Botanicals resident therapist, Lisa, chats to Carol Pollard (right) to discover what inspired her to become a therapist, and why she uses Botanicals products in her range of treatments.
Tell me a little about yourself and your business
I studied beauty therapy on a part time basis with the Oxford International College of Beauty and began treating clients as soon as I completed each module of the course. The first module I completed was Facials and Skincare, a treatment I still absolutely love offering!
I completed both the NVQ2 Beauty Therapy and NVQ3 Body Massage with the Oxford International College of Beauty and then completed another NVQ3, this time in electrical treatments, with the Oxford and Cherwell Valley College where I entered and won the SEBTA 2009 competition. (Student Electrotherapy Beauty Therapist Award – a national competition for level3 students organised and sponsored by Carlton Professional).
I am also a qualified lecturer in post compulsory education and sometimes guest lecture in the Beauty Therapy department of the Oxford and Cherwell Valley College.
I opened my salon in 2012 and offer skincare, swedish, deep tissue and lava shell massage, manicures and pedicures (natural or gelish), eye treatments, waxing and Hopi ear candling. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful, warm and welcoming salon at the end of my friends garden so have the convenience of working from home without working from my home!
What was your journey into the therapy business?
Beauty is something that has fascinated me from a young age. I remember walking through the beauty section of a big department store near my home in South Africa and being utterly enchanted. My first job, aged 16, was as a perfume girl, I worked my way up to cosmetics consultant and was hooked. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to study beauty therapy on leaving school but the dream remained and eventually the opportunity arrived after my son was born.
What do you love most about what you do?
I love being able to listen when people want to talk, to be quiet when they want to be alone with their thoughts, and to be able to help people when they need me. It may be something as small as the confidence boost a client gets from a well shaped and tinted eyebrow, to having a good cry after a relaxing massage because they are so relaxed and just can’t hold the stress anymore – it’s a good thing to be able to let go of stress and I always feel honoured to be allowed to help.
What’s been your greatest challenge?
Learning not to stress when the appointment book is empty! I now take advantage of the quiet times to plan, clean, tidy, update the paperwork and get in touch with clients who haven’t been in for a while. When I’ve done all that I go shopping or meet a friend for coffee!
What’s been your greatest learning when marketing and promoting your business?
It’s not easy and when you make mistakes they can be costly. Honestly, word of mouth really is the best form of advertising…
What made you choose Botanicals for your business?
I had a few requirements that I wasn’t flexible on – such as the company had to be English, with the products made in England using ingredients available here. I also wanted an organic range which was not available in a high street store. Another thing was I didn’t want was to be forced to spend a minimum amount when ordering, and I wanted to be able to build a rapport with the person on the other end of the phone. I got samples from a couple of brands and Botanicals won hands down on all fronts – choosing Botanicals is a decision I am extremely happy with.
How do you integrate Botanicals into your business to make it such a success?
I use Botanicals Massage Oils for all my massages and have had so much positive feedback. From exhausted runners extolling the virtues of Muscle-Ease to eczema suffers breathing a sigh of relief with the unfragranced oil easing the discomfort – it’s definitely a winner. I also use the products myself and have recently introduced my 11 year old daughter to them too, what better way to show my confidence in the product than to let her use it?
What is your favourite Botanicals product and why?
It’s got to be the Chamomile and Mandarin Facial Serum! A little goes a long way, I love massaging it on before bedtime and it really works! It has become a part of my bedtime ritual and I can’t image going to bed without that soothing massage…
Do you have any case studies / client success stories of using the products that you could share?
I have a regular massage client who is a runner. Before I discovered Botanicals his legs recovered from a long run over a period of about a week but now that I use the Muscle-Ease oil his recovery time is about 4 days – but if it’s an Ultra Marathon it may be longer!
What are your plans for the future?
As the skincare and massage products have been so successful I plan to start using the hand and nail range this year too – unfortunately I just need to finish my old stock first otherwise I would have started them for summer manicures and pedicures!