What made you choose a career in the beauty industry?
“I didn’t take the straight road into beauty. I had my first child when I was 18 and I continued college while working in hospitality. In the noughties, in a moment of madness, I purchased a tanning salon that offered beauty and nail services. That’s where my love for the beauty industry began. I spent the next few years training in various beauty and holistic courses, and I’ve never looked back.”
What made you make the decision to step into a role in an association after your time as a spa director?
“After so many years working in the beauty industry, I knew that spa and wellness was about much more than celebrations and spa breaks. My passion for change and desire to raise awareness of the benefits and to make the industry better led me to join the UK Spa Association (UKSA) as a volunteer board member, which eventually saw me leaving spa operations to take the helm as general manager.”
What skills from your career background have you brought to your association roles?
“Being a therapist, business owner and spa director during my career journey has enabled me to use my personal experience and understanding as it allows me to put myself in their shoes to some extent; all experiences and skills I gained have and continue to allow me to support others within the sector.”
How did it feel to get the news you’d been awarded an MBE?
“I was overwhelmed and humbled to be honoured with such extraordinary recognition. If I’m being totally honest, I’m still getting used to the idea. It’s a bit surreal, but this award is a demonstration of the strides we have taken in beginning to reposition the perception and importance of the beauty sector.”
What work with the UK Spa Association and the British Beauty Council contributed to you being awarded an MBE?
“Both the British Beauty Council and the UKSA represented the sector as part of a task force and working group with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a sectoral advisor, I was on hand to offer solutions in the face of continued obstacles.
“Both organisations supported the industry, lobbying for change, and have been the voice we desperately needed, ensuring that the Government understood just how important and how valuable our sector is. The work we did was integral in many ways, both in the initial lockdown and beyond.”
Which other initiatives are you most excited for this year?
“We’ve launched our 2022 roadmap, focusing on the growth of the personal care sector, pinpointing policy and influence, and our new pillars Talent, Growth and Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) as the key areas.
“We will be focusing on future talent, stimulating and nurturing ambition within the British beauty industry and showcasing the range of opportunities available, while ensuring standards, high-quality skills and education.”