Samantha: My Journey - part 3
Samantha Elizabeth salon is born…
In my journey so far, I’ve told how I started in hairdressing, dealt with illness and found my determination and where I wanted to be in my career. This third blog is about starting my own salon, Samantha Elizabeth.
It had always been my ambition to own my own salon by the time I was 30. When Salon 46 closed, I signed the lease for the salon which would become Samantha Elizabeth, literally two weeks before my 30th birthday!
We carried out a fairly big refurbishment of the property, including building new walls, new ceiling, lighting, and new paint. I have to say, that I loved fully designing my very own salon. And thanks to my dad who came in and did so much of the work with me.
Since we opened in November 2016 the salon has gone from strength to strength. It seems unbelievable to think we are now at our second anniversary. It’s even more unbelievable to think I will have been a businesswoman for five years in January 2019.
Success in business is never down to one person and there is no doubt that the success of Samantha Elizabeth belongs as much to my team, who have been brilliant. My success I owe to my mum, dad and my partner Luke, who keep me strong, sane and help me in so many ways. They are my cheerleaders behind the scenes and the glue that holds me together – and we all need that.
Anyone who runs their own business knows that taking time out is very difficult. But in August this year I took three weeks out for a very special holiday. Luke and I planned a fly-drive around America. We visited Las Vegas (before you ask, no, we didn’t get married) we flew to Atlanta hired a car started a drive to Tennessee visiting Chattanooga, the Smokey Mountains, Nashville, Memphis and Niagara Falls.
This was a trip of life time and I loved every minute of it.
In Vegas we played a little golf, had a little gamble, I attempted craps which didn’t end well...
In Chattanooga we visited a breath-taking waterfall and we walked through a cave which was 145 feet underground and saw a waterfall located more than 1,120 feet beneath the mountains surface, called Ruby falls.
The Smokey Mountains is the land of the bears and though, sadly, I didn’t get to see one, the National Park is absolutely stunning.
In Gatlinburg we stayed in a log cabin and I would love to go back there for Christmas, as it really was like something out of movie – have you seen ‘A Smokey Mountain Christmas’ starring Dolly Parton?
I’m a huge country fan and Nashville was out of this world. From the live music to the architecture, the vibe and the energy, Nashville is literally like nothing I have ever experienced. Memphis I wasn’t a fan at all but we visited Elvis Presley’s house – one word “Wow!”
Niagara Falls is also out of this world. Niagara town reminded me a little of Blackpool. The falls are like nothing you have seen before – EPIC. If you ever go there, the Maid in the Mist boat ride and trip is amazing. We had tickets called the discovery pass (this was on the New York side - who knew you could walk along a bridge and be in NYC) which enabled us to walk around the falls literally feeling the falls on our feet and face. We went on a boat, we walked a couple of beautiful walks, we went to the aquarium there and we had lunch with the view of Niagara falls. It was a fantastic way to end our holiday.
Three weeks was a long time for me to be away from the salon but I had total faith and trust in my team which is why I took my first holiday like this in nearly 5 years. I left my team to run the salon under the management of my assistant manager Kate! This year has been about restoring a work life balance.
When you’re building a business not everything goes smoothly. I made mistakes but that is part of the journey. When you step outside of your comfort zone and take on responsibility for a business you learn hard and fast but it makes you stronger.
You also need to keep motivated and driving ahead and I have taken inspiration from some important sayings in my journey to date, such as:
Positivity breeds positivity
Everything for a reason
Have faith – believe you can and you will
There is no such thing as can’t
Trust in yourself
SO what’s next for me? Having achieved what I set out to do, what is my next ambition? Stay tuned and I’ll blog about that one day...
Thank you for reading my story. Most of all, thank you for your continued support and loyalty to Samantha Elizabeth.