#NLGirlBoss: My Story by Susan Roche

I'VE BEEN AT THE HELM OF MY OWN BUSINESS FOR 25 YEARS THIS YEAR AND IN THAT TIME I'VE WATCHED SIMILAR BUSINESSES COME AND GO...

Newcastle Hair & Beauty Clinic is the longest standing beauty salon in Newcastle and I think that's down to my strong management style and my fantastic team of female dominant staff. Like anybody, I've been through hardship and I've weathered it, as a result I've learned to be strong - I discovered early on in this career that women often aren't taken seriously in senior positions and I've had to factor that in to my approach to business. I'm sure any #GirlBoss will back me on that one!

What piece of advice would you give to yourself at the beginning of your Girl Boss journey?

Enjoy the moment it passes so quickly. Keep a diary there will be so many amazing mile stones and memories along the way that you will forget a lot of them that should be cherished.There's will be disasters and bad decisions on your journey but they will only add to your experience of life and enrich it by enabling you to grow and learn. After all if there was no rain we wouldn't see the rainbows. 

How do you define female empowerment?

Female empowerment is subjective, in the beauty industry to me it's several things - from making a cancer patient feel reconnected with the world by giving her an eyebrow treatment that restores her confidence, to teaching staff to lead on brand new treatments and watch them flourish (training is paramount to me & my staff). I think empowerment comes from confidence and confidence comes from knowing you've enhanced your skill set. I hope my staff would say that they feel empowered!

How did you feel after completing your first treatment?

Completing your first treatment in the beauty industry is a real milestone, but the real achievement is when that customer keeps coming back because they have confidence in you. That's when you know you made the right decision to put the hours in and learn the trade. I still put in the same effort as I did for that very first treatment and that gives me a real sense of pride.

How did you feel after officially registering your business or opening your own premises?

It was so daunting and terrifying but also empowering and exciting. I realised this was it and I had to be an adult now, making my own decisions and standing by them. I was so proud inside and had to contain this euphoric feeling that threatened to show all over my face every time a potential client walked through my door. 

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