Which part of the Chilterns do you live in?
I’ve lived in Chalfont St Peter for the past 14 years
Husband Andrew, daughter Anya aged 12, son Josh aged 9
Sum up your business in a sentence:
Helping people to look and feel the very best they can be through colour and style.
What’s your career background?
I’ve worked for British Airways for 27 years and I am currently a Customer Service Manager working part time. I also have my own franchise with House of Colour as a colour analysist and personal stylist.
How did your career change after becoming a mum?
The days became longer as I was working shifts but thankfully I changed my hours to become part time.
What first inspired you to become a stylist?
I was amazed after having my own colour and style done. I’d always been very style and fashion conscious, but had never come across colour analysis or dressing to suit your body architecture and clothing personality. I was surprised at how it not only improved how I looked, but also how I felt.
And how did you move from idea to actually taking your first business steps?
House of Colour is a franchise. I initially started as a sub-contractor and not only loved the job, but enjoyed working for a company where I felt valued and supported. I then took a leap of faith and bought the franchise in April 2017.
What skills or experience from your career do you use in your business?
People skills are vital. The airport is a stressful environment and being able to understand people’s frustrations and being able to show empathy and patience has been vital. I also love to chat – something that everyone who knows me will agree with!
Who is your target customer and how do you find and market to them?
My audience is hugely varied. From children, to people who have maybe lost confidence in the way they look and feel, men and women needing more visibility in the workplace, more mature ladies not wanting to slide into invisibility as they get older. I find giving talks to people is my most powerful way to market myself and what I do. I talk to a variety of groups from school classes, WI groups, small companies, networking groups. My clients become my biggest fans and then spread the news.
What are the biggest challenges you have had to overcome in starting your own business?
Two come to mind. Firstly juggling 2 jobs with being a mum and secondly stepping completely out of my comfort zone and learning something new at the age of 45!
Your biggest successes to date?
My clients having a life changing, self-esteem boosting experience through their colour and style classes with me. Also featuring in both Buckinghamshire Life, and Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wedding magazines – both in the same month!
What’s your vision for your business?
To share my knowledge and empower my clients. Whether it be through colour, style, make up or personal shopping.
What has most surprised you about yourself in starting your business?
Learning about myself and the personal journey it has taken me on. Enjoying my strong points and recognising my not so strong points! And the sense of the achievement – you can’t beat it.
How do you juggle running a business and family life?
Sometimes with difficulty! Planning is vital.
What advice do you have for other parents who want to start a business?
Be brave and go for it. There are so many great opportunities. Make sure you love what you do and make it work around your family commitments.
How do you relax?
Playing football once a week with an amazing bunch of ladies or sitting down with great food and wine with friends.
What do you love most about where you live?
Lovely friends and neighbours, great for the children and close enough to London.
Your simple pleasure?
Reading a great book in silence.
What’s your favourite tipple?
Wine – red or white. I love both!
Top dinner party guests?
Sir David Attenborough for his wealth of knowledge, Anna Wintour to indulge my love for everything fashion, Michel Roux Jr to talk all things food and finally Idris Elba, to mix things up a bit!
One thing on your bucket list?
There are still so many things I’d love to do. But one that is near the top of my list is an open air opera in Italy.
Phone: 07786 544984