HADY WEHNHAM- FORME SPA AND WELLBEING
Hady Wenham is the owner of Forme Spa and Wellbeing with ten spas all over New Zealand. She bought the first one in 2002 using the equity in her home and since then has expanded to create a well-known and well-loved brand.
>> THE SELF FUNDED MODEL
“I purchased what was then Forme Beauty Therapy in Ponsonby, Auckland” she says. “I had been there as a client and enjoyed it, but I could see Auckland was ready for something a bit cooler when it came to the spa experience, so we pulled the sunbeds out, modernised the look and brand and turned it into something fresh and exciting.”
DECOR ON A SHOESTRING
Hady’s background in advertising helped make Forme a place women wanted to be. “I was lucky because it didn’t cost a lot to buy the first business so the risk wasn’t huge if it didn’t work out,” she says. ”I renovated the entire place on a shoestring budget, painting at night and creating the look and feel I wanted, spending next to nothing.
Most of the industry was single site locations but Hady had plans to build a brand where people knew they could go to any one of several branches and know they would get the same great experience. The business went well, mainly because of the advertising drive - something no one else was really putting thought into at that time.
TO THE BANK
Using her house as security, and obtaining a business overdraft she opened another three sites - Parnell in 2003 followed by Takapuna and Remuera in 2004.
Hady opened in Albany in 2007 and in Christchurch last year. “Albany was an expensive fit out and afterwards I realised we didn’t need to spend that kind of money,” she says. “It’s easy to get caught up and not think about whether something will actually pay for itself in the end. A definite learning curve, that one.”
HADY’S ADVICE FOR ANYONE NEEDING TO FIND CAPITAL TO GROW THEIR BUSINESS:
"I wanted to retain ownership so having investors didn’t appeal to me,” she says. “The amount secured vs the amount of equity didn’t put the house at risk and if everything did go pear-shaped we had enough fixed assets to sell off to cover any liability."