Nominated in 2020 and 2021 for the Wales Semi Permanent Makeup Specialist Of The Year award, leading brow artist Lorna Roythorne-Du Ross is the owner of RDR Microblading in North Wales. Here, she talks to Timely about her journey as a salon owner, relocating during lockdown, and the importance of seizing opportunities.

What was your journey to becoming a salon owner?

I originally trained in nails and began working in the beauty industry whilst I was at university studying for a nursing degree.  I realised that hair and beauty was where I wanted to build a career and so, after a year of working as a mobile nail technician, I opened my own salon in North Wales.  

However, much as I loved my salon and business, I felt a bit like I couldn’t find where I sat in the industry. It wasn’t something I could really put my finger on, I just knew that something wasn’t quite right for me. Consequently, when I was presented with the opportunity to work within a new profession, I took it; the timing felt right.  I sold my beauty business and spent three years working as a wedding coordinator. 

Lorna Roythorne-Du Ross; Salon owner and award-nominated brow artist of RDR Microblading, Abergele, North Wales.

That time away from the beauty industry proved fundamental to my personal growth and an important part of my journey.  I began to understand that the reason I hadn’t felt completely comfortable with my position within the hair and beauty industry was due to a lack of belief in myself and my own ability.  

I had always wanted to be a microblading artist but had been too scared to do it.  I knew what I wanted to do, and it was actually taking a break from the beauty industry that gave me the confidence and courage to do it. I did the training, got the qualifications, and opened my microblading business.  Then, during the COVID-19 pandemic, I relocated to an incredible new salon, which I refurbished during the third lockdown. 

Why did you open a new salon and invest in refurbishment during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

I wasn’t actively looking to relocate at that time, but the opportunity arose to move to a salon that I had always coveted.  The timing felt right, and my mindset is very much that businesses that survive the pandemic will go on to thrive.  Had COVID lockdowns not been a factor, I suspect I would have been a bit more cautious.  But the closure periods presented the perfect window of time to properly refurbish a new salon, and meant that I had something new that I was very proud to shout about when everything reopened.  

Did you make any other changes to your business during the pandemic?

Yes, I took my business online and invested in the Timely software.  I recognised that Timely would afford me with the opportunity to manage my business more efficiently and effectively, but I was still very scared about taking the plunge.  I knew that the software would hugely benefit business operations, but I was concerned about how staff and clients would react to the change.  In reality, I had absolutely nothing to be worried about though as the response has been fantastic.  It’s much more professional, clients love things like the text reminders, and it’s already generated new business.  

What advice would you give to other hair and beauty industry professionals? 

Your career path might not always go in a straight line, but sometimes it’s the diversions along the way that ultimately get us on to the right track.  The key thing is not to let fear hold you back from taking options that are open to you.  Learn to pivot. Don’t stand in your own way.  Seize the opportunities.