Ceylan Kurtishi is a successful Roma woman who followed the path to her dream profession to become a professional hairdresser. Ceylan was born in Tetovo, North Macedonia, where she started to build her professional career and worked nine years to develop her skills as a hairdresser. Today, Ceylan owns a beauty shop which is among the best beauty shops in Tetovo.
REDI (Nadire Shakjiri – Redjepi): How did you get started in this business?
Ceylan Kurtishi: It was very difficult decision for me to start with the business, after many thoughts actually after nine years of thinking I decided to start my business. I lacked the self-confidence a lot before starting with it because in our profession it is very important to be self-confident and professional in your work. I run the business for two years. I haven’t been involved in other businesses this is my first and only business I run.
How did you get the background and skills necessary to run this type of business?
First of all, to become a professional hairdresser you need to have something in yourself. I remember there were many small details from my childhood showing my potential talent for becoming a hairdresser. For example: Every day I was wearing different hairstyles. However, later on I started to arrange the hair of my friends and neighbors which made me to become a junior expert in hairdressing. Two years I worked as a junior hairdresser for a smaller salary. I was paid on percentage base, like 35%. Later, I worked in various beauty shops and at home. The various experiences made me fast, more professional, and self-confident in my work.
How do you market your business? How are people aware of your business?
For me it is crucial to choose the clients. I sell my product to a chosen poll of clients because it allows me to satisfy my customers. If people are satisfied with your service, they will market your business and will spread the good messages from mouth to mouth. Also, I am more concentrated on quality and not quantity. For me it is more important to have a satisfied client then high number of clients, because I know that I would not be able to serve a large number of clients with a good quality.
“Always trust yourself, be strong and positive. With positive thoughts you can achieve your success!” – Ceylan Kurtishi
Can you describe your customers?
I have various types of customers; Roma, Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish etc. My customers are from lowest incomes families to the richest ones. I have also clients that are famous artists, singers, actors etc.
Why do your customers select you over your competitors?
First of all, I have very close relationship with my customers. I treat them as my guests and not as my customers. They feel the extra energy I have; especially the small details and attention make them happy and motivated to come again. They can feel that I do not work only for money; they can see that the quality is the most important for me. The other important thing is that I always have a pool of customers whom I can trust and try new things and later promote the product to other customers. This strategy works very well.
Do you have any advice or any message for all the people out there that dream to start a business?
Always trust yourself, be strong and positive. With positive thoughts you can achieve your success!
This is the first interview we did with a Roma entrepreneur and it’s the start of a series. The goal is to help them being noticed, to inspire others, and to show everyone that they’re just one step away from reaching out and grab the dream. It takes courage, ambition, and hard work. That’s what Ceylan did. As she said, it was not easy, but she made it! And she’s happy! That’s all that matters.
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