In the latest in our series profiling therapists who use Botanicals products in their treatments, Lisa chats to Carol Hardy-White (right).
Tell me a little about yourself and your business
My name is Carol Hardy-White and I am married with four children and two grandchildren. My husband and I also support my younger half-brother who has complex needs. We live in a Victorian house which is the second house we have renovated. In my spare time I love decorating, crafts and sourcing vintage items for our home.
I have been in the holistic/beauty therapy business since 1999, and my business name is ‘Natural Health and Beauty by Carol’. I work within a multi-therapy clinic in Farnworth, Bolton, offering an extensive range of Holistic Beauty treatments. I aim to provide a friendly, relaxing and comfortable space in which clients can relax and unwind. I also like to share the benefits of holistic therapies with my clients so they can become more informed and therefore more responsible for their own health and well-being if they so choose.
What was your journey into the therapy business?
When the eldest children started school in 1994, I took a post as a ‘Special Needs Assistant’ working in local schools. In 1996 I left to study full time Access courses with a view to gaining a degree and a PGCE. In the evening I added a Beauty Therapy Level 2 course out of interest.
In 1999 I completed my courses and gained a place on a degree course. However, I did take a year off in 1997 as baby number 4 arrived, and after much soul-searching, decided to stay at home full-time, postponing my degree. I used my Beauty Therapy Qualification to work part-time around family commitments.
In 2003 I came across some aloe vera products which helped my youngest daughter with her debilitating IBS symptoms. Without much planning I set up a network marketing business with my husband recommending the products to others. The business was very successful. Also that year, I added reflexology to my treatment list.
In 2006 my husband and I were involved in a 50mph head-on collision. Thankfully we both walked away with only cuts and bruises, but it did make me take stock of my life, and later that year I decided to leave the network marketing business as I wasn’t enjoying it. I felt it was taking me away from my holistic therapy business which I enjoyed.
Since 2008 I have added more therapies to my treatment list to include Indian Head Massage, Hopi Ear Candling, Swedish Body Massage, Hot Stone Therapy and, more recently, Crystal Healing.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love meeting and talking with my clients and helping them to get the most out of their therapy session. It’s satisfying as a therapist to see someone walk out of the door feeling relaxed and happy after arriving earlier looking stressed and sad.
What’s been you’re greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge has definitely been finding a suitable room for my practice. In the last few years I have worked at two hair salons, a gym, a holistic shop and also from home and now I work within a multi therapy clinic. Even my husband encouraged me to give up as it didn’t seem to be working, but I was determined and knew it would work out well once I found the right environment for practicing my therapies.
At one of the places I worked, the rain poured in, soaking one of my clients. When I reported it to the management I was told; “It’s not that bad”! I’m happy to say I now work in a lovely environment; the owners have worked hard to achieve a modern décor and a professional working space for everyone who works at the clinic. The clinics name is Total Health Care and we offer a wide range of therapies and treatments.
What’s been you’re greatest learning?
My greatest learning curve has been making sure I put boundaries in place to keep myself well and also to enable my clients to be as empowered as possible. In the past I have had a tendency to make myself too available to the detriment of my own health and well-being.
In 2008 I studied Naturopathic Nutritional Healing. Everyone was looking to improve their health and going on a ‘journey’. Great emphasis was put on looking after your health and putting boundaries in place. I did think ‘how selfish’ at first, and just wanted to know more about helping others. It’s taken me a long time but I now know I’m the most important person in my life and if I don’t keep myself well I cannot help others.
What made you choose Botanicals for your business?
I wanted a skin care range that was as natural as possible, organic and made in the UK. I know from my naturopathic nutrition course how damaging chemicals can be to our health and wanted to eliminate as many as possible from my daily routine and also pass on what I have learnt to my clients.
A fellow therapist friend with the same mind set recommended Botanicals and I’m so happy to have been introduced to these award winning products and it’s a privilege to use them in my practice.
How do you integrate Botanicals into your business to make it such a success?
I use the Botanicals skin care range in my practice for pedicures, manicures, reflexology, facials and massages. My family and I personally use the range to include the personal products so we can actively recommend them with confidence. Each client is given literature and samples and I love to share my knowledge about the benefits of Botanicals and of course all the products are out on display for clients to try. Botanicals literature is also left in the clinics reception area.
What is your favourite Botanicals product and why?
My favourite Botanicals product is the Rose and camellia moisturiser (right). I love the smell of roses and the way it leaves my mature combination skin feeling moisturised without being oily.
I have very sensitive eyes and I’ve tried numerous natural moisturisers containing essential oils before but they tend to make my eyes water especially in sunlight. I have no such problems with this moisturiser – or the rest of the botanicals range I have used.
Do you have any client success stories of using the products you could share?
I put on an incentive in March to win a discounted facial to introduce the botanicals range. It was won by a new client; a neo-natal nurse. She has continued with regular facials and also purchased the Rose and Camellia skin care range. She is very impressed with the products and the improvement with her skin. Her work environment aggravates her dry sensitive skin and since using botanicals her skin has been less prone to sensitivity and dry patches.
What are your plans for the future?
I intend to complete my Diploma and Clinical Certificate in Naturopathic Nutritional Healing very soon. I’m sure teaching will be on the horizon also. I’ve put it off for long enough, but think it will be teaching adults, not Primary school children. My spare time hobby of collecting vintage and making craft items has also developed into a business ‘Kitty Whites’ which is an online vintage retail shop named after my Grandma who loved to sew, knit and crochet.
Liberty’s of London – famous for their beautiful home wares, alongside their luxurious spa – have shown some interest in some items a friend was selling on my vintage online group and it has got me thinking. So who knows?