What Is French Beauty?
Attention to detail makes the customer experience stand out
French women have been setting style trends since the days of Marie Antoinette. Their unique approach to beauty is a part of their culture: something that sets them apart from women the world over. That approach has made icons out of women from Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot to Marion Cotillard and Carla Bruni. But their beauty secrets are not so secret – It’s all about paying attention to the little things.
Camille Albane salons in Paris, where we were founded, naturally excel at helping customers meet that particular standard for style and beauty. Our salons in the U.S. are no different. It is the mission of our brand to ensure that every woman feels more beautiful and confident when she leaves our salon than when she came in — but to always, always feel like an authentic version of herself. The Camille Albane look is not about forcing every client to conform to a specific mold; it is about freeing them from those constraints and helping them discover their own natural beauty.
“It’s effortless, it’s timeless,” says CEO John Costanza. “Think of all the French beauty brands like Lancome or Chanel. There are so many American brands that have grown up around that standard of beauty. Even our most-trusted fashion magazines — ‘Cosmopolitan,’ ‘Elle,’ ‘Vogue’ — they all started in France.”
Camille Albane’s unique approach to beauty, our background as a Paris-based company and our years of experience make our business model difficult to copy, creating more value for our franchisees.
Why the little things matter in a beauty franchise
Across the street from the Camille Albane salon on Newbury Street in Boston is a wonderful French restaurant called La Voile. The food is excellent, and the service is not just swift, it’s almost invisible. As you take a sip of water and notice your glass is getting low, someone swoops by on your left and refills it. On the right, another server silently and efficiently removes empty appetizer plates and replaces used flatware, providing each diner the utensils best suited to whatever entree they’ve ordered. Throughout the meal, waiters are gliding to and fro, unobtrusively anticipating diners’ needs and making certain no one has to ask for anything. At the end of the meal, a manager will slide the table out to prevent a guest from having to maneuver awkwardly out of a booth, then help a woman to her feet and into her jacket.
The proprietors, who are French, understand the same thing Camille Albane understands – people crave the feeling of being pampered and made to feel important. It’s a service philosophy that is deeply ingrained in our business model. We treat our customers to the VIP treatment every time they visit us, and that nurtures brand loyalty. Customers look forward to these two or three hours in the salon every six weeks as a wonderful way to relax and feel rejuvenated.
“We are a modern French salon,” says Maria Cavard, General Manager of Camille Albane salons. “We’re a salon that treats everybody the same, and everyone is treated like someone of importance. You get these services you don’t get everywhere else. It’s not just that our collections are up-to-date and the look is modern; we help a woman understand what it takes to pull everything together. It draws women in.”
Our stylists are more educated than those at most salons. In French tradition, young men and women begin training early in their chosen career fields, achieving mastery at a younger age. To that end, we recruit experienced, dedicated people who are passionate about their craft. Our Paris-trained educators work with them twice a year to make sure they stay abreast of the latest styles and techniques. Stylists who are just out of cosmetology school train as apprentices, working as assistants and learning the intricate details of our client-care protocol before they can work their way up to a hairdresser position.
An elite salon brand like Camille Albane stands out and attracts the modern client. Customers seek out our services because they want to be a part of setting trends, not following them.
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