Jennifer Hageahmad, Diana Hussein and Rasha Taleb-Kashour
Why they are 2015 Top 40s:
In addition to growing their Diva Salon Spa chain to eight locations over the past three years, Jennifer Hageahmad, Diana Hussein and Rasha Taleb-Kashour created and run the annual Diva Salon Spa Catwalk for Water event that has raised more than $170,000 for WaterAid Canada over the past three years.
photograph by colin way
For sisters Jennifer Hageahmad (left), Diana Hussein (centre) and Rasha Taleb-Kashour (right), success is a family affair.
As children, they loved to watch their father, Diva Salon Spa co-founder Sam Taleb, work his magic on clients. “He’d cut their hair and they’d leave, and they’d be a different person,” Hageahmad recalls. “They’d be happier, more confident. He wanted to make people happy for a living.”
Last year, with the sisters now in charge of the family business, Diva opened three new locations in Calgary. While previous years had seen a steady revenue growth of 10 per cent a year, opening the new locations resulted in revenue growth of 57 per cent in the first year. Yet another new salon is set to open at Market Mall in late 2015, bringing the total number of Diva businesses in the city to eight salons, employing more than 200 people.
Hageahmad, Hussein and Taleb-Kashour credit their parents and uncle for modelling a tireless work ethic, with no room for shortcuts. Diva was always a family business, with the salon co-founded by their uncle, Raymond Taleb, and their mom, Arze Taleb, an esthetician at the first Diva location. “Our parents and uncle empower us to be strong women,” says Taleb-Kashour. “We’re all on the same page.”
For this hard-working trio, lasting success isn’t just about maintaining Diva’s status as a top-ranked Aveda salon and spa in Canada, or expanding into other cities in Alberta in the coming years. Along with their colleagues at Diva, the sisters are responsible for the annual Catwalk for Water event, which they created in support of WaterAid Canada, and which has raised more than $170,000 over the past three years to support safe water, hygiene and sanitation efforts in some of the world’s poorest areas.
Hageahmad, Hussein and Taleb-Kashour joke that, at Diva, business meetings often feel more like family reunions, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. “I know my dad says that he is so lucky to have all his children involved in his business,” says Hussein. “We finish each others’ sentences.”
Adds Hageahmad: “We’ve grown even closer because we work together. Not only are we siblings, we’re best friends.” — Kaitlyn Critchley