10 With… Kustom Klaws
Ever since we caught wind of a new business opening up the northern end of Beaufort Street, we were curious. The shop – one of the cutest shop fronts going – was always a shame being empty. Then, over the course of a weekend in April, it was PINK with beautiful black Art Deco features, we took a little bit more notice and decided to see just who this little pink shop belonged to. Inglewood, meet Kenjai from Kustom Klaws…
1// How long have you been in business?
Not long! Officially only 12 months. We’ve been running out of a beauty salon in Claremont for the last year and now it’s time for us to spread our wings and fly! In our short 12 months in business, we’ve quickly established ourselves as a multi-award winning, boutique salon.
2// Tell us about yourself – what is your background?
A lot of my clients know me from my time as a burlesque performer. I’m an international, multi-award winning burlesque performer. Until last year I was quite an active performer and have toured the world performing burlesque.
Business life has kept me too busy for the stage, but I’m making a sneaky come back…. in fact, people can catch me in June, I’m one of the top 8 finalists competing for the Miss Burlesque WA State final at the Astor Theatre!
But by day… I was a sad little public servant until 2017 when I was made redundant. I took it as a sign from the heavens and decided to throw caution to the wind and follow my dreams to have my own little shop. I studied nights at the beauty academy and worked really hard. It’s been fun, exciting and terrifying, but I wouldn’t change a thing!
3// What’s your business story?
I really love pretty nails and wanted to create a special little business that combines rad nails, with amazing service at a high quality. I think of our salon as a “sanctuary for women”, a pretty little space where they can escape the everyday stresses of work, life, kids or anything else. They can just come, relax, have a gossip, vent about their problems, laugh and then leave with rad nails! Our clients love the hang out, as much as they do the nails.
4// Why Inglewood?
There was never any question about it! I’m an Inglewoodian, born and raised. I grew up all along Beaufort St, went to school at Inglewood primary and Mt Lawley high, and I own my apartment on Beaufort St. I love Beaufort St and Inglewood in general. So it was really important to me to bring my little boutique salon here. I wanted to be part of the local culture and help contribute to the local economy. I’m so proud to be a Beaufort St homeowner and now a Beaufort St business owner too!
5// Can you describe your customers?
I’m what you’d call a “destination shop”, my clients come from all over Perth. From Rockingham to Yanchep and everywhere in between. We service women of all walks of life, all ages and styles. Because we do everything from simple mani’s to big crazy blingy acrylics, we really do have a diverse client base.
6// What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I believe in my little empire, I adore my clients and I love my job. I never have those days where I dread getting out of bed. I’m so blessed to be able to do what I do!
7// How do you advertise your business?
On the socials! Most of our advertising goes through social media. Instagram is where we really buzz because clients can see our work. Check out Kustom Klaws for yourself people – it will brighten up your daily scroll
8// What does a typical day look like for you?
Nails, nails, nails! Everything from simple mani’s to blinged out crazy acrylics. We do it all. I do nails 6 days per week and behind the scenes business stuff 7 days a week. Building an empire never ends.
9// Most memorable facepalm moment?
Oh man… so many… perhaps one of the most recent was when I started painting our new shop. I got half way up the walls when it dawned on me… “oh how am I going to paint up these 4 meter high ceilings!!”. It never crossed my mind. Anyway painting was delayed until the scaffolding came in… I don’t know how I overlooked that! So our shop was half painted for a couple weeks until we got that organised!
10// What’s the most rewarding thing about running your own business?
I get to do what I love every day. Life never feels like a chore and I’m so grateful for that! I love that we can positively impact a woman’s self-esteem and confidence. They always walk out with a little extra sass in their step!
11// What’s the most surprising thing about running your own business?
How little I actually knew about running my own business… I guess you don’t always know what running your own business actually means until you’re deep in it. I’ve had to work really hard at not only becoming an amazing nail stylist but also becoming a strong business woman. I feel like I’ve still got a long way to go before I’m truly queen of my empire, but I’m still learning and pushing myself every day.
12// What’s the smartest thing you did for the first year of your business?
I took every learning opportunity I could. I went to every business course, summit, expo everything! Never stopped learning and trying to improve. Everything I’ve been to, has helped me in some way. I’m still new to business and still just figuring it out as I go.
13// Company’s motto?
BOSS nails for BOSS women!
14// Who is your role model(s)?
Lydia Kypros who owns Bronze Bombshell Beauty – the salon that I’ve been running my business out of the last 12 months. Lydia really embodies what a fantastic business owner and leader should be. I really didn’t realise how much she would influence me during my time there. When faced with decisions, I often think “what would Lydia do?”. I feel like if I can be half the leader she is to her team, then I’ll be doing ok.
15// Favourite coffee haunt?!
Betty and Dave’s!, its right next to my apartment so I can be frequently found loitering there. But also our neighbours at Chef and Co, have kept us caffeined up during salon renovations.
16// Guilty pleasure?
Boney M – don’t judge!
17// Your building is pretty amazing, was that a factor of moving in?
It ticked a lot of boxes for me. The location was right and the building was beautiful. Our salon is largely influenced by vintage styling so this little art deco shop is perfect for us. It’s how I always pictured our shop would be!
Kustom Klaws opened on May 1st and has already had a charity weekend event ‘Claws for Claws’ where the proceeds went to a cat charity, Cat Haven WA. Philanthropic, Burlesque performing Boss Lady! Go and support Kenjai and check out the Pedicure Garden in the shop – it’s amazing.
1004 Beaufort St Inglewood