Entrepreneurial World Gets Better As a Mompreneur | An Interview with Jayde Tonna Whitelaw
It's still a notion to add a 'female' entrepreneur, a 'lady' boss or a 'female' disruptor while praising a woman's leadership. Well, after stumbling upon so many arguments and conversations about women empowerment, the road to achieving gender parity could be a long one, however, beyond all of it, there are women selflessly advancing the entrepreneurial world with their leadership skills and groundbreaking innovation. And one such mum-preneur, Jayde Tonna Whitelaw, has taken over the hair and beauty industry by storm with her 15 years of experience and unmatchable passion.
As women, we have been magically winning the trick of balancing our professional and personal lives for years now. And Jayde's "secrets to nailing it" has become a great inspiration for all the young entrepreneurs of the industry. A mother of 2 , step mother of 3 and founder of two very successful businesses, High Maintenance Hair and Shape Of You, Jayde's knowledge and strategies are nothing short of spectacular. While her smooth work strategies and management seem like a doddle from far, I knew there's a much more intriguing world behind the curtain. So, I met her to understand more about her business approaches and her life as a mompreneur.
1) Hi Jayde, I am excited to know a lot about you. For starters, can you tell us a little bit about your business, its purpose and how it started?
I started hairdressing fresh out of high school at 15 years old, I qualified with high distinctions at 19 years old. I managed a hair salon in my early 20’s that was owned by two non-hairdressers. It used to frustrate me with their lack of qualifications in the industry and their know it all attitudes. With my standards high after working for them for 6years I ended up buying the salon. It was a franchise, and that’s where I went wrong. An entrepreneur does things their way and takes the risk, owning a franchise meant I was still under someone else’s rules and after 12 months I decided I had to get out and do it my way. I opened High Maintenance Hair, a salon where I pride myself on using the highest quality products, keeping updated with the latest trends and attending education classes as well as customer service that is a cut above the rest!
My body sculpting clinic was a business that was just meant to be. After having 2 babies with in 2 years I was feeling a little self conscious about myself. I did some research about the world of body sculpting and decided to book in for some treatments myself. After 10 weeks of treatments I had completely transformed my body but at a very costly price, I had Fat Cavitation, Cryolipolisis (Fat Freezing) and HIEMT Sculpting (High Intensity Electromagnetic Therapy) . I had thought about how amazing I felt but also the “mum guilt” of spending so much money on myself. In my mind I thought, so many people could feel as amazing as I do but most either can’t afford it or just don’t want to spend that on themselves. So I decided that I was going to buy a clinic and make sure I was so affordable and competitive with my prices so I could transform the bodies of men and woman all over NSW. Being an independent clinic allows me to do it my way instead of having a franchise or head office calling the shots.
2) What are your secrets of balancing your personal and professional life that keeps you ahead in the entrepreneurial game?
Being a mother is number 1 and business comes 2nd, that’s a mumpreneur. I am a mother all the time and I have the luxury to chose when I work. My husband and I share the work load at home and caring for the kids, we also make use of daycare some days and we have very helpful close family members, most notably my mother, who help out regularly. This way I have certain days that allow me to fully focus all my energy into my businesses. Being so determined for success and the goal to set my kids up for life is what is pushing me and keeping me ahead in the game!
3) How would you define the importance of picking the right expert for your hair maintenance and body sculpting?
Picking the right expert for your hair and beauty needs is paramount. Your hairstylist must have up to date skills, be current and fashion forward. They must care and have the experience and skill to be able to personalise a look to suit each individual client. With Body Sculpting they should be certified, know what they’re doing and be able to prescribe the right combination of treatments to achieve the desired result. In both hair and in beauty it’s very important to have trust and to build a personal relationship with your clients. They’re both very intimate industries - as soon as you meet a new client you need to touch them. It’s important for your clients to feel comfortable with you.
4) Your industry is all about being adaptable to versatile requirements and expectations. What are some of the approaches that help you keep up with it?
Yes, I agree both industries are forever evolving. My best approach is to always be honest and to have thorough consultations with my clients to find out the their full history. One of my trademark strategies is to under-promise but over-deliver.
5) As an expert with 15 years of experience in the industry, what would you recommend to someone who just started into this industry?
For either industry, do it with passion or don’t do it at all. For hair in particular you start at the bottom as an apprentice, and it gets hard but if you really want it you will persevere. You will learn the craft of the industry and the satisfaction I receive is so rewarding when I can change the way someone feels about how they look.
6) Finally, what energises you about your work?
I am 100% a people person! Knowing that everyday I get to meet new people, listen to their story and inspire them with mine is what energises me. Having a career that is build on transformation and being the reason for a “before and after” is my drive and it excites me.