What made you want to be a beauty therapist?
Being a Beauty Therapists opens so many doors; I think a lot of people forget that there is much more to this field than just working in a salon day in, day out. Becoming a Beauty Therapist, for me, has pathed the way for a life changing career. I have experienced so many different aspects of beauty therapy, as have many of my staff. Working in the salon, working in sales, conducting training, public speaking, manufacturing, travelling the world –the list goes on! The possibilities and experiences are endless and I think that is what sparked my passion initially. I also love the level of faith people place in me. There is a personal level of trust between myself and my clients when I am conducting a treatment, they are confident in my technique and experience to provide a safe and comfortable treatment. There is also the trust between my company Waxxxpress and the customers who trust (and expect) our products to give them the best results every time – there is nothing quite like having the support and trust of so many people to make you want to keep going and be the very best.
What are the most important attributes of a person that you would hire?
The top things I look for in my employees have to be Initiative, a willingness to learn and awareness of others. I have hired many people who before they walked through our doors knew absolutely nothing about wax or waxing. Knowing wax is in no way a pre-requisite that we look for in an employee, but having the enthusiasm to learn and an understanding that learning is continuous is very important! As I travel frequently, I need a team that will use their initiative to make sure everything keeps flowing smoothly while I am away from the office. There are always a million things that need to be done on any one day and I’m very thankful to have great employees that can push themselves to ensure we reach our goals. The most important trait for any employee in my eyes is awareness. It is so important to have people who are aware of others of what is going on around them, who can see when things are tough or stressful and are prepared to put their hand up to help a fellow colleague. These people are passionate not just for their job but for the company as a whole. You cannot realize a dream without a team, so having the right one is extremely important.
Do you have a role model or other sources of inspiration that have helped inspire you during your journey?
My parents would have to be my biggest role models. My mother was an extremely hard worker and had the most dedicated work ethic of anyone I’ve ever known. This has been instilled into me and I strive to be more like her every day. When I believe in something I put everything into it. When I was young my father would always tell my sisters and I not to fight and to be kind to one another. As we grew older so did his lessons and his number one rule for us all was to “surround yourself with young people – they will keep you moving and young at heart.” I love this piece of advice, and it’s very true. Especially in this industry you need to surround yourself with people who keep you young, vibrant and full of energy as it can be quite a demanding role. I also travel regularly to conduct international training and I gain a lot of inspiration here. I am very fortunate to be able to visit other countries and see firsthand not just how the beauty industry works differently but the world – these trips are always eye openers for me. A lot of people think that after this many years you could maybe sit back and enjoy all your hard work, but for me there is always something else to do. We are constantly evolving and taking aspects of the company to a new level. To this day I am still in the office almost every day in a sales capacity, researching, developing and training. I am surrounded by a great team of staff who all have different skills and talents that they bring to the table; I admire and learn from them all each day.
What is your favourite Waxxxpress product?
Coconuts Hard Wax. Our ingredients were unlike other waxes on the market as we used synthetic resin. Synthetic resin also known as hydrocarbon resin or polycyclopentadiene is a manmade resin. We are trained to think natural is always better, but when it comes to resin this is not the case. Resin derived from trees are unrefined and can cause allergic reactions and product instability. This is what made Cocnuts stand apart it was much safer, more consistent in production batch to batch and easier for the therapist to work with. High quality synthetic resins are easy to colour and fragrance and often appear fresh and clean, hence the creamy white colour of Coconuts! Coconuts has quickly gained a reputation for its exceptional flexibility which makes Brazilians and waxing delicate areas so much easier. It will not go brittle or crack on the skin, delivering unrivalled results and giving confidence to even the most inexperienced therapist. Coconuts combined with my unique waxing technique ‘The Butterfly’ and ‘The Secret Garden’ provides exceptional results for both the therapist and the client. Every week I get emails from therapists telling me just how much they love this product and how they as well as their clients can feel the difference.
What advice do you have for students who want to become successful in the industry?
To be successful you need to think it, visualise it, practice it and believe it. Just like with any job you need to start at the bottom and work your way up, this gives you a better understanding and appreciation for when you finally achieve your goals! Nothing good comes easy these days, you have to work for it and then slowly things become easier because you have done the hard yards! Get a casual job or work experience in a salon while you are studying; cleaning, answering phones, working in reception. Practice makes perfect and while it may not all be hands on, any experience is good experience. A good work ethic, dedication and customer service skills can get you a long way in this industry, not just with getting hired but also when it comes to getting regular repeat customers.
If you are looking at opening your own business the key is not to over complicate things. You need to keep it simple and specific to what you know best. This applies for business in general not just with beauty therapy. There is nothing more satisfying than making your dreams happen, but you need to be prepared to work hard. Running your own business is in no way easy – if it was easy everyone would do it!
Lilliane Caron – Founder of Waxxxpress If you’d like to ask Lilliane Caron for some advice on your own salon, email [email protected]