Nova | From hair salon owner to Ibiza
By Eleni Meraki
I graduated from the hairdresser college and worked in different hairdressing salons. I really enjoy pampering people, giving them a good feeling. I founded Bubblekid with my business partner Donny. We worked as franchisees for 3,5 years but felt the need to spread our wings and move forward under our own name 'Bubblekid'. We set up Bubblekid and sublet our basement. After one year, when our tenant left we created our own shop with a custom bicycle builder, a very good coffee machine and whatever else we thought was cool. Some time later we opened our second store within a similar concept.
5 THINGS ABOUT
IBIZA | SALON WITHOUT MIRRORS | MOON | INTUITION | MOTHER
LEAP OF FAITH
We always had the dream to live abroad but we couldn’t decide where. Arriving on Ibiza, me and my partner immediately felt connected to the island. That click we hadn’t felt in any other 'potential to live' place - like California and Thailand - before. At the time of our first visit to Ibiza my mother was very ill so there was no way I could leave The Netherlands at that moment.
When I returned to the island last year, me and my partner got offered to rent a house here. The place, the area, and the price was a once in a lifetime opportunity that we couldn’t ignore. We accepted the offer without knowing how we could make it work. Two weeks later, my mother past away and it felt like she wanted to let me know it’s all OK and that this is the path I should pursuit.
MOVING TO IBIZA
In October 2014, we returned to Ibiza to sign the house contract and one month later we started the rental. At that point I didn't know how I would manage this all with my business back in Amsterdam. I wanted to stay co-owner of the company and initially intended to return every 2 months to work for 10 continuous days in the shop.
My business partner offered me to buy me out of the company. I immediately opposed that idea – it felt like I would abandon my baby. When I started to look within I realized this was my ego telling me not to do it. I was afraid to miss the “big success”. It wasn’t the kind of store we both could get a salary out without us working in it. So I decided to agree on my buy-out. We rented out our apartment in Amsterdam and off we went.
WORKING ON IBIZA
I wanted to immediately start my own shop here on Ibiza, but then I got pregnant. Not planned, but of course exactly at the right time. I cannot stay still for a long period of time. I really enjoy my work, it’s part of me. I love the thing I am doing. My dream is to create a space where people can recharge in the stress lifestyle we all live. Whilst being pregnant now I am working on establishing a network and clientele on the island. My husband is working in a restaurant and I am being full time pregnant with some hairstyling on the side. At first I panicked. All my plans had to go straight into the bin due to this pregnancy – “what the heck was I going to do here?”. But I figured I just had to go with the flow and trust life’s path.
The baby will get born in October 2015 which is winter on Ibiza and not a lot is happening on the island. I am looking into opening something in 2016 when the baby is a couple of months old. How exactly this would look like I am not sure yet but that will unfold. I have a couple of ideas and total trust the right thing will come to life.
Living in Ibiza is quite expensive. I am being bought out of Bubblekid over a period of 3 years and with this money I can live a basic lyfestyle here on the island. My husband left his job to move here and thus we have to both live from one income here. That requires doing a few steps back with our expenses, but we are not less happy because of that. After a couple of months my husband got a job here too so luckily the tough money times are over.
THE TOUGH TIMES
The first step was very scary. We had quite some stress “What the hell are we going to do?”. There is quite a pressure on you when you decide to start something up from scratch. People back home put me under quite a lot of pressure about what I am going to do now. It’s the first thing they ask. “What are you doing?” and “When are you going to start?”. Letting loose of the strings in my home country was quite hard. Leaving behind a good business, good income, lovely friends and deciding to go away just the two of you is quite a leap. It wasn’t easy in the beginning.
5 INSIDER TIPS
- Just DO it. The right time will never come!
- In a first world country the worst thing that can happen to you is not very bad actually.
- Don’t listen to other people around you, do what feels good for you.
- “Fuck it” is a life philosophy.
- Take your brains and your life experience with you when you follow your heart.
Written by Eleni Meraki
Eleni is the founder of Guts & Tales. She lives in Athens and enjoys roaming the world as much as she can. She is a multi-passionate entrepreneur with big dreams and a big mission; to empower you to live a life you truly enjoy living.
Click on the About Eleni tab to read her full story.