BEAUTY therapist Laura Preston, 23, started her own business last year. Her salon, Beauty by Laura, is based in Stafford’s Church Lane.
Like anyone with their own business, Laura is working long hours. She is clearly relishing the experience, though, enjoying the freedom that comes through self-employment.
“I love working for myself. I can work as hard as I want and get the rewards. I have also been able to choose all my favourite products, things that I use myself, to bring to clients. I really like working with the public and have a great relationship with them both in the salon and on social media.”
Laura began her journey to self-employment by studying beauty therapy at Stafford College. Therapists qualifying at the college have the opportunity to work with members of the public in the training salons on the campus and she says that helped her develop confidence as well as skill.
“I loved my time at college and would happily do it all over again,” she says. The course was brilliant and it was really good to have that salon experience. A lot of therapists were quite nervous at the beginning and it gave us a chance to work on paying clients and develop our customer care skills.”
Many young people find it hard to move into employment but no doubt helped by her success as Student of the Year in her final year, Laura admits that “It was really easy to find a job. My tutor recommended me to one of the businesses that have a really good relationship with the College and I started work there as soon as I qualified.”
Laura worked at that salon for a number of years before she felt ready to spread her wings.
“There are disadvantages to running your own business. It is hard to plan and you don’t have a set wage. You need to be really well organised and accept that you’ll never switch off from thinking about the business.
The rewards are immense, though. I’d advise anyone with ambition and the drive to work hard, to take the plunge”.