Beauty TherapistHow did you get interested in what you do?
I was always interested in health and beauty. No advice was available to me at the time.What was your journey to reach the role you are in today?
Studied at a college of Higher Education in London to qualify as a Beauty and Massage Therapist the training is generally between 1 and 2 years depending on the college. I worked in a Salon for 2 years before working on Cruise ships for 3 years travelling the world. I then worked for 2 years as a senior therapist in a 5 star country house hotel whilst training as a lecturer in Beauty therapy at Southampton University. I taught part-time at Southampton Technical College during this period. Then moved on to set up and manage the Aqua Sana Spa in Center Parcs, Longleat Forest for 2 years before marrying and moving to Scotland. There I set up and managed the Peebles Hydro Beauty Salon before having children. I then set up my freelance beauty business which has built up through word of mouth for the past 15 years. During this time I trained as an examiner of beauty therapy and travelled to colleges across southern Ireland as the external examiner fro CIBTAC. I have also recently been taken on as a supply lecturer of Beauty Therapy at Borders College. My business continues to thrive and fits in to family life.
As a freelance beauty therapist I need to be very organised as a lot of kit is required to do the treatments in peoples homes. My working day starts with packing the car with all the equipment then driving to the location. I would then set up the room which I will be working in and commence treatments, generally between 2 to 6 hours of treatments, although it can be a lot longer. The kit then needs to be packed away and I drive on to my next appointments or go home where the car needs to be unpacked and towels etc washed. Accounts need to be updated, record cards completed and any phone calls returned for future appointments. The sort of treatments I would do are massage, facials, manicure, pedicure, wedding make-up, waxing and electrolysis. I work on men and women. I also travel to do weddings, doing pre-wedding treatments the day before then make-up on the day, this is
an extra to my normal client list and boosts my business during the wedding season. I will travel Scotland to do weddings but also if required would travel anywhere. I also occasionally do make-up for photos shoots for catalogues which is fun and different to my regular work. I also work in shooting lodges doing deep tissue massage on the guns (the men who go out shooting) again this is done during the shooting season and boosts my regular income. My working day is always different and never boring.
I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was 18. I was not able to get into university as I didn't have the correct qualifications. ! was a more vocational studentWhat did your parents want you to do?
My parents advised me to become a beauty therapistWhat advice would you give to someone interested in your career?
This has been an amazing career, I have loved nearly all the jobs I had. They have each given me different ways of furthering my career and kept my working life varied. I have never been out of work. It is very hard work and you have to be confident with working with different kinds of people but you learn this as you become more experienced. There are so many different paths to take after you have completed training and gained some experience as a beauty therapist. I would advise that you get experience in a salon before moving on to self employment as you learn so much from working with other therapists. You need to continually train during this career to keep up to date and evolve your career.What other career directions could you go in?
I would like to do more teaching. I would also like to get back into examining but this will have to wait until the children are older as the job required me to travel the world for 2-6 weeks at a time, and I couldn't commit to this time away from home. Other directions I could have chosen were to continue in Spa management, but this didn't fit in with family life. I could have concentrated on Make-up and worked for the BBC, there are so many different routes to take after you have qualified and got some experience. I could have worked as a full time beauty therapy lecturer.