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Lotus Beauty Parlor gets fresh look with Digital Main Street grant

by Andrew Seale   |   March 21, 2024   |   Share this:  

Since moving to Fort Frances, Megan Finlayson has had to perpetually re-invent her business as a hairdresser. “Moving here right after COVID, I was the new salon in town,” says the owner of Lotus Beauty Parlor.

Luckily, the timing was right. “I didn't have to go out looking for clients at all because obviously, everybody under the sun was looking for a haircut,” she says. “I was slammed.”

But she lacked a brand. She wanted to build a business that would connect with her clients and be recognized in Fort Frances.

As she moved into a bigger location in 2021, she decided to re-invent her business with a proper logo and social media. Around that time, she heard about the $2,500 grant and digital training from Digital Main Street, a program combining grants and one-to-one support from the Province of Ontario alongside partners to help main street businesses strengthen their online capabilities and plan for the digital future.

“I used that for social media advertising and a logo,” she says. “Things to get (the business) out there.”

In fall 2023, she found herself, yet again, having to re-establish the business. “We got flooded in September,” says Finlayson. Water from a broken pipe upstairs had swamped the salon, damaging some of the esthetics area at the back of the salon, impacting the salon’s esthetician’s ability to work and forcing Finlayson to look for a new location.

Finlayson decided to use it as an opportunity to find an even bigger space and rebrand the salon to its current name: Lotus Beauty Parlor. She was able to get another $2,500 Digital Transformation Grant and revisit the digital marketing training. Finlayson says it helped her fine-tune the business’s digital presence and allowed her to invest in some marketing assets like high-quality photography of the business.

“It worked out perfectly because those were the things that I kind of still was wanting to do or get into that I hadn't had an opportunity to with the first grant,” she says.

For Finlayson, the website helps streamline the experience. There’s a scarcity of haircutters in the Fort Frances area so Lotus Beauty Parlor is often booked solid. But the website is helping to bring in new bookings.

“People are coming in and saying they looked at the website,” she says. They also get lots of appointment requests through the website. “(The website) gives people a good idea of who we are, what we do, and what our prices are,” she says. “It's definitely been a good thing.”

Visit Lotus Beauty Parlor's site, and check them out on social media. (Instagram, Facebook). 

Learn more about how we can support your small business here

About Digital Main Street

Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Meta, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, Lightspeed, Ebay and Canada Post.

Continued investment from the Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT) has allowed the ongoing expansion the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses going digital across Ontario.

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