Couple weaves their way to the top of the Australian beauty market

Rizwan and Sandrine Syed.
Rizwan and Sandrine Syed.

LOCAL Brow Bar owners Rizwan and Sandrine Syed have worked their way to the top of Australia’s competitive beauty market, creating a multi-million eyebrow shaping business from scratch – with help from a team of loyal migrant staff.

The couple won Australia’s best beauty service in the recent Optus My Business Australian business of the year.

The couple know all about the challenges faced when trying to start a business in a city with no professional networks, no credit history and an idea few people are familiar with.

That’s what the couple was confronted with in 2008 when they set out to launch their eyebrow threading business, having moved to Perth from India and France.

Before establishing Zubias Threading, Mr Syed said as far as he was aware the traditional Indian hair removal process was not available in Australia.

“When it’s something brand new, people go, ‘Oh, don’t know, don’t want to know’,” Mr Syed said.

But the Syeds persevered, despite having few connections, little knowledge of the local business culture, and a growing pile of rejections from landlords, banks, and insurers.

They eventually secured an insurer after a local Chinese businessperson rented them a tight pathway space along Fremantle’s E-Shed market.

So, with just $5000, they opened the first Zubias Threading outlet.

Today, they own 30 stores across Perth, including Halls Head, Lakelands and Mandurah with plans to expand nationally and into the Pacific Region.

“Our loyal customers, either myself or my wife had to teach and show each and every one of them what we do, and once we built their trust and confidence, that’s when they became our advocates,” Mr Syed said.

Zubias now has 10 franchise outlets, all run by migrants who had been long-serving staff.

Mr Syed had a dream to move to Australia, and he did so in 2003 to study his Masters in Information Systems in Adelaide.

But it wasn’t his passion so he started to explore potential business options with his future wife, who taught French at a language school.

“We grew the skills ourselves on real people and then we realised we had a special way of doing the eyebrows which no other country does.

“Which is why we are unique in what we do and we train our staff to do it our way.”

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