From Small Town Girl To Award Winning Entrepreneur

I was brought up in a household surrounded by business, so I guess it’s no surprise I’ve ended up loving business as much as I do. My home town is the small, ex steel industry town of Consett in Durham, and although I have traveled extensively, I have always returned to my roots.

My parents owned businesses in both retail fashion and property, but I always knew from a very early age that I wanted to work in the beauty industry. When I was growing up I don’t think anyone ever escaped from visiting my home without one of my infamous make-overs – usually tangled back-combed hair and as much bright make-up as I could inflict on my models (victims!!), willing or not!

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Nearly ending before it started

I left school at 16 and immediately went on to study hair and beauty therapy on a four year course whilst working in a small local beauty salon. Back then you couldn’t train in hair and beauty without working in a salon as well. The ratio of hair salons to beauty salons was about fifty hair salons to every one beauty salon.

During my final year I was lucky enough to be chosen to go and work at Ragdale Hall Hydro. At this time Ragdale was classed as a health farm. Working at Ragdale really opened my eyes, and I came away knowing that one day I wanted to have my own salon. And not just any salon, I wanted to offer all of the top fabulous treatments I had seen and been trained in at Ragdale.

When I was ready to put this dream into action the banks were reluctant to back me as my business plan involved introducing ‘big town’ luxury treatments to my small hometown of Consett. So my first business was in hairdressing. I built up a really great business, but after working in it for some time I unfortunately developed contact dermatitis. As I had no real business training I didn’t realise the worth of the business and I naïvely gave it away.

After working in a couple of other jobs the lure of the beauty sector was irresistible and I started a mobile salon business, traveling to clients’ homes for the first year. I still held on to my original dream I had harbored since my time in Ragdale Hall, and after a year of mobile therapy I felt I was ready to go for it. I just needed backing.

I managed to secure a loan from Shell Oil through Project North East and the rest is history. Finishing Touch Health & Beauty Clinic is now, over 25 years later, still based in Consett and is the largest Beauty Salon in the north of England, with numerous National Awards under its belt.

The Family Tragedy Which Taught Me That Life's Too Short To Wait For Anything.

One good thing did come out of this unfortunate time – I discovered that my businesses ran better with me working on them rather than working in them. I now love the life we have made for ourselves and I have the most amazing network of entrepreneurs I can call my friends. I have had the opportunity to learn the most effective business strategies from the world’s best business minds.

I just love what I do, and I love helping other business owners get the lifestyle they deserve from their businesses, and to be confident to take the right steps.

Finding my Mojo And The Inspirations Right There In Front Of Me.

My dad was a very hard working man. All the time I was growing up I witnessed him working ridiculous hours, often away from his family. His goal was to work this hard so he could retire early at the age of 55. This was when he was going to enjoy the benefits of his years of sacrifice, those years of spending irreplaceable time away from his family. My father died suddenly at the age of 50. I was 20 years old at the time.

A business really needs to be something you control. It should not be running your life, as life can be far too short

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