How I Made the Leap From Overworked Agency Account Director to Helping Hundreds of Salon Owners Build Profitable Businesses and Lives They Love

Before the CREAM vault of salon and business resources was overflowing with content…

Before the memberships, webinars and Facebook groups…

And long before experiencing the ultimate reward of watching my clients succeed when nothing else prior had worked for them…

I was an overworked executive, who though quite pleased with what I had achieved and with the income I was generating, nearly threw the most important thing away. It took one critical moment for me to pivot entirely.

A Few Stairs, a Tiny Little Hand, and I Was Out

It was 1995. I was divorced with a 5-year-old son. I had taken a week off work but still had the nanny come in so that I could get some much-needed rest.

Suddenly… a loud bang echoed through the house. My son had fallen down some steps and both the nanny and I raced to help him. As I approached, my son put his tiny, little hand up, signalling me to stop and said, “No” as he wrapped himself around the nanny’s leg.

And there it was; the moment I will remember forever. It’s still as clear to me today as if it happened yesterday. And just as loud.

That’s when I saw that my work, my career and everything I ‘thought’ I wanted, came at far too high a price. I couldn’t continue down this road. There were times I didn’t get to see my son for two days, as I left before he woke and returned after he was in bed.

I didn’t know what I would do next, but I knew that I couldn’t continue to do this.  

Back to the Drawing Board

After I resigned from my position, there were three things that I knew for sure:

  1. I wanted to be able to bring my son to school and to put him to bed at night – So I needed my own hours. I absolutely could not be an employee again.
  2. I had led lots of successful campaigns for my clients, which got them results and helped them grow – So I knew that I was a competent leader, mentor and strategist.
  3. I loved the beauty industry, so why not focus on this under-served industry in particular?

When I put those three things together, I came to the conclusion that my ideal role would be a business coach within the beauty industry.

When I put those three things together, I came to the conclusion that my ideal role would be a business coach within the beauty industry.

It seemed perfect. I knew the beauty industry was a profitable one for salon owners, and I could see that it was also timeless, it’s always be seen as recession-proof. In my estimation, strategy could overcome anything that might be happening on an economic or societal level. Plus from what I’d seen, only a very small percentage of operators seemed to be doing the business right, through no fault of their own – the majority were just excellent at their craft, but not at business – meaning there was a huge need for someone with my experience.  

I was confident in my knowledge, leadership skills, and my ability to strategise, but there was one thing missing.

I had no direct experience in owning or running a salon.

So I decided to do the only logical thing – open my own salon and get some experience in that arena.

I spent 9 months immersing myself in research. I mystery shopped hundreds of salons to find out what I liked, what I didn’t like and what I could do better. I analysed endless skincare ranges and attended the product schools of the ones that made my shortlist. And I studied location and the market, so I knew what to expect.

In September 1996, Me Skin and Body made its debut.

After lots of Waxing, Kneading and Buffing, I Discovered the Key to Building a Profitable Salon…and It Was Not Waxing, Kneading or Buffing

Like many of you, I started out offering the full beauty experience. That meant I offered waxing, massages, manicures, pedicures and even tanning. But all of these offerings have something very important in common. They are NOT profitable. For all the reasons, you likely already know. They’re time-consuming to perform, and there is no way to scale them because profit is entirely based on how many services you can perform in a day. And that was clearly capped. You can only charge so much for a wax no matter how great your service, and you can only ever do 16 in an 8-hour day. Plus they offered very little in the way of retailing products and anyone who is successful in this industry knows, retailing is where scalable profit is. In short, if these treatments weren’t attracting clients that would convert into skin clients, they were actually hurting my business.

What I learned was that the real money was in skin treatments. In just 60 minutes, a therapist could perform a facial. In 30 minutes, a peel. Both go for $120, which is more than double what a therapist would make giving a half-leg and bikini wax that also took 30 minutes. When you fill a therapist’s schedule with skin treatments instead of beauty treatments, there was suddenly lots of potential. Not to mention, that skincare is all about getting results, and in order to get long-lasting results, clients need to invest in the right skin care products. This was another potentially lucrative revenue stream, and a way to create loyalty and customer retention – the lifeblood of a lucrative business!

Over the course of my 15 years as a salon owner, I made my fair share of mistakes. And along the way, I fine-tuned the strategies and protocols that actually did generate substantial and recurring profits. Along the way, I dropped the focus on beauty treatments and dropped some offerings off the menu altogether. Gradually, my business developed a reputation for being a results-driven skin-focused salon. The minimal beauty treatments that remained existed solely to provide an all-round service to skin clients.

It wasn’t until my last 5 years of owning the salon that I saw real profits being produced consistently. During the first 10 years, I spent a lot of time working in the business as the manager and receptionist, but in 2005, I no longer had to do this. I had finally built my business into a system-based operation that ran like a well-oiled machine without me. It’s the models from those last 5 lucrative years and similar protocols that I now teach my students. I Was Finally Ready to Be A Business Coach

With all of that experience under my belt, I finally felt ready to start my coaching business. So I jumped in. My first live workshop attracted 5 salon owners. I’ll never forget setting up the chairs in the reception area of my salon on a Sunday afternoon. It may have been an intimate affair, but I knew I had made the right decision. As I talked about my experience, and what strategies were needed to elevate a salon business to the next level, I was hooked. This was my special sauce, the place where all of my talents and experience coalesced. I had so much to offer, and I was so excited to share it with others.

Over the next twelve months, I grew so that I was attracting 100 to 200 salon owners to my workshops from across Australia and New Zealand. Finally, success felt more in line with my life and purpose. I wasn’t overworked; I loved work. And my teachings were helping business owners get real results.

Now, I’m Known For Bringing Strategy Into the Salon

From working in the industry and now watching others in the industry, strategy has always been a huge missing element in the salon business. Salon owners usually are great at two things. They are great service providers because they spend so much time tending to their clients. They make you feel comfortable, cared for and right at home. And they’re really well versed in the science of all the skincare that they’re providing. They’ve got all the knowledge on what’s going on with your skin and how to fix it.

What they overwhelmingly don’t have, however, is a strategy for bringing all of that goodness together so that they are consistently making a profit that leads to a high quality of life doing the thing they love.

I am the coach that offers that missing piece

My primary focus is on delivering strategies that help salons achieve high performance from their teams and enduring profitability. My clients are salon, skin clinic and Medspa owners who:

  • Want to build a highly-profitable business that doesn’t depend on them for the revenue
  • Are focused on skin
  • If not focused on skin, are looking for a way to make that transition.
  • Are tired of working so hard for so little, if any, ROI and are ready to learn how to finally get their business to provide them with the money and lifestyle they want

I have been coaching exclusively since 2010 when I sold Me Skin and Body for a brilliant last paycheck.


Mastermind Business School 
High Performance Therapist Academy

My coaching focuses on teaching leadership and business management to salon owners and training high performance to beauty therapists. If these sound like areas that could use some elevating in your business, I encourage you to take then next step.

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