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Flair by Betty’s downfall: Ex-employee opens up on challenges at posh salon

Dubai-based beautician Madina, a former employee of Betty Kyallo‘s Flair salon, has revealed some of the reasons behind the establishment’s failure.

Betty Kyallo, the media personality behind the Flair spa and hair salon, has suffered a setback after her chic establishment was put up for public auction by Keysian Auctioneers.

The move comes after the auctioneers were instructed by the landlord to sell the salon’s equipment to cover rent arrears.

Madina, also known as the Eyebrows Guru, shared his experiences during his visit to Kenya and shed light on the challenges faced at Flair by Betty.

He expressed concern that the services provided at the salon were not commensurate with the fees charged, creating a mismatch that affected business performance.

“The fees were high and the services did not match. Flair by Betty was great when it started,” said Madina.

“People like us who worked there foresaw its demise. Because there are times when you go somewhere and you see that the rent, the fees and the services that are being offered are not in line. When I was there, sales depended on me and another girl doing hair. The rest of the staff would be idle without customers,” he explained.

He also attributed the decline of Flair by Betty to a change in service quality and pricing, which negatively affected its reputation and customer flow.

“The customer flow was good and she used to make millions from the place. I don’t know what happened along the way because when I arrived, they had already destroyed her name and the service was poor and the charges were very high.”

Madina left Betty’s salon years ago and set up his own business in Dubai.

When asked if he had any advice for Betty, Madina pointed out that the media personality had mentored him.

Based on his experience, he noted that in Kenya, “businessmen invest more in equipment and environment than in service and technicians. They forget that the technician is the one who makes more money in that business, not the fancy items there.”

Undeterred by the tough times, Betty took to Instagram to address the situation, with the resilient celebrity attributing her business challenges to the harsh economic climate in Kenya.

She openly acknowledged the difficulties of running a business amidst rent pressures and an economic slowdown but ultimately accepted the fate of her venture.

“Obviously it has become so difficult to run a business in Kenya,” she said.

“Landlords don’t want to reduce the rent, and it’s becoming a huge burden on businesses that are struggling because of the economic slowdown. I let it go.”

Betty also shared her newfound sense of peace and happiness after letting go of Flair By Betty, emphasising the importance of prioritising peace of mind over material possessions.

“I’m happier. I sleep better. My peace of mind is more important than a name. I’m fine,” she said.

Betty Kyallo’s entrepreneurial journey

Betty is a prolific entrepreneur who has launched numerous businesses across the country.

Her entrepreneurial flair came to the fore in 2016 when she teamed up with Susan Kaittany to launch the upmarket salon brand Posh Palace.

Their partnership dissolved in 2017 amid disagreements, leading to a rift between them.

Betty launched her own salon, Flair with Betty, in 2018, attracting many employees from Posh Palace and causing Kaittany’s salon to temporarily close.

Flair with Betty debuted on April 14, 2018, and was initially located opposite Posh Palace at FCB Mihrab.

Over time, it moved to Rose Avenue in June 2020 and later to the George Padmore Road intersection in Kilimani in March 2023.

In addition to Flair with Betty, Betty Kyallo has ventured into other businesses including After Shave by Flair and the Summer House restaurant.

After Shave by Flair, an offshoot of her former salon expanded its reach with the opening of a branch in Meru in April 2023.