With 10.2 million followers on Instagram, Beauty Entrepreneur JOELLE MARDINIAN is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to business. Jayne Green talks exclusively about her recent opening of MAISON DE JOELLE in Bahrain, to her love of mimicking and everything else in between.
Your salon has just opened up at Bliss Lab by Nasser Pharmacy in Seef Mall. Tell us about the inspiration behind Maison De Joelle and how it first came into fruition.
Honestly, I had never envisaged myself owning beauty salons as it was something that I felt was outside the remit of my experience. I grew up in London and worked as a freelance makeup artist. At this point I just wanted to be at the top of my game and be the favourite artist of the beauty editor or the TV channels.I was completely focused on becoming the best of the best and to be in demand within my industry. However, things changed a little after my show took off in 2004. I love to meet fans wherever I am in the world and the question that I found they asked more than any other was ‘Where is your salon?’ Obviously they would see the salons on the show and assumed they were mine. Over time as more and more asked this question I thought ‘Why don’t I have one? I should have my own salon!’ and that is when the brand was born. I can’t stress enough how hard I worked during this period when the salon was being designed and when it was in its infancy. After filming I would spend every minute I could overseeing the finer details. My audience was spread across the region and although my first salon was in Dubai, almost as soon as I opened, I realised that I needed to create a franchise and find people to help me expand. I now have 13 salons and I’m incredibly proud. Proud for two reasons, one because of the self- sacrifice and commitment it took for this all to happen. I have had to give up precious time with my family and friends and put my own needs aside in place of the needs of the business. The second reason is the fact that I have worked so hard and achieved a lot as a woman. Growing up I had very few female role models who were businesswomen and I hope that I’m inspiring my staff and fans to be the very best that they can, always.
How to you implement services into Maison De Joelle? How do you maintain quality control throughout your franchise?
I think the fact that we place our image and the quality of our service above profit every time is the key to our success. My partners take the brand because they want to be seen as number one in their country and bringing a brand such as this to their country makes them stand out from the rest. We only hire professionals who have reached a certain level because they are so good at what they do and they don’t have egos or an air of arrogance about them. They are confident in their own abilities but are friendly, warm and kind. I also love to see how happy my staff are working for the brand. It feels incredibly good to come to Bahrain and see the fruits of my labour.
What words of advice would you give to our readers who are trying to reach their goals?
My unfailing faith in God and the fact that he is controlling my destiny is central to my success. Before I reached the pinnacle of my career as a make-up artist I had nothing, I was working freelance and had hit rock bottom. When I secured the contract with Sony records I knew that God had allowed this to happen for me. It’s undoubtedly that my faith makes me a better version of myself and I want to make those around me the best they can possibly be. I get beautiful messages from my employees saying how much they enjoy working for me. Even past employees still say how much they gained from working for me. I expect a lot from my employees, but people always say that they are beautiful people inside and out.
We love how down-to-earth you are. Tell us something that people wouldn’t necessarily know about you.
I am a really good mimic, I love to imitate people especially when they are about to get really crazy. I love to make people happy and this usually makes them laugh a lot. I love to entertain my friends and when I’m telling a story I play out each detail. Regardless of where I am I act out every part with gestures and make my stories really animated. I’m also quite a forgiving person. When I arrived in Bahrain a friend had really upset me with their words. I was so upset because they had made personal comments which I didn’t agree with or care to hear. I confided in my staff but even then I couldn’t get rid of the internal turmoil. Nevertheless, I went to the opening and no one would have guessed what was going on with me. I’m able to conceal things well. Afterwards, I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I went back to my hotel and fell asleep with my phone in my hand and I slept and slept. As soon as I woke up I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. Not just with the success of the previous day but with the person who had affronted me before I left for Bahrain. I am able to ‘medicine’ my mind so that I can stay happy and focused and I don’t allow things to poison relationships.
The thing I feel I do need to get a grip of is my fear of flying. It’s completely irrational but at no point during a flight do I feel relaxed. I would rather drive for hours rather than take a flight. For example, tomorrow I’m driving all the way to Riyadh as opposed to taking a 30 minute flight. With demand increasing with Maison De Joelle I must try to overcome my fears as I need to fly to maximise my time.