As a Business Owner, I've been asked countless times how I went about setting up my own business and the truth is, I opened Paris Texas Beauty in March 2015, completely by chance, and I haven't looked back since. Before I set up my own business, people always told me that I should run my own salon and, quite frankly, that idea terrified me! Shortly before I opened the salon, I found myself without a job and was invited by Paris Texas Hairdressing to look at a space which they had available in their building. Before I knew it, I had invested in the property, I was buying supplies, my hubby was helping me freshen up the beauty treatment rooms and I was excited to welcome my first clients. My guy was really supportive and told me to just give it a go and see what happens, so I took a huge risk and it was the best decision I've ever made.
I think success looks differently to all of us, and it was around the 2 year mark of being in business that I started to feel successful in my own way. I set a target of how many regular clients I would like to have, and once I achieved that, I found it was very important to celebrate that success, as I feel we tend to let these successes pass us by without giving them the attention they deserve. It was then onto setting my next challenge.
There have been many challenges along the way, and the biggest one I've faced was being diagnosed with cancer last year. It threw a big spanner in the works for me as a small business owner as I was working solo. It was necessary for me to take time off after each surgery in order to recover, so I knew that I needed to hire another Beauty Therapist - I went through the challenging hiring process and found Lauren, who I'm incredibly grateful for everyday ♥
Some other challenges I've faced have included investing in a marketing program, which didn't pay off as well as I'd expected; I did, however, gain some beautiful new friendships with other female salon owners, so it wasn't all bad. Living away from my family in New Zealand has been tough this year, especially with not being able to fly back for visits. But it's all about communication, and scheduling time in for family is important so we talk regularly on video calls, which helps with missing them so much.
It's very important for me to have a separate personal life away from work so I set aside a 'Sunday Family Day' and don't look at my phone for work purposes. My husband and I don't make any plans and enjoy activities such as walking our doggies and finding new and exciting dog-friendly cafes close-by, such as Sunday's Coffee House - Rocklea. We also like to Skype our families back in New Zealand and have a 'Date Night' one Saturday a month, which is very important to us. I also love to keep in touch with my girlfriends and try to call them or have a coffee together at least once a week.
I find it really important to take lots of time in the mornings for self care. I do this by waking up early each morning and getting my body moving by going for a run with my dogs. While doing this, I love to listen to inspirational podcasts by other women in business. Once I'm home, I nourish my body with a healthy smoothie, and sit outside to write down my goals and daily gratitude list. I walk to the train everyday, to ensure I hit my step target for the day, and once I'm on the train, I either answer my DMs, emails and create social media content for the salon, or I read my book.
After a busy day, I like to cook dinner when I get home, as well as reply to messages, have a sauna/shower and get ready for bed. My evening skincare routine is one of my favorite parts of the day, and as I'm a bit of Nana, I like to get to bed early, cuddle the doggies and then read. The most important part of keeping my work and personal life separate is taking those little moments during the day for self care, otherwise it would all be work and no play. Burnout is real and taking care of my body and mind is vital for me.
We're always learning. Lauren and I spend lots of time investing in training sessions and workshops, for topics such as new treatments, ingredient knowledge, product and machinery education sessions and business development. We're members of Beaute Industrie, a learning portal for the professional beauty industry, and we always integrate their teachings into our work week and have a recap during our staff meetings. I'm also super excited as I'm about to embark on more study in the area of integrated health and dermatology. We always encourage our clients to learn about their health, well-being and skin care and have a community beauty book shelf, which they're welcome to borrow at their appointment.
Finally, the advice that I would give myself prior to setting up my business would be to not overthink it and just go with my gut. I'd tell myself that I've got all the skills that I need and I just need to believe in myself. Having an amazing group of strong-minded business girlfriends really helps me, and my network has grown so much over the years. I have an amazing group of friends who really 'get it' - the highs and lows. Its so important to talk through your ideas and have someone who understands.
Lauren and I are available for online bookings here and we would love to answer any health, skin care, or indeed any business-related questions you have. We're looking forward to seeing you in the salon soon ♥