January 17, 2015
At a Glance
Bio The path that led her to this point
As far back as I can remember, I have never liked sitting in a hairdressing salon.
It's overwhelming to me. Fussy, noisy and not relaxing at all.
But I like doing hair, and almost my entire extended family are small business owners, so it was very natural for me to find my own way to be a hairdresser.
I studied hairdressing full time instead of doing an apprenticeship, which is becoming more popular now.
Once I graduated, my classmates were excitedly chatting about which salon they would like to work at and asked me the same.
No one could really understand that hairdressing could be done outside a traditional salon premise.
I was, and am still frustrated when other hairdressers are so closed-minded to other avenues. But I persisted and it paid off.
I registered my business and worked on it part time.
3 years later I quit my other job and decided to go full time.
It felt risky at the time, but I knew it was right and didn't really hesitate.
Looking back, I am so glad that I was young and just did it. I made mistakes, I learned from it and I bounced back.
In the beginning, I was a 22 year old hairdresser who happened to run her own business.
It was hard to figure out the business stuff, so I did my best and managed to survive.
Natural progression and growth of the business meant that everything just kept getting harder and I had to actually figure out how to properly run and be in control of everything.
There have been many highs and lows over the past few years, and I have discovered that often "it's not really about the hair".
Now, I'm 31 and have done lots of self-discovery to find out that I really do like being a businesswoman.
I enjoy reading about other women succeeding in their fields, and I feel a sense of urgency to join and empower more women.
Q&A Insider advice & tips
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
Starting a business from scratch, then going full time and now a full book of clients within 5 years. I didn't have anyone to model the business off, I just went with my gut and knew it would work.
What's been your biggest challenge so far?
The biggest challenge within the current structure is always pricing and money. When to increase prices, and how to overcome the fear about asking for more. I still struggle with this.
My biggest challenge about moving forward is about wanting to make a change without jeopardising the balance.
Best lesson you've learned along the way?
Because I go to my clients, I'm on the road constantly, and if I was to start again I would absolutely divide all my areas up into districts. I waste so much time in traffic and I'm having to delicately make changes now with my very loyal clients (who do not like change).
A website, book or resource that has helped you in your business or inspired you and why?
I have a few things I'd recommend.
- Start With Why by Simon Sinek
- the Flying Solo website
- I watch lots and lots of TED talks on all different subjects, mainly personal development, human behaviour and time management.
Which person or brand do you most admire and why?
Richard Branson - he's got balls and he's not afraid to make mistakes. He is wonderfully open and honest and has often spoken about how, by empowering his staff, a business can flourish.
What advice would you give someone starting an independent business in your industry?
Keep your head out of the clouds, and your mind free of the gossip.
Really listen to your clients, and not just about their hair/beauty needs. Learn about humans, and when you understand what their lives are like you will form a connection of trust that isn't even about the physical change you make to their hair.
Finish this sentence
Everything changed for me when…
I stopped talking and started listening.
I realised how much we all have to learn about each other, and especially women.
As business women we have many strengths, and one of them is the ability to build each other up and support one another.
I realised that many of my clients really want me to succeed in business, and it's not because I'm the one doing their hair.