of the best professional and beauty products available back in London. An entrepreneur at heart, Ilona identified a gap in the market and decided to bring these products to Switzerland. Together with two other amazing women who are her business partners, Zeynep and Antigone, Ilona launched an innovative beauty care business called Teaser.
As with any success story, the driving force behind Teaser is the people, to be more precise, three Womenpreneurs with different backgrounds and experience who are sharing the same values and vision for the company.
What inspired you to create Teaser?
When I first moved to Switzerland, I was surprised I couldn’t find any salon that worked with the brands that were known for their efficacy and quality that I was used with in London. I was looking for a beautician and hairdresser for my personal use and after trying several I was left disappointed… I realised that, possibly, many other internationals and expats living here are facing same challenge.
Initially Zeynep and I were planning on setting up our own Spa in Geneva and we were very close to signing a contract. However, on the same day I gave birth to my daughter we received the news that the Spa contract was sold to someone else. Initially we felt let down but no news (however bad) could ruin the joy I felt that day! As the saying goes ‘everything happens for a reason’ and a year later we knew it was a good one when we secured a contract with Lycon Cosmetics. That’s when we decided that Teaser would be a professional beauty supply business with one of the most innovative brands in the world for beauty professionals.
Another reason is that I enjoy making others feel good about themselves, I genuinely like to see people succeed. It is very fulfilling to help others look and feel great. In Spring 2012 we introduced Lycon wax with a 2-week tour of Switzerland by Lydia Jordane, CEO and Founder of Lycon Cosmetics, who created the famous wax in 1978. We led seminars and training sessions and the interest in Lycon was huge. Teaser was born!
How did you meet your business partners?
One month after moving to Switzerland I met my first business partner Zeynep Akten Platel. We met through A Small World forum for women entrepreneurs and since we were both new to Switzerland we were investigating how to start a business here. We clicked immediately and our interests and values matched. We decided to go for it and somehow it naturally happened. We had a good feeling about this.
A few years down the road we met Antigoen Puech through some close friends. With Antigone’s background in business and experience in Cosmetics and Perfumery industry, we instantly realised we can do so much better together, so Antigone joined Teaser as an equal partner shortly after that.
We take our business very seriously and it’s important for us to have a good balance for professional & family life. I think we all spotted the same gap in the Swiss Market and were lucky enough to meet and start this venture together!
How does Teaser operate?
We share our expertise with Professional beauty care products and anti-aging technology in the Swiss market. We work B2B with Hair and beauty salons, Spa’s, Beauty Boutique stores, Hotels and gyms.
We carefully select and bring the best product and train business owners and aestheticians how to give customers the ultimate experience and increase salon/spa profitability.
We identified a series of challenges that almost each beauty salon is facing in marketing, sales and training; for example, knowledge of salon marketing and product merchandising and sales is almost non-existent in most cases. We also create solutions to fix the lack of advanced treatment training in salons.
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