Walt Disney was quite an inspirational character and his famous quotes about dreams rank among the best: “If you can dream it, you can do it” and “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them”.
Starting a business from scratch 30 years ago has taught me a lot, but mainly to trust my gut, because in my heart and soul, my absolute core belief, I knew we would be successful. I never questioned it, never doubted it. I had an innate faith that it would work. Failing, even when it looked like we were doomed at the outset, just wasn’t an option. I honestly never once thought we wouldn’t make a success of it and turn things around.
It took five years to become profitable, and our journey, with all the bumps in the road, all the twists and turns, shaped our future and created the ethos, team, brand philosophy and business we are today.
The late US author Dolores Cannon (her family still post on her Instagram – check her out) has many interesting philosophies, one of which surrounds belief; namely that you can achieve anything you desire but there are two caveats. Firstly, you can never create a reality that can harm another person and secondly, you can never create anything that will take away from another person.
Other than that, there are no limitations, and learning how to manipulate energy is our true function as human beings. It’s up to the universe to deliver what we create, as long as we play by the rules.
When things are tough it’s easy to by sceptical. But listening to our gut feeling is a crucial part of the dreaming-big process. As we get older, we learn that not following our instinct or trusting our intuition is a big mistake. But the knockbacks we get along the way help shape the dream and sometimes only serve to make it better.
There are so many examples of people showing amazing resilience and believing in themselves, not least my friend the actress Sharon Maughan. After being diagnosed with salicylate overload, Sharon realised there was a gap in the market for hydrating and nourishing low-salicylate skincare and, as a client of the salon, asked me what I thought about her concept.
As anyone who’s tried to get a product off the ground will know, being a consumer and not a practitioner sometimes has its benefits. There’s an argument that getting into the beauty industry when you’re a much-loved TV and theatre actress is crazy, because we’re not just talking about putting your name to a product, but coming up with the concept, development, creation, branding and ingredients to deliver the niche you have discovered, and all when you’re much more used to the bright lights of the showbiz world than the beauty industry.
Due to Covid, and myriad other obstacles too numerous to mention here, it took 10 years to make the dream a reality and I’m proud to say Facewise had its launch just recently. We’re stocking it and using it in treatments because it’s a small capsule range and fills a niche for clients that suffer allergic reactions like Sharon. It just proves the age-old adage and philosophy that if you do something for the right reason, you get the right result.
"As we get older, we learn that NOT FOLLOWING our instinct or trusting our intuition is a BIG MISTAKE. But the knockbacks we get along the way help SHAPE THE DREAM and sometimes only serve to MAKE IT BETTER"
Some of the best products of all time were created as a result of solving a different problem and realising the bi-product was the miracle – if not the original intention. From Teflon (creating a new type of chlorofluorocarbon) to matchsticks (accidentally scraping a stick coated in chemicals across a hearth), cornflakes (soiled grains left on a stove) to chocolate chip cookies (only chocolate drops were available), Post-it Notes (glue that didn’t leave a mark) to penicillin (trying to find a cure-all, not an antibiotic), fireworks (allegedly a simple cooking exercise gone wrong) to pacemakers (hypothermia temperaturerestoring device), sometimes you can stumble upon something so amazing and it wasn’t even the path you intended to go down. Even the psychoactive properties of LSD were discovered by accident by a research chemist – the mind boggles on this one.
With retail sales being so challenging in our sector and the competition to purchase in salon being an incessant race against the online giants, anything that truly is miraculous deserves our full attention before it becomes a household name. Hence me stumbling upon Hypo21 in my friend Hayley’s aesthetics clinic – aspray invented by a dentist who discovered her oral rinse formula was having remarkable effects on cold sores… now marketed as a healing skin spray (and selling fast in our spa).
Dreaming big has its place, and in a world sometimes seemingly full of negatives, you never know what might happen if you adopt that positive mindset and stick with something – even if it’s not the path you originally thought you’d choose.
Hellen Ward is managing director of Richard Ward Hair & Metrospa in London and co-founder of Salon Employers Association (SEA).