Willow Day Spa – People of Timely
On a peaceful sunny day in Brisbane, we popped in to see Laura at her tranquil little haven that is Willow Day Spa. See how she went from renting a back room to opening her very own space. Watch the video
You’ve been in the game for 9 years now. Tell us about your early days and how you got into running your own business.
Well, I always knew I wanted to be a beauty therapist, so I started studying beauty therapy one day a week while I was in high school. At Grade 12 I graduated with my Diploma of Beauty Therapy, and then I got to working in the industry straight away. My first job was at Endota Day Spa, and that’s where I fell in love with organic beauty therapy.
After working there for six months, I got an interview to work on a cruise ship. I got put onto Royal Caribbean ‘Adventure of the Seas’, in Malaga, Spain. They picked me to be head facialist and I did the Mediterranean and Caribbean on that ship for nine months, and then I came home to start my own salon!
I mainly worked out of my home salon, and then to gain a bit more brand awareness and to grow my clientele, I rented a room in a hair salon which was halfway down the Gold Coast (Over an hour from where I lived). I worked out of there for about two years and still to this day some of those clients drive an hour to see me, which is really cool.
“To gain a bit more brand awareness and grow my clientele, I rented a room in a hair salon”
What are some of the things you find the most important as a beauty therapist?
You definitely need to be passionate about what you do. You have to love what you’re doing, and really want to help the client as well. You have to want to make a difference.
Clients often come with concerns, and they’re coming to us as professionals to fix those concerns. You might be a good therapist and you might know all the moves and things like that, but the connection you have through your hands with your client definitely comes from within. It’s something that not everyone has, so it’s a very special thing when you find a therapist that is super passionate and really cares about you and what they’re doing for you.
“The connection you have through your hands with your client definitely comes from within.”
You said that you don’t sell products, you recommend. What do you mean by that?
It was something I picked up on the cruise ship. I had such high targets, so I just had to sell, sell, sell. It didn’t matter if the client necessarily needed the product or not, you just had to hit your targets.
I didn’t enjoy doing that, and I decided I wasn’t going to do that in my own business. I don’t like to be sold to myself, and I treat clients the way I’d like to be treated.
I recommend to clients what they could be using on their skin for best results. I use all the products myself as well, so I’m not going to be recommending something that I’m not passionate about, or don’t love myself. If clients are coming to me with a concern, I’m just giving them my advice, my experience, and my knowledge. Telling them “This is what you can do to help”, that’s how I do it.
“I’m just giving them my advice, my experience, and my knowledge.”
What would you say to someone starting their own business?
I’m still learning every day. Luckily for me, I grew up in business, my parents and grandparents had their own businesses. I’ve always been business minded I suppose. I think for me, it’s just following gut instinct. I don’t sit and think too much about things. If I want to do something, and am passionate about doing it, I just do it. If it doesn’t work out, then it doesn’t work out, but you’ll never know if you don’t try. Just go for it.
Founder, Laura Soszynski