Owning it with Beauty Therapy

Beauty Therapy

Studying beauty therapy doesn’t mean that you’ll forever be stuck in a salon, painting nails and bidding to the will of your employer. Find out about the bright future and possibilities you have with Beauty Therapy.

There is this huge misconception when it comes to beauty therapists, perhaps you automatically think about a pretty blonde girl wearing a decent amount of make-up who doesn’t really have much going on upstairs. Where this stigma came from, I have no idea. Perhaps it was fuelled by jealousy or one bad experience. Regardless of this, personally, I have never met a beauty therapist who fits this description.

If you’re interested in beauty therapy, or any other vocational career like hair dressing or cosmetology, you shouldn’t pay any heed to these misinformed opinions. I met up with Sheri-Anne Muller, a beauty therapist with 16 years of experience, and spoke about all things beauty-related. I was honestly quite surprised to hear about the subjects she studied, not because I think that she’s uninformed, but because I didn’t know beauty therapy went so deeply into the science behind beauty, with subjects like Anatomy and Physiology.

A Bright Future with Beauty Therapy

Studying beauty therapy doesn’t mean that you’ll forever be stuck in a salon, painting nails and bidding to the will of your employer. You could rise in ranks in salons, but Sheri informed me of many other avenues you could pursue with beauty therapy. Some of them include:

  • Opening your own salon (which Sheri did)
  • Working on a cruise ship – travelling the world while earning a decent income. I’d say yes please!
  • You can extend on your education by doing courses in specific treatments – like laser or reflexology.
  • You can also broaden your field into the sports and fitness sector by doing sports massages or by offering a more holistic approach at health and fitness centres with skincare treatments.

No matter which option you choose, the potential for growth in your career and personal life is abundant. But only if you really have a passion for what you do. Sheri really emphasises this point when talking about a future in beauty therapy. She says that the work is generally extremely physically exhausting and without the passion, your will and ambition to continue could fizzle out.

Her passion and ambition for her career has allowed her to run a very successful home salon. When I asked her what she least enjoyed about her job, she actually had to think about it for a couple of minutes because she couldn’t think of anything she didn’t enjoy. In the end, she decided that working for yourself has its downs since you need to work to earn money and long periods of leave is generally not taken. And when you love what you do, that’s a minor problem. Most of the time.

If you have the passion, the ambition to succeed and a heart for people, then take a seat and read further.

Studying Beauty Therapy

Now that the beauty therapy stigma is out the way, it’s time to figure out where to study it. With fellow lovers of beauty, health and skincare, Potch Academy is the perfect fit. They offer courses in a wide range of vocational careers, including photography, hairdressing and interior design. Their aim is to provide you with an education that extends and improves your current skills and prepares you for the world of work and entrepreneurship.

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They’re situated in Potchefstroom so you would be living amongst students from Potchefstroom University. The opportunity for a great student life and education is out there. Deciding not to attend university and go the vocational route doesn’t need to be a sacrifice to the full student experience. The opportunity is waiting for you. All you need to do is make the decision to ignore all stigmas, listen to your heart, and follow your passion.

Just remember that with a career in a field that is forever developing with new discoveries and technologies, your personal path should follow in this growth. People will always want the latest trends and developments to be used on them. Continue to take courses throughout your career to stay up-to-date, to improve your CV and to offer your clients the best care. Potch Academy offers a variety of courses, with many of them complimenting one another, allowing you to study the basics and extend on your skills.

Working in a Salon vs. Working from Home

Fearing whether or not your future as a beauty therapist is a secure one, especially with the somewhat instability of our economy, is not unwarranted. People tend to follow security rather than passion nowadays, since sitting jobless in 20 years is not the ideal.

I asked Sheri about the general pay of a beauty therapist. Since she runs her own business, her potential income is completely different from someone working in a salon. This is what she had to say for those starting out in a salon:

[su_quote]It depends where you’re going. Most places give you a basic and then work on a commission basis for products and clients. They try and motivate you. It has to be your passion otherwise you can get demotivated. You’re looking at a ±R5000 basic salary and the rest is commission. So the girls and guys really need to work but the potential is out there.

When you work for yourself, you don’t have the overheads and rent that salons do. You also get to choose what treatments you want to do and what your hours are. There’s a lot more freedom in working from home and the earning potential is unlimited. When considering working from home Sheri recommends that you “first get experience in another salon. Get to know the industry first.”

If you’re thinking of starting your own business, you may be worried about the competition. We all know that there are tons of retail salons, spas and home salons. Sheri says this on the matter:

What makes it different working from home is that you have a loyal client base. At shopping centres it’s more walk-ins. I prefer the loyalty because I build a relationship and get to know their needs and wants. Home salons are more popular. There isn’t really a competition. There’s more than enough people to go around.

And don’t worry about advertising either, word of mouth and Facebook will ensure the success of your salon.

Her last piece of sound advice for anyone who’s thinking of pursuing a career in beauty therapy is,

Make sure it’s your passion. Be prepared to work hard. Stay fit and healthy to be an example to motivate others. Never stop learning. Always pursue more knowledge in the industry.

Beauty Therapy in the Face of Economic Decline

We’ve all felt the effects an economic struggle has on us and our families. Outings happen less often, food becomes less creative, the same clothes are worn often. A bad economy effects every individual, household and business. Those that don’t feel it, are amongst the lucky few and probably handle their finances superbly.

This might make you worry. If people can’t afford new clothes or outings, how will they afford treatments? You actually don’t need to worry, strangely enough. History shows that during economic struggles, the sales of cosmetics go up. Why is this? Men and women do things to make themselves feel better when things get tough. Women do this by boosting their confidence with cosmetics. Sheri says that in her opinion, people like to escape reality for an hour or two and splurge in a treatment to feel good for a little while.

Sheri mentions that her business has never really felt the effects of an economic struggle. She says that people like to feel good and be pampered and that need increases when hard times come around.

EduConnect 2cents

We know that it’s become cliché to say “follow your heart,” but it’s true. If you follow your heart, you’ll be so much happier and feel rewarded from your job. You’ll perform better and strive for more. Go have a look at Potch Academy’s site and find something that suits your wanted lifestyle and interests. They have many vocational courses on offer, which is better than a university degree depending on your course and the outcomes you wish to achieve.

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