As the daughter of the Founder of Radiant London Salon formerly known as Radiant Salon, Rita Balogun was always going to find herself in the hair industry. She never thought that she would be running it so soon but as Director and now the owner for almost 5 years, Rita has built a strong team of creatives who are taking the industry by storm one day at a time.
Over the years Rita has accumulated a range of experience and has found herself also playing the role of Creative Director for all salon photo-shoots.
In a short amount of time Radiant has managed to secure a feature in Vogue Italia, US hair magazines as well as Black Beauty(Front Cover), Black Hair and Beauty, Hairstyles Only, Hair Magazine, Good Salon Guide(Front Cover), Tirade Magazine and much more.
We sat down with Rita, to get the scoop on how she started out, challenges she has faced and what the future is for Radiant London Salon.
Name: Rita Balogun
Current title | Company: Actress and Owner of Radiant London Salon
Education: Acting , The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts in New York
Website / social media pages : MsRitaB for all social media platforms.
What was your first job and how did you land it?
My first ever job was at 13 years old, I was working for my dad learning about properties.
If you ever had a 9-5, how did you get out of it?
I’ve never done an official 9-5, I always had flexible jobs. Worked as a waitress but I got to choose my hours and literally stopped going when I felt like it was killing me.
So why did you decide to open your own salon and did you ever imagine yourself as a business woman?
My mum opened up the salon 16 years ago and at the time I never thought that I would be running it eventually. Although I’ve always wanted to be an actress I saw myself dabbling alongside in properties more than the salon but here I am the owner of Radiant London Salon!
What was the most difficult thing about getting started and did you experience any learning curves along the way?
I would say that as a team we struggled with trying to stand out and get people to know who we were. When Chanel Brookelyn and I started working on the rebrand it was really about figuring out what makes Radiant, Radiant. We were originally trying to do everything which was a bad idea so the key thing was about establishing our core values as soon as we did that everything became about fulfilling the core vision
What’s a typical day for you on the job like?
That’s hard to say it’s different day which I guess is the pro of being self employed. Some days I’m in the salon, some days I’m at our head office and sometimes I have a cheeky audition inbetween.
In your opinion, what makes a good employee and what makes a good boss?
In my opinion a good employee is someone who firstly loves their job, it’s someone who takes the business as their own and puts their all into it. A good boss is someone that listens, someone who cares about their staff and I think its important to know how to delegate. Another key thing for a good boss is being able to inspire and make informed decisions.
What do you love most about your job and what do you dislike the most?
Everything to be honest but my favourite thing is coming up with concepts for our shoots however each day is something different and that I love. I dislike confrontation and also the fact that although I’m young I can’t always be besties with my staff so I dislike having to create that separation.
How do you stay organized and on top of your game?
I’ve recently hired an assistant to help me with that. I’m always thinking of so many things at the same time it’s often hard to stay on top of things but I’m learning.
If you could start over, is there anything you’d do differently?
Sounds cliché but everything we’ve done has made us who we are today but one key thing I’ve learnt from all the mistakes is to listen to my instincts especially when It comes to hiring staff. The wrong spirit/energy in your business can ruin everything you’ve worked hard for.
What would you tell your 20-year-old self?
Stay focused, the boys will always be there.
How has being an entrepreneur affected your personal life? Are family and friends supportive?
I don’t really have a start and stop time. I’ve had to learn to say to myself “ Okay Rita, no more replying to emails, it’s time to chill”. My friends and family are super supportive. I’m just learning to have a nice balance of work life and a social life.
What inspires you, what drives you?
The idea of making my family proud. My future me. I can literally see my life 5 years from now and that vision pushes me to work hard because I know that with the grace of God it’s going to happen however I also need to remain focused.
Who would you love to work with & why?
I would love to work with Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nastygirl.com and Girl Boss, I have no idea on what we would do exactly but it would be cool to be around her. In terms of a client, Rihanna would be amazing!!
If you had one piece of advice for someone starting a business in hair & beauty what would it be?
Stay in your lane. Don’t get distracted by the thousands of Instagram accounts or anything else you see on social media. Find what makes your brand stand out and stick to it. Stick to your core vision.
What’s the most important advice you have received that you would like to share with other female entrepreneurs?
“It doesn’t matter who gets the credit as long as the job gets done” – Sometimes we can get hung up on compliments that it stops us from pushing the right staff member forward because you’re worried you won’t get the credit, forget that, if you have someone who can push an idea better than you, let them do it! Get the job done!!
What’s the future for Radiant London Salon?
More Expansion by God’s grace.
One thing that makes you | your business ” Younique”
We do things our way, it’s never conventional and we aren’t afraid to fall flat on our face, we always get right back up!