From teen mum to CEO; why the bumps along the way don’t define where you end up.
Being a week out from International Women’s Day (8th March, mark your calendars if they aren’t marked already) has got us thinking about the wonderful and strong women who make up this industry. We understand that everyone goes through hardships, and the paths that lead us to where we are today are all equally full of twists and turns. But when it comes to inspiring stories, LoveBeauty Owner Rachel Diaz’s might take the cake.
Rachel fell pregnant as a teenager and was forced to leave school. She enrolled in beauty college as a way to support herself and her young son and naturally excelled. Although, life was pretty tough living off frozen vegetables and packet noodles to ensure her son wouldn’t go without. As time passed, Rachel’s home-based salon grew, and she went on to marry an established hospitality trader who, unbeknown to Rachel, became heavily entangled in drugs. She lost everything and was once again left to support her son.
Rachel worked hard to rebuild her life, and in 2018 opened her first clinic LoveBeauty in Shelley, Western Australia. She is now happily married to her husband Jesse, who gave up his work as a boat builder to look after their children. LoveBeauty has just relocated to a bigger location with a team of 11 staff currently working seven days a week.
Despite the unexpected bumps, the beauty industry was where Rachel was always meant to end up. She dreamed of becoming a beauty therapist from a young age but put off pursuing it as her mum wanted her to finish high school. She was later introduced to the industry via her best friend’s older sister.
“She worked for a Perth salon that I also later ended up working for. She would come home and tell us all about how she tried the newest spray tan solution, and I vividly remember she had a different set of freshly painted acrylic nails every week, all while she was on the clock! I couldn’t fathom how you could work and be paid to try out and perform these treatments for an actual living. It sounded so glamorous. I was inspired, and I knew from then that I needed to be a part of that world,” she said.
Although, even in a steady business and marriage, life still presents some challenges. Rachel says her husband’s role as a stay-at-home dad has helped her business grow to be what it is today.
“Having that incredible support has given me the time to invest my energy and creativity into LoveBeauty, and I really do think that is why we have experienced such exponential growth over the last four years,” Rachel adds.
Together as a team, their hard work has paid off in the long run, with Rachel moving into more of a management role, allowing her to spend more time with her family. Everything Rachel knows about business is self-taught from working in various spas, salons and clinics across Perth. Her parents had doubts that she’d be able to operate a successful salon without the backing of a business course, but she still defied the odds. She understands she has both strengths and weaknesses when it comes to running a business and knows when to ask for help, but ultimately, Rachel’s killer instinct has allowed her to make these gains.
“I’ve always been a risk-taker. As I’ve gotten older, I have become more calculated, thankfully, but if an opportunity presents itself, I will jump on it while it’s hot and do what it takes to make things work. Making these moves has propelled my business forward and allowed for us to expand into a seven-room clinic with 11 staff in just four years,” she said.
‘Rest, but don’t quit’
This is a business that just four years ago consisted of one staff member. And anyone who has started any business knows that it involves a hard hustle; long hours, seven-day working weeks, shed loads of coffee and levels of exhaustion that you didn’t know existed. But then something magical happens; you see growth. The seed you planted shoots out a leaf.
“When my column was completely booked, I searched for my first team member to share the client load, which also allowed room for new appointments. Once our first therapist also became fully booked (which didn’t take long), we moved into our first commercial space, and we employed our second staff member. From there, with the client demand, our team has kept growing,” Rachel adds.
One of our last questions for Rachel was being a woman who has experienced everything she has; what would be her advice for those who are doing it tough right now? Her response was so great we think it should be printed on a t-shirt.
“Rest, but don’t quit. Believe in yourself, trust yourself and love yourself – you can do anything you put your mind to. If you need help, ask for it, and if you really want to achieve something, you need to go out and make it happen. The rest will fall into place as it’s meant to,” Rachel said.
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