“Every new procedure, every new product is a new achievement. These are milestones to be celebrated, just as we would do in a baby's life. My parlour is my baby,” says U Shrinidhi, who runs Maquillage Parlour on campus at the Cauvery College for Women.
A first-year Master of Commerce pupil, Shrinidhi says that enrolling in her college’s Student Incubation Center of the Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC) has given her the skills to pursue a career in the beauty and personal grooming business.
Along with a few mates from the EDC, she attended a month-long course offered by Lakme Academy in Chennai in July last year, which has equipped her to run a parlour all on her own, she says.
After the course, Shrinidhi felt that it would be prudent to have a parlour that hostel students and lecturers could use within the campus.
“During college events, girls usually have to run to parlours and spend a lot of money on facials, eyebrow trims and waxing. I felt a parlour within the campus would be both convenient and a way for me to use my skills,” she says.
As an initial capital, Shrinidhi took a loan of ₹1,30,000 under the Prime Minister's Employment Generation Programme (PMEPG) — Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to purchase products, equipment and furniture for the parlour.
Since it began functioning in January, Shrinidhi has been able to earn ₹10,000 per month through her parlour.
The college, under the guidance of P Vijayaraghavan, Secretary, College Governing Council, provided space, including electricity and other amenities. “Vijayaraghavan sir has guided us every step of the way. Along with EDC coordinators S Sowmya and R Subha, we have been able to realise our dreams,” she says.
Five students who attended the Chennai course along with Shrinidhi have been employed at the parlour. “Each of them earns 30% of every service they provide. I decided that I wanted to join hands with women who think like me. Creating entrepreneurial opportunities, especially for women will help empower us,” she says.
Maquillage parlour works between 12pm to 1pm and from 3pm to 4pm on all weekdays.
“If students require a special treatment, they must book it in advance,” says Shrinidhi, who also works at the parlour.
Their customers increase a day or two before college events.
After paying off the loan by which time she will also graduate, Shrinidhi says that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed with the college. “This experience has given me confidence, pride and belief in myself. I want other students to see that they can do this too.”