Looking to get pampered on the East End?
Well look no further than BSIDE Beauty located in the heart of Leslieville at 1148 Queen Street East, Toronto. This wonderful new beauty bar offers luxe services including manicure, pedicure, makeup, lash extensions, brow assessments, micro blading, and everything else you will need to put your best foot forward in our fashionable metropolis.
Located next door, their sister company JustB Salon, features luxe grooming services and premium hair care products necessary to maintain your fresh look. From treating yourself to a well-deserved ‘me’ day, to getting ready for one of your life’s special events, this fantastic company does it all in one convenient location.
We discovered this little gem one weekend after brunch, and decided to get an impromptu manicure and pedicure. We were so impressed with their services that we asked them to participate at our Best of Toronto 5th Year Anniversary event.
Our 5th Year Anniversary Event was a hit with our VIP guests, family, and friends and we owe a part of that success to the talented team from BSIDE Beauty and JustB Salon. This young talented team was enthusiastic, professional, and easily impressed our VIP talent, ranging from Juno nominee Tyler Shaw, to legendary Juno Award winning R&B soul songstress Divine Brown. Our featured artists looked picture perfect for our special fashion editorial celebrating Canadian talent, and all of our guests received VIP touch-ups at our anniversary party.
We caught up with owners Rom Diaz and Ben Barkworth and asked them about what it takes to run a new business in Toronto’s beauty industry.
BT: Thank you again for all of the amazing work you and your team did for our event, your staff was so professional, and went above and beyond the call of duty. What do you look for when you hire your beauty professionals?
BB: There are many attributes we look for in our candidates when we are looking for a new member to join our team. Out of all of them we believe passion is the most important attribute of any beauty professional. You can teach someone the techniques they need to be the best in their field but you can’t teach them to be passionate about their work. Talented and passionate hair stylists, makeup artists and beauty aestheticians are very hard to find. We are always on the lookout for the best professionals and we are proud to have a growing team of passionate individuals.
BT: There’s been some gentrification on Toronto’s East end, and you are located in a trendy area in Leslieville. However, most Torontonians still think that beauty is only in the West End. What do you want to tell Toronto about the East End, and what makes BSIDE Beauty and JustB Salon stand out?
BB: The east end is now a destination for people from the West End and all over the GTA. Toronto’s east end is growing faster than most neighbourhoods in Toronto with a vast number of quality independent shops to try, and the beauty industry has become established with modern lifestylist concepts.
JustB Salon is a gender neutral salon specializing in cuts, colours and styles to help anyone achieve the look they want – and have fun doing it! BSIDE Beauty located right next door offers nails, lashes, waxing, makeup and microblading services. But JustB Salon and BSIDE Beauty are not your standard salons. BSIDE is your local go-to spot to grab a cocktail and get your pedicures done, moms can enjoy relaxing mani-pedis with their newborn at Babies at BSIDE every Tuesday, or you can host group events for birthdays, bachelorettes or any special occasion.
BT: Choosing a business partner is difficult, and sometimes they say you should never conduct business with a friend. What made you want to open a business together, and how do you overcome each other’s quirks and nuances in business?
BB: Ben and Rom had been life partners for six years before they decided to open their first salon. They never thought they would go into business together but both had an entrepreneurial drive and each had skills sets that blended beautify for operating their own business. As any business owner, work doesn’t end the moment you leave your workplace and going home with your business partner was all the more challenging in finding a healthy work-life balance. Communication and staying organized were key in building and operating the two salons, and seeking advice from others at the time of making difficult decisions can be the save and grace of any work -and personal- relationship.
BT: Your staff were really helpful and knowledgeable about the latest nail trends when we came in for a mani/pedi. Where do you see beauty going in the next 5 years, and where do you see your company going?
BB: We want to continue to build our vision elevating the average salon experience to exciting new concepts. Beauty should be fun, welcoming and fitting for all lifestyles. In the years to come we hope to transcend this vision to a platform beyond the physical space at the salons by offering beauty services to stylists, agencies, filmmakers or anyone in need of talented beauty professionals.
For more information about BSIDE Beauty and JustB Salon, visit: bsidebeauty.ca & http://justbsalon.ca/
Photos by Nick Lee