Grace is a self employed Beauty therapist, she retrained after having her daughter, Evie who is now three years old and in nursery part time.
Tell us your name and a bit about your family? When did you become a Mum and to whom?
My name is Grace Galley, I am 32, and married to my husband John who is a chef. John works 60 hour weeks, and at Christmas, even longer.
I have a daughter, Evangeline Rose who is 3. And at some point in the future, we would like to increase our family. At times I feel like I am a single parent! It has been hard, but John and I love each other and we are making it work!
What’s your business called?
Beauty by Grace
Can you describe it in one sentence?
My slogan is ‘Be your own kind of beautiful’.
I get fed up seeing overmade up women on social media. Be brave, and know yourself, and then tell your beautician what you want!
When did you become a Beauty Therapist and what inspired you?
I met John and fell in love, got engaged, got pregnant! Being pregnant made me so happy. Evie arrived and I continued planning our wedding, and we got married when she was 9 months old.
Even though I absolutely loved being a mum, I felt like I had lost myself, I felt like I had no identity.
I decided to go along to a college open day, with my aim to pursue a hairdressing course, when I got there I was told there was no availability on the course but there was room on the Beauty Therapist course.
I decided to go for it, and am so glad I did. My experience working in customer service has been so beneficial to this job, I feel like I am a natural. Although, I’m not a natural when it comes to business, and have found networking very hard. At times I have wanted to give up, there has been a lot of tears, but my love for Evie has kept me going. I want to be able to provide a future for her, and give her the opportunities that I never had.
How did you fund your start up?
I was lucky – my mother in law helped fund my college fees, and I received subsidised nursery fees for Evie, she went to the on campus nursery for one afternoon a week.
Since completing my qualification, any money I have earnt goes straight into the business, I completed my first year’s taxes and made a loss. But we are lucky that my husband is earning enough now to support us and allow for my business expenditures.
We have sacrificed other things to allow my dream to blossom, we don’t have a car, we rent our property, we don’t go on expensive holidays and don’t have regular nights out.
How do you manage working around your children?
I really struggle. Most of my big earning jobs are primarily at the weekend, however, John being a chef works every weekend.
Evie is now at nursery 2 days a week thanks to her 15 hours free childcare, so this has been a big help to allow me to get my important business related jobs done. I still have people wanting treatments in the evening, so I try to book people in on the evenings when John is home.
Can you describe a typical day, what tasks do you have to get done, how do you manage your time?
No day is a typical work day, every day is a mum/housewife day, and then if I’m lucky – and depending on Evie’s mood, I may or may not get some ‘actual work’ done!
When I have a job booked and John is at work, I have to prepare everything the night before, and look after Evie up until the last minute and then race to my client. I then work without a break and then race back home to look after Evie! It is incredibly tiring, but the pay is good. I know in time it will get easier, or at least I hope it will!
What challenges have you faced in your business and how have you overcome them?
I have successfully created my website and branding, something that took a lot of time to create and was completely alien to me!
I have had fellow colleagues let me down at a moment’s notice (twice this has happened), where I have then been left to deal with the clients on my own (both where a big party has been booked). Its shown me how hard working and conscientious I am, and that I am a true professional.
What’s the best thing about being Beauty Therapist Mumpreneur?
That I can choose the days I work, if I know I can’t find a close friend or family to look after Evie – I won’t take that client, work can always wait. Quality time with Evie is more important to me.
What are your plans for the future?
To continue to build my client base up to allow me to work solidly on the days when Evie is at nursery – and improve my work/life balance.
The ultimate goal is to one day have my own beauty salon.
What advice would you give for someone just starting out in business?
Don’t give up. It’s incredibly hard, and at times soul destroying! Believe you can do it and you will!
Also, before you start spending money, work out what it is you want and how you are going to get there. I did it all with no business plan and have wasted money as a result.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us?
I have tried to focus my business around being as natural as you can be, and highlighting natural beauty. I want to empower women and make them realise, that they don’t need ‘HD Brows’ and a smokey eye to be beautiful, they already are!
I also have recently starting introducing cruelty free and vegan products into my treatments. And I am now an Independent Consultant for Neals Yard Remedies.
I feel you think that being a Beauty Therapist might be for you, have a look at the stories of other businesses offering professional services.