Helly Luv, centre, fulfilled a lifelong dream to open a salon. Photos: A.C. Robinson
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish popstar Helly Luv held a grand opening event to launch her full service beauty salon, Luvion, located on Gulan Street in Erbil on Tuesday night.
“I’m so shocked we are finally here,” Helly Luv told Rudaw English. “It’s been a dream since I was a little girl because my mom used to work in a salon. So this is something that I’ve always dreamed about.”
The new salon features full service beauty treatments including makeup, hair coloring and extensions, gel nails, manicures, pedicures and many other beauty services.
The staff consists of approximately 15 beauty specialists and their assistants from Kurdistan, Sweden, Norway and the UK. It will be open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday, said Master Beautician Laura Elizabeth who came to the Kurdistan Region from the UK just nine days before to help Helly Luv run Luvion.
Her family had been worried about her coming to the Kurdistan Region for the first time, but Elizabeth said she feels safe here and has been warmly welcomed by the Kurdish people.
Laura Elizabeth from the UK is Luvion's master beautician.
Elizabeth stated that the salon’s hair products will come from local sources but all other beauty products she brought from the UK, some of which are popular worldwide.
Dozens came out to the opening to congratulate Helly Luv on the salon.
“This is a very amazing opening and it looks like something very unique in Kurdistan,” said one guest at the event, Bana. “I heard that Helly brought new ideas from abroad for the Kurdish women, so we are all interested to try her services.”
“I congratulate Helly on this step and I wish her all the best,” Bana added.
The salon also features a VIP room as well as a room especially for brides on their wedding day.
The beauty salon, decked out in various shades of pink has a welcoming and relaxing atmosphere with a variety of music playing in the background.
“This is a very beautiful salon for girls and others,” said a guest Sara. “This doesn’t feel like just a place to make your hair, it feels like home. It is very beautiful and has a fantastic decoration.”
Another guest, Vian, also complimented the colors and design of the salon. “It looks like Barbie’s house, so it is very interesting and attractive.”
“I also met the staff and talked to them,” Vian said. “They are all very nice and I like their makeup and nails. I can’t wait to visit them soon in order to do my hair and makeup.”
Helly Luv said it took her approximately one year to complete the project in Erbil.
She is keen to expand her business as well. “We’re getting so many requests to open in Dubai, open in Los Angeles, open in Paris, so of course if that is a possibility, I will definitely do it.”
Although there are many female entrepreneurs in the Region, they can often face certain challenges opening and running their own business.
Helly Luv’s advice is to other Kurdish women is to stay strong.
“Especially being a woman and in this region it is very, very difficult because you get many attacks from the media,” she said. “And just being a woman, you have to stay really strong and you have to be focused on your dreams and just don’t give up.”
“That’s what I’ve been doing, and here we are,” she added.