This time 12 years ago (August 2011), I qualified as an ITEC Beauty & Massage Therapist through the Jotra Academy in Bristol. Under the wing of Tracy Haynes, I smashed all my goals and emerged top of the class with Distinctions and won Student of the Year. At the age of 38, it was pretty daunting trying to get a job, competing against many younger students, but I had run successful businesses in the past and with the support of Martin Hill and of course my fabulous Husband and family, I immediately set up and started working self-employed.
Since those early days, I have completed a lot of additional training and have developed a true sense of who I am as a therapist. Now in my 50th Year on this beautiful earth, I am steady. I know who I am. I know what I like and I know what I don’t like. I run a tight ship and am not frightened to say NO! You wont get a manicure from me as I’m rubbish at painting nails. Frankly, my clients deserve better than half measures.
I’ve had many ups and downs. My proudest notable career moment was probably being shortlisted finalist by Professional Beauty in the Salon of the Year category in 2019; just before Covid broke up the party. Lowest moment was waving goodbye to my team after Covid killed my business.
I look back on this time with great sadness, yet I am SO thankful that my business head ruled my heart on this occasion. I have seen some amazing businesses close THIS YEAR, all because they’re swamped with debt after the fall out of the pandemic amd burned out with the constant pressure of keeping afloat. I feel for those amazing business women. They hung on in there far longer than I even could have imagine. I respect them to my core. I’m glad I let go when I did.
Anyone who knows anyone who’s self-employed would probably know it’s no easy way to make a living. I hear a lot of opinion that “You get to choose your hours”, “you can have as much time off as you like”, and my favourite little gem “You don’t have to answer to anyone – you are your own boss”! And if you’ve ever worked for me, then you’ll know that I AM my own boss, and I expect a LOT from myself. My choice of working hours in based on extensive research on when my clients are available to see me. If I have time off, I don’t get paid and therefore work twice as hard either side of my breaks to make up the shortfall in income!
The fact of the matter is, I am now probably un-employable anyway! I think i’d struggle to simply accept procedure and crack on. I’d always be looking for a better or more efficient way. I think I would get bored.
I am committed 100% to my clients, and I expect the same in return, which is why I lead the way in communicating my terms of business and implementing them. With me, you know what you’re getting and I’m black and white about it. I’ve never liked grey areas…. unless it’s my cloakroom wall, and that is a grey area!
The biggest benefit of being my own boss is actually delivering a service that I am truly proud of. One I would like to receive myself. I have always loved the beauty industry, and have been in customer facing roles my entire life. I honestly don’t know where the time has gone, and I’ve got lots more planned. I am talking to potential new suppliers and looking to introduce some more tech for advanced skin tightening. The future is exciting, and I’ll make sure it always will be. You have my word!