Hubert Burda Media

LEAP OF FAITH : Jady Teoh, Jean Ng & Jolyna Tan

In times of economic uncertainty, driven by dreams, these resourceful young individuals leave behind their steady professional careers to dive into the unknown world of entrepreneurship, armed with astute business plans and plenty of courage.

Housed in a gorgeous two-storey glass panel building opposite Bangsar Shopping Centre, 176 Avenue is Bangsar’s latest beauty and pampering service provider in one convenient location. “We are all about getting you fixed from head to toe, so that when you walk out from 176 Avenue, you will look and feel glamorous in the shortest amount of time,” shares Jolyna Tan, one of the three founding directors of the salon. “Exactly. You don’t have to go through the trouble of going to different shops for different services. Here, you can do it all simultaneously,” Jady Teoh continues, while Jean Ng adds that although it is common for most hair salons to provide nail services, at 176 Avenue, its unique point is that it offers waxing and eyelash extensions.

Established in October 2015, the three girls narrate how the idea came about. “Honestly speaking, we ourselves are the number one customers when it comes to indulging ourselves through hair, eyelashes and nails services,” says Jean. Prior to that, Jean and Jady were in the F&B industry while Jo was, and still is, involved in real estate. Eager to start something new together, they met up to have a chat. “We somehow touched on the subject on how it takes time for all these services to be done. Then, it struck us that there was no one such place that was offering such services. So we just brainstormed on it a few more times and went on with it.”

And once they set their minds to it, nobody was going to stop them. “We are women of action. Once we decided on the concept, we got everything set up and ready to go under three months, including renovations and all,” Jo replies, while Jady notes that if they were going to sit on it, 176 Avenue might never have happened. 

Thus far, there are three participating brands under the house of 176 Avenue, namely Hair Soho, Lash & Polish and Aria. “We’re all pretty hands-on, but of course, each of us has our own forte,” replies Jady. “ABC is Jo, 1234 is me and making everything gorgeous is Jean,” which to that summarisation, everyone bursts into laughter. “Couldn’t have put it better myself. So yes, I’m in charge of everything related to words, basically the PR side. Jady looks after our finances, while Jean is related to anything creative,” Jo explains.

Jean, can you explain the vision behind the interior?

Since 176 Avenue is set in a house, we thought we should take it to our advantage and make it as comfortable as our guests would feel like they are in their own home. We understand the hours that you’ll have to spend while doing the services, which is why your wellbeing is really important to us. We provide a range of services including snacks, drinks and deliveries. We also provide valet parking. All these services are complimentary which is why we would like to highlight that although 176 Avenue is located in Bangsar, it is here to offer you affordable luxury. Just come in and relax, let us pamper you.

I heard 176 Avenue is also child-friendly. Was it because of Jo was heavily pregnant at the time when you were establishing the salon?

It is somewhat true; being a mother-to-be, it did spark my concern. So we agreed that 176 Avenue should be somewhat child-friendly. We have a small kiddie area, but parents would still have to supervise their own children. They can get their services done too. We have chemical-free nail products that are soy based, 100 percent safe for kids. Those under three years old get free haircuts as well.

And what are some of the milestones 176 Avenue has achieved so far? would you like to elaborate on that Jady?

We find it most rewarding when our friends come into the salon and were surprised to find out that we are the owners. Most of them came in as customers through word of mouth and I think in this society, word of mouth is very crucial. We like how we don’t have to put ourselves out there and say, “Hey, we are the owners of 176 Avenue. Please come and support us.” We believe that if we provide good services, people will naturally come back to us and introduce us to their friends.

Where do you see 176 Avenue in the future?

We would like to fine tune our system in order to provide better services to our customers. We are looking to expand as well. To open more outlets, not only in Kuala Lumpur, so people from different places are able to receive the same kind of services. This is our three-year plan. We do send our stylist abroad for training. For hair, to London. And for perming and eyelash extensions, to Japan and South Korea. All of these, we do to keep them up to date.