Stepping into a beautifully designed spa often takes someone into an instant realm of relaxation; a result of a clever concoction of space design and ambience. A friendly therapist welcoming the patron with a soothing cup of tea and ready ears will then break the ice and play an essential part in what will soon become a trustful and long-term relationship between the therapist and the patron. Hartini Halim, founder of Tini’s Spa Beauty Slimming and CEO of Tini’s Spa Beauty Slimming Sdn Bhd believes strongly in building relationships with her customers. Speaking at a recent interview, she explains how building positive relationships helps propel her business into a growing success.
Hartini Halim is simply a people person, which one can tell at first glance. Exuding a warm persona, Hartini is honest and eager to share her story with anyone who is willing to listen. A woman of sheer independence and determination, she seems to know what she wants and is always ready for anything thrown her way.
Raised by a single mother, Hartini left her hometown of Kuching, Sarawak when she was thirteen to pursue a better education in Tunku Kurshiah College, Negeri Sembilan. Ever since then, Hartini has been building her life in Peninsular Malaysia furthering her studies in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and securing her first job as an Academics Officer in Kolej PTPL, Shah Alam. “My mom wanted the best education for me and my siblings so we all went to boarding schools and learned independence at a young age,” she shares.
At the age of 26, Hartini finally decided to pursue her interest in business. With her husband being her pillar of strength and greatest supporter, she proceeded to start her business and opened the first Tini’s Spa branch in Shah Alam in 2005. Three years later, she was approached by a renowned international brand, Dermalogica, to be its representative in Shah Alam. As it was a very timely opportunity, Hartini did not hesitate to grab it.
“Dermalogica has a strong brand and marketing strategy, and most importantly, a comprehensive product education system,” explains Hartini. Believing in the brand’s capability to equip her team with sufficient knowledge and training, Hartini is positive that the knowledge will also help her team build trust in her customers. Indeed, the move has transformed Tini’s Spa into a prominent homegrown spa, having exceptional therapists with a flair for growing the business.
In 2009, Tini’s Spa garnered the Best Newcomer Award from Dermalogica and subsequently received a 3-star Day Spa Award from the Ministry of Tourism in 2011. A mom of four, Hartini regards her own mother and husband as the pillars of her support system. It is evident that her strong belief in people helps her strive to empower her team through her people-centric leadership skills and cultivating a humanized company culture.
The core values of her company are cleverly reflected in the acronym PIKAT which stands for Professionalism, Integrity, Productivity, Komunikasi Jelas (Clear Communication), Amanah (Trustworthiness) and Teamwork. “We have a very simple induction for our new staff, but I do make sure they understand our core values.” says Hartini.
Her sentiments and deep appreciation for people also led her to venture into a new business portfolio, a training centre named TISAS Academy, built to train single mothers in the community to equip themselves with the skills and knowledge for starting up a mobile spa business. “It’s a feeling of satisfaction no money can ever buy, and I never fail to be deeply touched every time I hear their success stories,” says Hartini.
Tini’s Spa has been running successfully for 11 years now but Hartini is not done yet. She has had her fair share of ups and downs in building her business all these years. Nevertheless, it is her strong and positive relationship with people, combined with a strong will to learn and embrace changes in order to grow that have proven to be a working combination that puts the Tini’s Spa brand prominently on the map of the beauty and wellness industry of Malaysia. One advice Hartini would offer to budding entrepreneurs is to start small and build a following before thinking of expanding further.