There's no doubt everyone dreams of success, whether it be in Uni, on the sporting field or mastering the perfect winged eye. Unfortunately greatness cannot be achieved over night, it takes determination, persistence and a hell of a lot of hard work. Sounds like a simple formula? Sometimes, motivation can be incredibly hard to find!
Adelaide business woman Leah Brunoli may just be the motivation you need to start kicking some serious success ass. She is the director of the successful hair and beauty salon Fresh Hair and Body (which already boasts five successful salons throughout Adelaide), the founder of Elite Media and Communications and soon to be launched FHB Magazine.
Launching her career at the humble age of 19, Leah is without a doubt a true success story and a #GirlBoss we can all look up to. We caught up with the savvy business woman to talk all about her beginnings, motivations and secrets to success.
With 5 successful salons already in the works, it's safe to say you’re a very busy and successful business woman! Tell us a bit about your story... how you entered the beauty industry and established your business Fresh Hair and Body?
Fresh Hair & Body is about to celebrate it's seventh year of operation. I first opened the salon in Salisbury and after eighteen months we outgrew the premises and moved to Mawson Lakes, which is where the real growth started to happen. I was only nineteen when I first opened the doors of Fresh, however I think that as I was so young, I was determined to prove my age wasn't going to factor anything but success. At nineteen, I had nothing financial to loose so I went for it. We opened the doors to our second location in January 2013 as we wanted to service another part of Adelaide and could see potential in North Adelaide. From opening North Adelaide, our brand grew quite quickly and by sheer opportunity I opened the Doors to number three in Norwood. Quickly after that followed the opening of St Clair and Golden Grove which are already achieving amazing results after just a few short months.
Prior to Fresh Hair & Body I completed a four year apprenticeship and worked as an assistant manager and manager of a few local Adelaide salons. I fell into hairdressing as I had a part time job as a salon assistant at fourteen and this lead to my employer offering me an apprenticeship, I hated school and loved hair and beauty so I took the opportunity and here I am.
What attracted you to the beauty industry in the first place?
Noting in particular attracted me to the hair industry, the only thing that comes to mind is that I always wanted to work with people and be creative and in this industry, I get to be both!
There’s no doubt you are a very ambitious woman! What motivates and inspires you to be so successful?
Great question! My team motivates me and my husband and daughter are my number one fans, so I can't let them down. I have great mentors that I speak to on a weekly basis. I read a heap of Donald Trump's Power books to keep me motivated when I need it most. Overall, it's most definitely my team that motivates me, they work so hard to continue the growth of the brand and really help me push Fresh to its limits.
Are there any times where it all becomes too much and you just want a break? How do you overcome these challenges?
Oh, Absolutely! Just two weeks ago I was in my office and I was having a 'Leah Break down'. Somedays it all just gets too much but I have an amazing support network and they pick me up when I fall. If I am having days or weeks where I feel like im going to go crazy, I contact my mentors and we have a meeting about it, just by speaking about it really helps me put things in perspective.
What do you love most about your job?
I love that everyday is different. Some days I'm working in salon with clients, then I can be preparing a bride for her special day, working on a fashion shoot, right through to PR and marketing in the office and team building with my staff.
Fresh Hair and Body is a highly regarded Adelaide beauty destination. How did you go about creating such a strong image and brand for your business?
Consistency and training. It's important to build a brand that the consumer/client can trust and that means making sure the same business model is applied to each location. Staff motivation and training is also a huge part of our company and they are the future of the industry.
Lots of businesses thank social media for aspects of their success! How have you utilised social media to your advantage?
I love social media and hate it at the same time. Facebook and Instagram are our main social media points. I think being able to showcase your work and get feedback with your client with just one photo is pretty amazing. We utilize it to see what our clients love and what they loathe. Gone are the days of surveys, Instagram 'likes' say it all.
You also have your own self-titled blog, how did this come about?
I started my blog as people requested me to. I get a tonne of emails asking questions about business or the hair/ beauty industry so I decided if I write a blog based on those questions, it can really help others.
What do you like about blogging?
I love the engagement I get with blogging and the emails after I post, from people thanking me. It's nice to be able to help and motivate others.
Without stating the obvious… how do you have time for all this?!
I really don't know. I guess good time management. As a hairdresser of twelve years you have to utilise time well, so I guess its just part of my routine. I just ram everything into my calendar and make myself do it. I also do things as they arise, I respond to emails when I can and I blog when I am sitting at home on the couch. I just do it.
Do you have any advice for other budding entrepreneurs out there?
1. Have a good accountant
2. Go with your gut instincts
3. Google anything you don’t know the meaning of
4. Find a hobby, where you can switch off from work mode. You sometimes need to switch off to be able to be switched on.
What next for Leah Brunoli?
The million dollar question.... Well, more salon locations are on the radar of course and possible expansion interstate also. I have another project I am working on but unfortunately due to confidentiality contacts, I am unable to disclose exactly what that is! What I can say is... It's something that will raise eyebrows and something out of the ordinary.
If you want to check out Fresh Hair & Body, head to one of their five locations at Mawson Lakes, Golden Grove, North Adelaide, Norwood or St. Clair, or head to their website!
All images via Leah Brunoli's Facebook