Welcome to the very first of (hopefully) many features on Inspirational Women that I believe could all teach us a thing or two whether it comes to life, career, family, business, spirituality or whatever the teaching and learnings may be that they are bringing into this world we live in.
What better way to kick off this series by introducing you all to my very good friend and all-round inspirational business woman, Rochelle Collis – director of Laser Clinics Australia Bondi Junction & Eastgardens.
I met Rochelle a few years ago at the Pink Hope Bright Pink Lipstick Day when (thank God), Rochelle’s talkative soon-to-be husband and all-round (also!!) business & inspiring man, Babak Moini, got us talking. Since then I have seen Rochelle grow even more – not only in a human capacity but also on the business-front and it has been nothing but inspiring.
I hope you enjoy the interview with Rochelle and take some vital points away from it you can incorporate into your own life.
Director of Laser Clinics Australia – Bondi Junction & Eastgardens
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I have a varied background – I have changed careers many times. I started as a media buyer, then transitioned to direct marketing (I am going to show my age now – at the time we were doing broadcast faxing!).
After an extended trip abroad I came back engaged and pregnant. Interestingly, it was extremely difficult to get a job even though there was plenty of direct marketing work (it was the lead up to the Sydney Olympics). For the first time ever I found it difficult to be a woman in the workplace.
Eventually out of desperate needs I took a job in a pharmaceutical company – my next career move. I never would have chosen a drug company… boring, I was completely wrong. It was exciting, fast paced and financially rewarding. I spent 10 years selling drugs and fell in love with pharmacology. My last corporate role as a rep was selling a cosmetic dermal filler. Goodbye blood pressure – hello Lip Treatments.
Working within the cosmetic industry gave me the opportunity to purchase my first clinic. There is nothing more fulfilling than working for yourself, this will be my final professional role…. I am finally home.
What is your philosophy and the philosophy behind your Laser Clinics Australia Outlets?
It’s a simple philosophy behind the LCA concept; put the customer first. We deliver high quality services at an affordable price. It sounds basic, however this concept changed the industry and the market. Many people couldn’t afford cosmetic treatments, but by using our purchasing power and passing on the savings, we have opened the market and made a lot of people happy.
My personal philosophy; make the staff happy to keep the customers happy. A good team culture makes the biggest difference to the customer’s experience.
How did you get into the beauty industry? Have you always known what you wanted out of your career and career-path?
To be honest; I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I tend to believe work is like fashion – you must try a few things on to see if it works. Me getting into the cosmetic industry was random but I knew from the start it was for me. Any job where you want to work when you get home, is the job for you!
What is the most rewarding part about running your own business? And equally; what’s the not so great thing about it?
Working with the team and watching them develop their own career path. I have had girls start with me straight out of school and I have seen them progress into trainers, managers and superstar skin experts. A few have studied nursing and have come back to become nurse injectors. A few have started their own business. I believe that supporting career development creates the best performance in their current role.
Saying goodbye to good people is always hard.
What are your top 3 tips for anyone wanting to start their own business in the beauty industry?
Customer Service, Customer Service, Customer Service. We are a service industry and you must like to Service.
Are there days where you want to ‘throw in the towel’ or what keeps you going when days are tough?
I have had hard times and what made me ‘keep on keeping on’ is the team. I have a genuine respect and interest in their well-being. You can’t have a great business without a great team.
What’s the best career advice you were ever given?
Stay true to your beliefs. Your ethics can be corrupted if you don’t live your beliefs. Sometimes it’s a difficult long road but it’s always the right way to stay true.
Have you had mentors throughout your career and do you continue to have someone you always turn to for advice/guidance?
Babak Moini is my partner in life and in business. I have tried my best to copy/paste him!
You are also a mother, a (soon-to-be) wife and a very caring friend – how do you make time for yourself and your own beauty routine? Do you believe we can obtain beauty purely topically or does it also stem from healthy eating, exercising and being a good person?
The latter; health is the cornerstone of life. We have work-hard and play-hard clients who come into the clinic for rejuvenation however we can’t replace the water they haven’t drunk, the sleep they missed, the exercise that isn’t done. Everything starts with health and then we can enhance the natural glow.
You are incredibly supportive of charities close to your heart and donate fondly of your time, heart and money to help these causes – why is that?
Have you heard of an African philosophy called Abuntu? It is translated into English meaning “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity, that a person is a person through other people” Claire Andersen wrote to me about this philosophy and I have naturally lived this purpose. What helped the most is having a partner (Babak) who lives by it too.
What is next on the cards for you?
I’m focusing on the stars – I want my clinic in orbit. My business helps built confidence and it’s a joy to grow that.
Any last words or advice?
Don’t ruin a good today by thinking about a bad yesterday. Let it go.