0:00:01 My name’s Kirsty J. I work for Saks Franchise Services and my job role is beauty development coordinator. My job role incorporates overseeing the products and equipment we have within the Saks network and we have over 100 salons nationwide. As well as that, I oversee education, customer promotions that we have on an annual basis, so overall quite a varied job role which I suppose makes it really exciting.
00:00:28 As a little girl, my friend and we would always be there, we used to massage each other with the craziest of things and, you know, it sounds quite scary, doesn’t it? But, you know, we’d use all sorts and she used to always say to me, ‘you have such a good touch. You should go into that when you’re older’.
00:00:45 The typical comments on my reports were, ‘Kirsty’s far too interested in hairdressing than work’, so I think at school I always knew that it wouldn’t…I wouldn’t go into a career path that was academic. It would be something that was far more creative, more dealing with people. Something where your personality would really shine and lead you through your career path if you like.
00:01:07 I’d then done some research and looked into doing a beauty therapy course and done a two years BTech National Diploma at college and beauty therapy and it was during that time, I met the most amazing woman who really inspired me about the beauty industry and how you can change people’s lives. Really the time at college and being able to experience real inspirational people was key for me and I think that’s where then my aspirations were, ‘yeah, I really want to be that person. I could do that, I want to do that further down the line’. So, you know, beauty was definitely for me.
00:01:43 At a young age, at 18, I went off on the cruise ships and flew over to Florida on my own and, you know, I’d done that for three and a half years and it was the best experience of my life. I think I came back a completely different person, you know. I was always a follower whereas I come back a leader. It was daunting but at the same time I just felt this overwhelming independence and I was really proud of myself for doing it so I never looked back from then on in.
00:02:11 The cruise ships was where I had my very first ever dilemma with a client, and an American client at that and I was doing an eyebrow wax and I unfortunately waxed the client’s eyebrow off and with five minutes trying to comb two hairs and a nit back into place, I realised that there was no other option but to actually tell the client that I’d waxed her eyebrow off, which was, she wasn’t an amused client but we learn by our mistakes. I’ve never done it again, thankfully.
00:02:41 Once I came back from the cruise ships, I applied and sent my CV around to different salons and one of them I took to my local Saks salon and unfortunately the franchisee there didn’t have any vacancies but she did interview me and she passed the CV onto our head office and it was from there that Richard Bland, the General Manager, interviewed me and took me on as a beauty therapist within his salon and, although I used to travel by train, two trains, two hours each way, so I used to do four hours of travelling each day, I really saw the opportunities of working for the General Manager of a national company and I’m pleased to say that those four hours of trudging in the snow and rain in the winter and getting home at 10 o’clock on a night really paid off.
00:03:27 For me, being a new mum to a little toddler who’s one, what’s really good about that is when I’m at work, I’m at work and that’s my focus, but when I go home on a night, I am able to switch off because it’s family time and I think it’s important to have the work and family life balance correct. I’ve got that split and it’s great that I can go home and actually switch off from work because that’s now Dylan’s time and family time.
00:03:56 My career means the world to me and I mean, you know, I love being able to come to work and having a sense of achievement at the end of it and, you know, and people…being respected by colleagues as making a difference in Saks Beauty is a fantastic achievement for me. The great message that I can give out to anybody is that anything’s achievable, you’ve just got to really work hard at getting it.