Nicole Stubbs is the owner of Bronte based beauty spot TRIBE. Drawing on a decade of international experience, trained by skin guru Eve Lom in London, she has created a calm, natural and luxurious beauty experience. Think, natural light, fresh air, greenery, beautiful scents, calm vibes, good music, and even the right temperature! Nicole and I chat about launching her business, designing her space and cultivating her tribe.
Firstly, everything about TRIBE is absolutely beautiful. When it came to starting your own business and creating your space. What was your vision?
My vision has been to deliver beauty experiences in a way which reflect my values; approachable, sincere and meaningful. I want to celebrate our outdoor lifestyle and work with clients to tailor beauty and health solutions to support their lives. Beyond this, my mission has been to gather a tribe of like-minded men and women who can become friends as well as customers.
In terms of the space - I wanted to create a calm, natural and luxurious beauty space. Together with a small talented team, we thought about all key aspects - natural light, fresh air, greenery, beautiful scents, calm vibe, good music, even the right temperature… it’s all important! We have worked hard to ensure that Tribe feels like a space where you needn’t worry about anything.
You were trained by Eve Lom in London and have over a decade of experience in the beauty industry. Were there any lessons you learnt during this time, that you now employ in your own business?
I think every experience along the way is a lesson, I have picked up on so many what not-to-do’s and must-do’s over time. Each owner, manager, trainer or work colleague has played a part in how I have evolved into business owner.
The overall lesson for me is to be customer focussed. I am in the business of making people feel great, in every sense of the word and that requires me to really listen to what my clients are saying and feeling. All of our treatments, from nails to facials, are personal, tactile and an engaging experiences for our clients.
"I am in the business of making people feel great, in every sense of the word and that requires me to really listen to what my clients are saying and feeling".
Your treatments are truly a treat for the senses. Have you always been interested in natural beauty, and why did you take this direction for TRIBE?
I’ve always had a real interest in health and wellbeing, the more I have researched over the years the more passionate I’ve become about what I put on my skin. I wanted TRIBE to be natural whilst still feeling luxurious and focused on results which you often don't see go hand in hand.
As mentioned above, treatments should align with and build on the client’s lifestyle to achieve the best results over time. Leading a healthy lifestyle, being conscious of what you put in your body as well as what you put on your skin comes together to support our overall health.
You’ve amassed a tribe like following, but what do you think it is that attracts clients to you?
TRIBE’s clients are beauty savvy, appreciate quality, expect a great customer experience and are drawn to meaningful relationships. Our Tribe includes men and women of all ages, some looking for direct resolution of skin challenges, others looking for healthy maintenance and many looking for relaxation and a sense of luxury not normally experienced unless they are on holiday!
Beyond this, the Tribe is growing to include collaborators from across the country, from companies making the best natural products to artists producing beautiful crockery and artisans making Tribe Tea to sip when in the salon. Even working with brilliant female photographers here in Sydney to share on social media is a conscious way of growing our Tribe. We are really focused on bringing together like-minded people who are interested in wellbeing of all types and connecting these people with our clients.
It’s hard to imagine TRIBE being any better but I’d love to know if you have any plans for the future of the business. Any plans to expand?
I ebb and flow with this question. For the moment I love the Bronte community and the private and intimate feel of TRIBE.
I’m working on an exciting new online store and constantly sourcing the best natural beauty products so will focus on growing this in line with Tribe’s values.
Can you let us in in your morning routine? How do you like to start your day?
I try to rise early and have a big mug of apple cider vinegar and warm water. A couple of mornings a week, I catch a friends at the beach for a run and a swim, other days I’ll do yoga or stroll around the park. In any case, that connection with nature is an essential moment to set me up for the day ahead. I tend to give a lot of myself to my clients during treatments, so I find it really important to take time in the morning to connect with nature, feel grounded and take note of the world around me.
"I think it is a delicate combination of the physical experience of Tribe, along with this network of ideas and people which is attracting clients and friends".
Do you have any advice for other women looking to enter the beauty industry?
First, find the best person you can to work for. Learn as much as you can and make sure you find someone who can mentor you. Effectively it is the ancient apprenticeship system, so you want to find the best ‘master’ possible! Also, be prepared to work hard. This is a physical job and your body needs to be up to the task!
Finally, I’d love to know a woman who inspires you.
I am lucky to be surrounded by wonderful women from whom I draw inspiration. I tend not to idolise people, but rather draw energy from various characters. I find Maria’s work ethic inspirational. I love Sarah’s feminist streak and fierce independence. Jess constantly makes me giggle and look at things from other angles. These (anonymous) women form part of my personal Tribe and collectively inspire me.