How to make it as an…
1. Being established is important
“I became a judge for the Professional Beauty Regional Awards two years ago. Sara Shoemark, one of PB’s longest standing judges and owner of salon chain Glow Beauty, recommended me for the role because of my industry experience.
“I opened my salon Newcastle Beauty Clinic 25 years ago and it has grown from three treatment rooms to 10 and has a training academy space I rent out to companies such as Decléor, Lycon and Nouveau Lashes to host courses. I’ve also worked as a tutor for Sterex, teaching college students and lecturers about electrolysis.”
2. You need to go above and beyond
“To be an awards judge, you not only need to have longevity in the industry and a certain calibre of business, but be known as a leader and be doing things to help improve the sector.
“For example, I host Facebook groups with other salon owners where we share ideas and brainstorm problems. I’ve also helped mentor ex-employees who have gone on to open their own businesses and I feel very proud of them.”
3. Honesty is the best policy
“There’s a level of trust that’s bestowed on you as an awards judge, which you need to uphold. When marking entry forms, it’s vital to be impartial and not have any preconceived ideas. So, if you know one of the entrants and are aware that they do X, Y or Z, that’s irrelevant unless it’s on the entry form.
“Every year, I get a different region to score but the organisers keep the process fair by not inviting us to judge salons in the area we work in.”
4. It’s a long process
“Time management is key as you can be asked to mark entries for up to four different categories. For this year’s Professional Beauty Regional Awards, I had around 150 entries to score. It’s about taking the time to read each form fully and trying to understand that salon’s vision. We whittle the entrants down to around four finalists.”
5. Be prepared to fight your corner
“The next stage is the deliberation calls and these are pretty intense. You’re on a conference call with a member of the Professional Beauty team and the official visitor who went to the salons to experience treatments, as well as other judges.
“On this call, we spend a lot of time asking the official visitor about their experience – did the salon do the treatment well? What was the aftercare advice like? And so on. Then each judge re-marks the finalists independently, but we don’t find out who the winner is until the awards ceremony.”
6. Believe in what you do
“Some people imply that being a beauty therapist or tanning specialist isn’t a proper career. When starting out, I faced this type of criticism a lot and didn’t know how to deal with it, but as my client base grew, so did my confidence.
“Now, with years of experience under my belt and a belief that I’m good at what I do, I’m able to stand up to people who have these misconceptions.