A day in the life: Sharmadean Reid, owner of WAH Nails

2 Aug 2017

When it comes to London’s entrepreneurial women in retail, Sharmadean Reid is a force to be reckoned with. Not only has she grown her beauty brand WAH Nails into a cult favourite and spearheaded the nail art craze, she also launched and runs FutureGirlCorp, a business workshop to coach a new generation of female CEOs.

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From humble beginnings as a small nail art shop in Dalston back in 2009– with not much more intention than to create a space for Sharmadean and her friends to hang– WAH Nails has since launched its 3-storey experiential salon in the heart of Soho (read about it here). The WAH brand also has branches in Topshop and Harvey Nichols, as well as a product line in Boots.

As an inspirational female leader who proves you can do anything you set your mind to, Sharmadean is all about channelling that energy into inspiring others to do the same. Here, she fills us in on what her typical day might look like, from rituals and beauty routines to meetings and mentoring sessions.

6:30 am - No tech before breakfast

The first thing I do when I wake up is ask Alexa what time it is. I stretch and dry brush my body to wake myself up. My makeup takes me about 5 minutes– I do my brows, a little bit of foundation, blush, lip gloss and eyeliner.

I avoid checking my emails whilst getting ready because I find it slows me down. I systematically try not look at anything work related until I get to my desk in the morning.

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8:00 am - Morning rituals

On Mondays and Tuesdays, I take my son Roman to school. I co-parent with his Dad which determines a lot of my ability to both work and be a mum.

I catch the tube everyday. I wish I cycled, but it makes me too sweaty and dishevelled.

9:00 am - Emails, emails, emails

Our office is on Stephen Street, right by Tottenham Court Road. The first thing I do when I get to my desk is check my emails – I get about 100 a day! I usually dedicate an entire morning to this.

I’m really militant with my time– I make a clear schedule, and I try not to work on more than one project per morning or afternoon.

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Wah Nails Salon

11:00 am - Recap the week

Running to meetings, such with Jamelia, a girl I mentor who founded Treasure Tress, a subscription service for natural hair products. Or working on a deck for a new product range I’m working on.

Every Monday, the team meets to recap the week and set goals for the week ahead. Catching up with my team always make me feel really positive. It’s always a reminder of how sick this company is! After, I’ll sit down with our Salon Manager and Finance Director to discuss finances.

2:00 pm - Get involved in the neighbourhood

I’ll take a stroll to grab some Vietnamese food or rotisserie chicken for lunch.

Community is really important to me. We host weekly events in the Salon to support young female creatives through panel talks on topics like self love and empowerment. We’ve partnered with organisations such as Art Against Knives. From giving 10% discount for anyone working in Soho to collecting cosmetics and donations for Grenfell, we’re really involved in our local and wider communities.

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Wah Nail's Zine Fair

3:00 pm - Whatever the afternoon might hold

I spend some time everyday on calls, such as with developers behind Beautystack, a booking system I’m building for beauty pros.

Twice a week, I’ll visit our WAH salon in Soho. I like to show my face, say hi to the girls, interact with our customers and get a sense of what’s going on in the business. It's also a live and ongoing customer insight channel for beautystack.co. I sit and talk to customers to find out their booking needs. The salon is a test bed for the software. Though I leave most of the running of the salon to our amazing team and Danielle, our salon manager.

On Mondays and Tuesdays, I work shorter days to collect Roman from school and some time with him. On other days, I’ll stay late to work.

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Sharmadean at the salon

8:00 pm - Between motherhood and business

If I’m not putting Roman to bed and falling asleep with him, I’m staying late at work or hosting one of our monthly FutureGirlCorp events.

10:00 pm - Bath salts

Baths are my ritual. I have one every night, at whatever time I get in, be it at 10pm or 2am. I run it with Kneipp bath salts. This is a huge part of my self care routine.

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