As the post-pandemic world returns to normal, many beauty professionals are redefining success in their own terms. But how can we find purpose at work without returning to hustle culture? Tamara Reid, Head of Partnerships at Timely, speaks to business owners to find out.

The changing shape of beauty businesses

Most beauty professionals became accustomed to working 10+ hour days as they earned their stripes. But more recently, the industry’s burnout culture has started to wear thin.

As we enter a post-pandemic world, business owners and employees alike are prioritising their mental health and work-life balance over long days on the salon floor. And, many beauty professionals are quitting steady salaried jobs in search of greener pastures.

 

Gry Tomte, founder of HÜD Skin and Body

After moving interstate in 2022, Gry now oversees her clinic from afar.

For Gry Tomte, owner of award-winning skin clinic HÜD, the pandemic lit a fire under her desire to trade her fast-paced city life for beachside living. Rather than sell her clinic, Gry created a somewhat unconventional arrangement: she hired a manager to run the clinic while she overlooked the business from afar. 

“I decided that I really wanted to make this happen,” she shares. “I spent eight months preparing my manager to take on everything while I work remotely.”

Now, Gry travels back to Melbourne once per fortnight to check in on her staff and clinic. “Every second Friday, my manager and I have a lunch date so we can run through her wins and challenges for the week.”

As for the weeks she’s away? “My staff can book a virtual coffee with me and we can have a structured chat or mentoring session. It’s completely driven by them and what they need at that time.”

Natalie Arakelian, founder of Euphoria Skin and Bare Generation

During the pandemic, Natalie used her newfound time to launch Bare Generation, an acne-positive course for skin professionals.

The pandemic gave Natalie Arakelian from Euphoria Skin space to dream up her second business: Bare Generation, a training course on acne for skin therapists and clinics. Not only has Bare Generation diversified her income stream, it’s also given her a renewed sense of purpose. “When I think about the blessings that lockdown has given me, this is something I’m truly proud of,” Natalie says.

“When I first dreamt up Bare Generation, it was going to be a resource for people suffering from acne. However, about 12 months after launch, I started thinking about what I really wanted to achieve and the legacy I wanted to leave behind, and I realised that I really need to be working with clinic owners and beauty therapists.”

Natalie didn’t launch Bare Generation with money in mind; however, it’s been incredibly popular. “Bare Generation is about sharing knowledge because I want to make the industry better. I didn’t do it for the money, but it’s been so successful. We launched eight weeks ago and we’ve had 50 businesses sign up.”

Sharon Carthy, freelance hairstylist operating out of Salon Lane

18 months ago, Sharon went out on her own as a freelancer – and hasn’t looked back since.

For stylists looking for a more flexible arrangement, beauty co-working spaces, such as London’s Hunter Collective or Sydney’s Salon Lane, have become increasingly popular. These shared working environments allow independent hair and beauty professionals to ‘hot desk’ at a fully-fledged salon. Members pay a flat rate per month and then a standard rate per hour for a chair or table while they’re using it. The best part? The flexibility to choose your own hours.

Just ask Sharon Carthy who discovered Salon Lane after ditching her nine to five to become a freelancer 18 months ago. “I wanted to go freelance for more work-life balance and because I felt like I needed a challenge. I didn’t want to open a salon as it can come with a lot of complexities – so I felt freelance was the way to go for me.”

“When I started out, I was already renting a chair at a salon but was finding it hard to grow my business there. A good friend of mine told me about Salon Lane and it seemed like the perfect fit for me.”

For freelancers, a co-working space like Salon Lane allows them to tap into all of the amenities you’d typically find in a bigger salon. “They provide me with a professional space to work from. They have helped me grow and expand my business by posting on their social media platforms. I can buy my stock from them which means I don’t have the cost of a start-up order which can be super expensive. And I get to work alongside other creatives.”

How Timely can help

At Timely, we love seeing beauty professionals prioritise mental health and wellbeing, while generating income in savvy new ways. So, whether you’re a solo operator or balancing multiple different businesses, it’s important to work smarter, not harder. You physically can’t do everything yourself so it’s important to automate and digitise the basics. 

Our automated reminder messages mean you’ll never have to send a reminder text again. Setting up online booking with our Minimise Gaps feature will help fill your calendar with back to back appointments, without even picking up the phone. Being a cloud-based software,Timely allows you to access everything – including client info, reports, business and marketing tools, and more – wherever and whenever you need them. Long story short: we’re a lifesaver for beauty professionals who want to achieve that sweet, sweet work- life balance.