What is your professional title, purpose or passion?
I have recently launched Salon Studios which is a platform to help hair, beauty & wellness professionals get their own business up and running without the traditional hassles and costs associated with this. I provide move-in ready Salons for them at a weekly flat rate (less than the price of a chair).
What did you want to do when you were a child and what changed?
Originally I wanted to be a nurse. Over the years my Dad ingrained in me the importance of independence and the need to always be able to look after myself, not to count on anybody else! I also fell in love with the hospitality industry and this took me to many amazing places where I met so many people with their unique and fascinating stories.
What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
It’s a favourite quote that I have enjoyed.
‘Success is not final, courage is not fatal, it’s the courage to continue that counts’ (Winston Churchill). Everything is fleeting, nothing is guaranteed, just keep moving…. I love it!
What is the best thing about your current working environment?
The beauty of Salon Studios is that it will work for career-orientated professionals who are ambitious and go-getters. My vision for our community is that of a fun, supportive and encouraging group of people who are all pursuing their dream and managing their own destiny.
Where do you see yourself in five years' time?
Yikes…. I never plan too far ahead. I always find myself in surprising and unexpected places – meeting somebody tomorrow can change everything. I’m a big believer in living for the moment, this moment is your life….
Tell us more about a charitable organisation or project you think is great.
My last role at Soneva was really a life changer for me. Their ‘slow-life’ philosophy stands for ‘sustainable local organic wellness through learning inspiring fun experiences’ and this is the backbone of the company. The local element is brought to life by working with the local community extensively (this is in the Maldives) and they regularly do local programs such as teaching local children to swim, campaigns to recruit more local women, teaching children to surf and so much more. Their sustainable program is too extensive to mention, but it starts with zero tolerance for one use plastic and is evident everywhere you look on the island. The owners are leading the way in sustainable hospitality and changing mindsets one guest at a time…
What drives you?
I love helping other people, whether that is making people happy in the hotel world and seeing their satisfaction from a great experience or now helping people set up on their own, I get great happiness from this!
Any final comments?
The reason I don’t like titles is because I feel people lose their identity with titles. When I left a senior role as Marketing Director to start my own business many people who had offered me help if I ever needed it were suddenly too busy to deal with me. As the founder of something new and something unknown I realised just how much my previous job title had opened doors for me and it made me really sad. When you ask somebody about themselves, they mostly answer with their job title. I find this so sad as these titles can quickly go…. Is it not better to be a daughter, auntie, wife who cares about the environment, sustainability, etc?
Finally, somebody told me recently that the majority of good ideas are 6 ft under. It stuck! It’s so true, we can all have a good idea but the key is in execution. You have to follow through. I believe we are all living very similar lives under different roofs – we all have the same conversations withour partners, problems, high’s low’s, etc so if you have an idea, why are you any different to the Richard Branson’s, Steve Job’s, Elon Musk’s, etc…. they all started somewhere. The journey of a thousand miles starst with a single step – take the step.
What does a normal day look like for you?
Meeting potential Salon Owners, looking for new premises, responding to enquiries.
What have you achieved that you feel most proud of?
Achieving my MBA which I graduated from in October 2017. It took 3 years of work, juggling my day to day work with long hours into the morning. I found learning at ‘this age’ pretty tough!
Tell us about a a woman who inspires you
Such a tough question as there are truly so many!
What was your biggest failure?
When I shut down my first business it was really tough. Running your own business has high’s and low’s and they go hand in hand. You smile with the high’s and you really take the low’s personally. I put everything into the business and lost a lot, including people that I thought were friends. I always believe that you have to see the positive in everything and when I look back I would not change that time. JK Rowling had a great quote which I resonated with ‘rock bottom was the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life’.
What do you like most about yourself?
I’m very friendly….
How can we make the world more inclusive and accepting?
It all starts with you, you need to be the change you wish to see.
What skills have been key to your journey so far?
Resilience and grit. Everybody gets knocked down, we all get our fair share of ‘no’s’ but you just have to keep pushing….