I'm lying..It's really long! I just wanted to keep you updated, I should do it on the website really but it all takes so long so thought I'd whizz over a quick blog post to keep you in the loop - so much has changed!! When I started Lovehair, I put my heart and soul into my business, but looking back it was a bit of a one sided relationship. And if I’m honest it sucked the life out of me a little, leaving not enough of life for me. But now I feel like Lovehair has morphed and changed again and what it has become, is beautiful to me.
My little business had been nourished and cherished and it blossomed. At our peak we had over 70 stylists all over the UK. Endless enquiries sometimes over 20 a day, (WOW!) but all of them needed replies, following up and looking after - That takes time and lots of it. Lovehair has a great reputation based on our high level of customer care and reliability and I couldn't afford to lose that. I had2 ‘bookers’ to help with customer care, working in the office taking bookings and helping with marketing, social media (and sometimes even childcare!! God love 'em!) In this business there is no room for error but that means no shortcuts or half assed emails. Everything took time and money and managing. It was crazy big. A business like this isn't scaleable after a certain point, so you need to do it for the love. Unfortunately 'Love' of your job only gets you so far and lasts so long. (I will write another post in more detail, for stylists that may be interested in how that works.)
We had it all, and a beautiful studio for trials and seminars with big arched windows and clean lines. It was a gorgeous place to be. But do you know what? I wasn’t happy. I was stressed and started to begrudge my job..Classic working mum stuff – You feel like you’re giving everything 100% but you're not doing anything very well and there's nothing left for you.Then you feel guilty because you're exhausted and not giving 100%. Waaahh!? (Mum's, why are we so crazy!? If you get this - GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK, yeah?)
I hated managing people, I barely saw my children or husband, I was on the computer more than I was making things beautiful. I wasn’t being creative and I had no time for the stuff I wanted to do. This wasn’t the plan! This wasn't working clever, this was working my butt off!
Then my sweet, darling Nan passed away. It made me realise how little this ‘empire’ meant to me, and how much I just wanted to hang out with my kids, surf, be creative, be happy. Do my 'thang!' I missed my life as I was too busy striving for a better one.
When you have children, it is such a mission to get the balance right between their precious lives and yours. I felt that as my little dudes got bigger, they needed me more, not less. So I reasessed. I stopped and saw that I was/still am one of the lucky ones, able to 'even out the playing field' by changing the way I worked. So I did.
I let the studio go. I let the staff go and I cut back my team. I felt sad, but not for long as I realised success isn’t having a huge business, success means getting it right and being happy. Being successful and making money doesn’t have to mean working your ass off if you work smart.
I took some much needed time out to have a think about what I wanted and it turned out I already had it - A creative, exciting, rewarding job working with lovely people, that I am able to fit around my life! I am sooo lucky to have a skill that allows me to be able to do something I love. Don't get me wrong, it's not easy. I still work damned hard and my darling wingman has massively helped, supported and encouraged me but I'm doing it.
I still work, probably as much as I did, but because I am smarter and stricter with family time I have more time off and more holidays! I never wanted to stop working. Just change things up for the better, I knew there was another way. We're showing our kids that hard work pays off but playing hard is important too. My husband often says ''Team work will make the dream work'' He's being naff and ironic, but ironically it's true.
Since then, the training side of my business has sky rocketed (woop to that!) I am proud beyond belief to say that I have students coming from all over the world to attend my courses. I teach bespoke courses to individuals and small groups of people just like me. I work with them to get the best out of themselves and create a career they love.. The feedback and comments I get are so overwhelming and spur me on to do more. I am really looking to keep growing this side of my business and find time to fit more teaching in. My students are awesome, it's great to inspire others, but just being around such creative and passionate ladies and gents makes my day.
The rest of my working week is given to my brides. Last summer I had up to 4 weddings a week. Next summer (2016) is already 50% booked. It’s a little overwhelming to be so in demand and have your year planned out in front of you. The best bit ismost of them are recommendations or bridesmaids from previous brides or just bloody lovely gals - That’s the biggest compliment for me and when I work, I feel like I’m with friends so it doesn’t feel much like work at all. Win win!
I also do quite a bit of styling for red carpet events- This year I styled hair for the BAFTAS and Ivor Novello awards as well as the gang at Downton Abbey for a charity dinner. I hope to be in Cannes next summer. I also give a certain amount of time to working on shoots, although unfortunately this is seasonal as I just don't have time in the summer.
So 100% of my work time is now given to my brides and my students. I am not cutting myself into chunks for staff, team members and their brides. I feel like I can give everyone my all and they appreciate it much more. I have never had as many letters, flowers and presents than I have this last couple of years. It’s just been overwhelming and the best type kind of learning curve. I work with just one stylist now - Amanda ( I will share more about her in another post as I feel I am getting distracted. She is great though, you'll love her as much as I do!) I also use various assistants for larger bookings or early mornings
I also have time for my life – yoga, the beach and of course my little babes - They are not so little anymore though, hence my need to tie them up and make them spend time with me before they move out!! Not Craig, he's gonna stay and we are going to surf and travel our way into retirement!) And I'm only half joking when I say - As a new vegetarian, trying to work out what to make who for dinner and where that next bit of protein is coming from, is taking up quite a bit of time too ATM!! (All inspiration here greatly received!!)
But if you hadn’t picked up on it yet, I love my job. Like, I freaking LOVE my job. I really hope that comes across in my work, my blog and I am so excited that I will be VLOGGING soon too! I am just starting to get my act together now things are quieter. It's going to be all about the hair, tiny weeeny bits of my life and some pretty cool how to's!
So that’s it. That’s where I’m at now. I hope you enjoyed the read and I didn't bore the pants off you!!
On a side note - If you are bride getting married in 2016 and you would like me (or Amanda) to do your hair & make up you better get in touch quick!
OR If you are thinking about getting into the wedding hair industry, or maybe you already are and resonate with some things I’ve mentioned, please don’t be a stranger! I’d LOVE to hear from you. As I teach all my students - Other stylists are not competition, we've probably got more in common and than anyone else! Let's support eachother
On my courses, I teach the skills that make a good wedding hair stylist. That includes personalised guidance for your own business, on working smarter & getting your business /life balance right. Following on from this - If you are a stylist thinking about starting a 'bridal hair /make up agency' (Or a bride about to book an agency)..I will be blogging about those next week.
Either way, I hope you'll follow me as I continue my journey and I hope one day you'll drop me a line to say 'Hi'. I'm nice, I promise!
Thanks for reading