Nia the Light on Building a Natural Curls Community


“Everything was from the heart,” says 22-year-old salon owner Nià Pettitt, on the learning process of starting a business at a young age. “And in business, it’s a bit difficult to always work from the heart, because not everyone will understand or reciprocate that.” 

Fortunately, Nià has who gets it. 

Despite opening her dream-come-true natural hair salon mere months before the pandemic struck London, Nià’s business is thriving. In , Nià shared her top tips for building an engaged community and business. 

“Create the business that you would visit,” says Nià.

In fact, the value of creating a memorable in-person customer experience is one of her key takeaways: “Even though social media is a really powerful tool, word of mouth is way more powerful.” 

“The best thing you can do for your customer is make them feel like it’s just you and them in that shop,” shares Nià. “Make them feel relaxed and present with you. Empower them, attend to their needs, ask if they are comfortable. Those small details mean so much.” 

At Nià’s salon, each customer concludes her hair experience by putting an instant photo of themselves on the wall of the salon. “This is such a sentimental moment,” Nià says, “as they really get to be a part of the Curl Bar London family.”

Nià’s passion for natural hair care is rivaled only by her passion for this type of authentic customer experience. When she was ready to re-open her natural hair salon post-quarantine, she gave customers the VIP experience: She reached out to customers who’d needed to cancel bookings at the beginning of quarantine, then offered priority appointment slots to them before anyone else could book. 

Her number one tool for making sure customers are going to have the best salon experience?


“Something as simple as a questionnaire shows how powerful tools are, and how you need to use them in the best way that you can,” Nià says. 

The Curl Bar London intake form (seen below) even went viral on social media. It gained recognition due to how inclusive it is of not only natural hair, but of women with sensitive scalps and women who wear hijabs.

The    Acuity    intake form that customers fill out when they book appointments at The Curl Bar London.

The Acuity intake form that customers fill out when they book appointments at The Curl Bar London.

When Nià was working on opening her salon, many people asked if she attended to the specific needs of women who wear hijabs. “I bought a divider for this reason,” Nià told us. “I have friends who wear hijabs, so I just thought of them and what they would need.” Now, because a screenshot of her inclusive intake form went viral, “there is a beautiful community of hijabi women who support us and encourage us” at The Curl Bar London. 

Acuity intake forms are crucial to how Nià creates memorable experiences for her customers. One of Nià’s favorite ways to prepare for the week ahead is to sit down with the coming week’s intake forms, so she can learn about her customers’ hair. Their insights help her to learn what she’ll need to do to prepare for each of her customer’s particular needs, including if she’ll need to reach out to them about anything before their appointments. 

Learn more from Nià in her webinar with Acuity, including tips on building your community, finding sponsors, and so much more that’ll help you grow your business. Nià’s passion for her craft and her customers shines through in every moment of this conversation—check it out for yourself.

acuity customers, beauty, small business, small business strategy, acuity 101, how to promote your business, covid-19, re-opening, client relationships