My Business Journey with Fresh Therapies
It was around 2004 when I was working part time as office admin for a large international IT company while completing my beauty training in the evening, when my boss said;
“Why don’t you stick to your beauty stuff instead,” because I’d made an error on a spreadsheet (still hate those pesky little squares). She totally belittled me and made it sound like being a beauty therapist was for bimbos. If only she knew how in depth the training is.
Well, that was it, a red flag to a bull!
I knew I had to leave and start a new career.
I went and found myself a job in a salon. That was a challenge, as I was over 30 and had no real experience, just my newly received certificates.
It’s funny looking back now because the main thing that got me the job was the fact that I washed my hands before I started my trade test (it’s the first rule you’re taught).
The salon owner later told me none of the other interviewees did. Even to this day attention to detail is key to my work.
Roll on 2006 where I was renting my own space and building my own clientele. I’d gone down the Organic/natural product route as this was trending at the time and was the only thing that would give me a USP amongst the sea of already established salons. Because I was new and small, I was able to change and adapt easily to what the market was shouting about.
I thought I was the bee’s knees, but I had no idea what I should be doing apart from beauty treatments.
Networking, marketing, newsletters, database, building a list. I had not a Scooby. And I stayed like this for almost 2 years. I was so busy with clients that I just continued on my business journey.
Eventually I cottoned on, found out how a business really should be run, and I just hit overwhelm and almost hid under a rock, it scared me and put my head in a space of negative Nelly talk.
“You’re rubbish at this, you have no idea what to do, you’ll never make a living from it, you’re a follower not a leader, you can’t be a boss.” Those mind monkeys were having a full-blown riot.
That mentally hurt, a lot.
“Can I do all this? Do I want to? Can I afford the help of a Virtual Assistant, Web Designer, Accountant?”
Imposter syndrome became my loyal friend on my business journey.
There were many people that took advantage of my naivety from a financial perspective too, but hey, lessons to learn and tick the experience box. To this day I won’t give them my business!
Fast forward to 2011 and the lightbulb pinged on.
“You have all the natural products for a manicure except a nail polish remover. Go and create one.”
My thought process had no barriers to this, no doubts, just a go and do attitude.
Acting now and thinking about the consequences/results later is part of my DNA. Planning and research weren’t my forte then and I still struggle a little with the former now at times. Hence me having a business coach alongside me on my business journey.
Eventually a bit of Googling led me to a company outside of the UK that made a natural nail polish remover. Not ideal, but I’d found one. First part of the challenge complete.
“I’ll be a distributor; they don’t have a UK one” says my head. Again, no thought process, just “I want to do this, I’ll learn on the hoof.”
Oh no, they weren’t having any of that. Her words were:
“No dear. Prove your sales for a year by being a retailer and we’ll think again.”
Another Red Flag.
Nope I’ll make my own. “Really are you kidding me, what on earth are you thinking?”
No, I didn’t hear those words in my head and I’m so glad I didn’t.
I sought help from Business Link. They shared details of a few cosmetic manufacturers in the UK. I went for the one nearest to home. That wasn’t a good move and is a whole other story!
After only a few months of talks, ideas being bounced around, my hero product, the UK’s first made natural nail polish remover, was born: Fresh Therapies Natural nail polish remover. My business journey was all worth it. My baby.
I ended up buying the IP from the manufacturers and it’s still mine today, now being sold internationally. BOOM!
Once I had received some great advice from the founder of Green & Black organic chocolate (who is also is the Queen of the Green Beauty arena), the awards started to roll in.
I took stands at trade shows in Olympia and Excel and got my first overseas stockist in Germany. He’s now my EU distributor.
I also landed what is now one of the biggest Australian organic/natural e-commerce sites, who still stock Fresh Therapies to this day.
Four products later and three in the pipeline, I’m rolling into 2022.
Trust me when I say there were so many crashes, disasters, and mountains I had to overcome on my business journey (isn’t hindsight wonderful?)
Roller coasters of emotions and learning is very much an understatement. Navigating the path to Everest’s summit blindfolded comes close!
It was tough, lonely, sleep deprived, tearful at times and uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. With a sprinkle of fun and the odd air punch to myself of course, not forgetting that silly little happy jig we all do. You know the one, right?
But we learn, we change and we grow.
Of course, I have supportive family members and now a network of business owners that I can rant and rave with who understand my irritations, stresses, and gripes. I’m so grateful for each and every one of them too.
Would I change what I do? Not really. Would I do some things differently? Of course.
I don’t take compliments well, when people say, “Well done, look how far you’ve come on your business journey”, Nelly’s there mumbling away, she must put her two pennies worth in.
My response is always “Nah, not really, it’s what you’re meant to do in business (rolls eyes).”
But every so often I’ll accept those compliments. I’ll look back at the PR coverage I’ve gained and notice the date. Just a look at the shelf with my awards and the different packaging variations I’ve travelled through, and negative Nelly shuts right up!
There is a famous quote by artist Mary Engelbreit,
“Don’t look back, you’re not going that way”
Which I totally agree with 99% of the time. But there are times when you need to look back to see how far you’ve travelled on your business journey and what you’ve achieved. You need to appreciate your growth in order to give yourself that well deserved pat on the back and sound the trumpet for your happy dance to commence.
If you looked back on your business journey, how would it make you feel?
Delighted or deflated?
If the latter, how are you going to flip it?
Go look and see what rises to the surface.
PS. That other natural nail polish remover company outside the UK? They no longer exist.
Mic drop ?
Want to chat? No worries you can email me [email protected]
Phone – 023 8073 9595
Want to find out about the products? – www.freshtherapies.com
Want to read more of our blogs? Read more here – https://freshtherapies.com/nail-lounge/