Bethmay, you have been one of Port Macquarie’s favourite beauty therapists for many years now. And now you have some exciting news to announce about a new business venture; can you tell us a little bit this?
In July, my former sanctuary TONIC Beauty Therapy bought The Vanity Room, now known as VANITY Medi Spa, situated at the Port Marina next to Sails by Rydges. After nearly seven years of treating my clients at my home clinic, the time had come to expand and my children wouldn’t give up any more rooms! So after a very quick-look see, we realised this was to be my new home as such. I have the beautiful Hastings River as my backdrop and a group of friendly businesses within the Marina. We have had a few slight tweaks at VANITY Medi Spa, and in the New Year will continue as my clinic evolves with combining dermal therapies and traditional spa and beauty treatments.
Tell us a little bit about your background …
I’m Port Macquarie raised and was educated at what was Westport from Kindy to Year 12, where many a fabulous teacher helped guide me on my journey and whom I’m still lucky enough to get their input from even 25 years on! Must be my name they don’t forget! I moved away when I started my career in the beauty and wellness industry at the Strand College of Beauty Therapy, where I gained CIDESCO and ITEC qualifications.
I am happy to have had employment every day since, and over the many years I’ve been able to travel our amazing world and combine my love for industry also. During my home clinic years, I fell into teaching and after completing my Training and Accessing Course, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed six years at Trendz Beauty and Training, imparting my love for my industry onto all who have started their journey with us.
Over the last 18 months I’ve completed more studies through the Australasian Academy of Cosmetic Dermal Science and I’m happy to now provide Dermal Therapies for those needing more anti-ageing modalities in the management of their skin, promoting integrity and optimal function.
What is it that you love most about what you do?
I love our cells! Simply put, but so very important for me. The love for the cell gives me results, and that is what drives me. In my 23 years in the industry, no-one has ever asked me to make them look older! I see many a different skin. Skin disorders that can break your heart, such as Acne and Rosacea. I treat hair concerns that cause distress to individuals and many impaired Immune Systems, which is always a concern. But every day I am privileged that I can bring results to such conditions, and over time with skin maintenance programmes and a combined effort with my clients, we aim to achieve a harmonious result.
What are some of the challenges you face running your business, and how do you manage to overcome them?
My challenges as a parent are no different to any working mum; it is a constant juggling act. I have a fabulous team at VANITY Medi Spa who are very conscientious workers and are aware that if I am teaching or leaving early for parental duties, they take over. I am extremely lucky that my shift-working hubby has a 12-month roster, like Trendz, so our calendars certainly get scrutinised. When all else fails, my parents are our go-to for back up, along with our great neighbours.
The most obvious business challenge is that I’ve gone from just me to eight staff and all that that entails. A substantial shift in overheads, a location change for my TONIC clients and a realisation of middle term goals being met are now my daily challenges. I work to a structured business model and have many a mentor I can draw knowledge from, and I’m doing just that. I won’t stop believing in myself, so that is always helpful! And of course, there is always bubbles!
What changes have you noticed in your industry over the last decade or so, and how have you had to adapt to cater for these?
Brows! With the increase in muscle relaxant treatments, we’ve had to totally change our shaping methods. Makeup is another, but that is always changing and when done wrong, can be the most ageing! For more than the last decade, Anti-Ageing treatments most definitely have changed, with many a person not wanting to go under the knife just yet. Hence my path into Dermals, which really came about as my clients were wanting access to modalities such as Peels, Needling, Microdermabrasion and LED.
What advice would you offer to other people looking to open a beauty salon in a regional area?
Be passionate for what you do, but be humble. Never stop learning, as education within our industry is of the utmost importance. We are the qualified therapists; we educate our clients relating to their specific needs; we never stop learning, so know your Integumentary System, your demographics. And remember that you are privileged, as you almost invade people’s personal space on a daily basis!
You are an active Rotarian with Port Macquarie Sunrise Rotary. Can you tell us a little bit about how Rotary contributes to our community and why you choose to be part of this group?
I love my Sunrise Club. Friday breakfast overlooking the water’s edge is such a great end to the working week. We are a fun club and events such as The Big Dig and the Hastings Sports Awards are two events that I think showcase the diversity of our club and its local community spirit. The awesome effort into the Lighthouse “re-vitalisation” project is our latest showcase, which has been a mammoth task to all involved.
And thanks to the re-packaged FOCUS plastic bag, I’ve been able to donate over 500+ baby clothes delivered to families in our Kharikhola Nepalese village. Rotary is all about paying it forward, and I’m extremely happy to do just that!
And finally, if you could invite any three business people to lunch, who would they be and why would you invite them?
The Mas Family, as they head SOTHYS – my beloved professional skincare products which are scientifically formulated and highly specialised. I’d love to see what makes them excited for our constantly evolving future.
My favourite author, Marian Keyes, as she makes me laugh every second year. Obviously I’d ask her to make me laugh every year, but it is so worth the wait for her books, I’m happy to oblige.
Rae Morris, one of my makeup gurus, as I love her energy, passion and how she became who she is.
Thanks for your time, Bethmay!