In this exclusive Q&A, we get to learn more about Nikita Hair from its founder, Inger Ellen Nicolaisen.
Franchise Chatter (FC): What is Nikita Hair?
Inger Ellen Nicholaisen (IN): Nikita Hair is a leading international, modern hair salon delivering a variety of high-quality hair and scalp services, and a salon signature collection, Eleni and Chris, with treatments and products made from ingredients sourced from Scandinavia.
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With 150+ locations throughout Europe, Nikita Hair recently announced franchise expansion plans throughout the United States, with corporate U.S. headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida. Every Nikita Hair salon offers a wide array of services and personalized appointments to keep clients looking and feeling their best, authentic self.
FC: Can you tell us about your background and how Nikita Hair got its start?
IN: I had to overcome a lot of challenges and adversity before starting Nikita Hair. I grew up in a small Norwegian town in a home with an alcoholic father. At the young age of 15, I became a mother myself and struggled with homelessness. Although it was a challenge to make ends meet, I continued to always work hard, and these responsibilities drove me to develop the skills I needed to succeed in the business world.
I was never a hair stylist, nor did I go to beauty school. I started out by sweeping floors in a hair salon and decided I wanted to open my own. I set a goal for myself to open five salons in the area – everyone told me I couldn’t do it – now I have over 150+ salons and we are still expanding.
Nikita Hair was founded in 1984 with a mission of empowering individuals to be their best self. Our corporate culture and team building philosophy fosters creativity, responsibility and openness, and has propelled the brand toward success.
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Our company name is inspired by Elton John’s super hit “Nikita” – capturing the fun spirit of our brand, and it’s been incredible watching us grow into one of the most profitable hair salon chains in the world. Our proven franchise model and proprietary “7 steps to success” can be easily replicated in the United States, where we see limitless growth opportunities in the $62 billion beauty industry.
FC: How does Nikita Hair differ from other hair salons?
IN: We’re passionate about providing a personalized, educational salon experience. Our hair stylists go above and beyond as hair advisors. Hair stylists at Nikita Hair serve as hair advisors who, in addition to a service, will provide a full hair and scalp assessment, and show clients how to care for their hair to maintain that great feeling they get when their hair is professionally done.
Every salon offers our exclusive salon signature collection – Eleni and Chris – made with the purest ingredients sourced from Scandinavia.
FC: Tell us about some of Nikita’s nonprofit work?
IN: My unique upbringing also inspired me to play a role in changing the lives of disadvantaged children. In 1995, I first visited an orphanage home in Eastern Europe, and I immediately wanted to help the orphans who lived there. Today, I have 14 children, 3 biological and 11 from an orphanage home.
In 2000, we launched A Hand to Children, a non-profit foundation dedicated to helping orphaned, abandoned and disadvantaged children to live a better life and have hope for the future. The foundation supports many children’s rights projects, and provides clothing, food and medicine.
Every haircut can help a hungry child. In this way, our company is giving back and creating an impact on people across the globe.
FC: What qualities does Nikita Hair look for in a potential franchisee?
IN: Nikita Hair is looking for franchisees with management skills, communication and people skills. Prior experience in the hair salon industry is not a requirement, but a positive and enthusiastic attitude is. We want someone who has a passion for making people feel their greatest and who is a true leader.
Our total franchise investment ranges from $162,300 to $268,550, including the initial franchise fee of $39,000.
FC: What’s next for Nikita Hair?
IN: Nikita Hair has grown into one of the most profitable hair salon chains in the world, with 150+ locations and over 1,000 employees throughout Europe. Our U.S. headquarters is in Boca Raton, Florida and through franchising, we aim to have 130 salons open and operating in the United States by 2022 – welcoming an exceptional group of passionate franchisees to the Nikita family.