WELCOME TO OUR CAREER SPOTLIGHT SERIES – SEPTEMBER
This month’s Career Spotlight, we managed to pin down and chat with the incredibly talented, fiercely determined business-woman, that is Gemma Rostron (aka my sister).
Gemma is the poster girl for making things happen and chasing her dreams. She has navigated many career changes, including a recent pivot from hairdresser back to business owner (of 2 businesses) and in her interview shares with us the motivation and optimism that she applies to not only in business, but in her every day life.
During what has been an incredibly difficult year, Gem saw an opportunity and seized it, taking a risk (which is not uncommon for Gem), and creating a second small business in the middle of a pandemic.
Read on to see how that risk has paid off for Gemma.
1. Can you tell me a bit about what you do for work and what you enjoy most about your job?
Hi, I’m Gemma, I’m located in the very beautiful Nambucca Valley in Northern NSW, where I own and operate 2 small businesses ‘Fille & Moi Design’, a photography business (created 9 years ago), and ‘Wink Wink Mobile Tan & Bodicare’ (created in recent months). I consider myself to be a bit of a “jack of all trades”. I’m a qualified hairdresser & tanner, and professional photographer and recently added the role of freelance sales representative in the hair & beauty industry to the list. No two days are the same running two businesses, but even though each role has its distinct differences, they share similarities, in that in each role, I get to meet new people, celebrate memorable milestones, and help to promote confidence and self-esteem among my clientele.
2. What is a typical day like?
Where do I start! Each day is different; however, one thing is the same. I start each day with SELF LOVE! (Crossfit is first, meditation and podcasts next) I find this routine helps me to focus and set my intentions for whatever the day throws at me. This could be anything from tanning, running photoshoots, editing or wearing my new sales rep hat, and travelling up and down the coast. Regardless of the variability of my work, I schedule days to focus on certain aspects of my business, for example, Mondays are set aside for admin work, including editing, marketing, graphic design, product ordering, and finance, Tuesday- Friday is more regimented, with client appointments for mobile hair or tanning service, and one day a week is sales repping. Where I travel up the NSW coast and down to Taree, visiting salons and promoting beauty and skincare products. Last, but not least, on the weekends (no rest for the wicked!) I schedule in up to 4 family photoshoots.
3. How has your role /industry been impacted by COVID-19? And how have you adapted?
Initially, I took 4 weeks off in the initial stages of lockdown and saw it as an opportunity to study, learning everything I could about business, marketing and sales. During this period was also when I created Wink Wink Bodicare to adopt a mobile based delivery service to the Nambucca Valley. While in this 4 week period, I also employed the help from the team at Sally Watson to get my LinkedIn up to scratch to support my new venture. Only a couple of weeks after having my profile optimised, I was approached to by Agencie Plus, and am now their North Coast Business Manager, representing 16 Hair, Beauty & Skincare Brands from Taree to the Qld Border
I thoroughly enjoyed my time in lockdown and learnt so much about myself and my two daughters. I set some new career goals to strive toward and have since smashed them out of the park.
4. What was your path to working in this profession?
I have always had an interest in sales and marketing. While working in the hair and beauty industry, I experienced first-hand the limited availability and logistical nightmares in sourcing good quality hair and beauty products in our regional area. With this in mind, Wink Wink was born, and I set out to combine my industry experience across hair and beauty, with my interest in sales & marketing to deliver the very best products to our region. Why should we miss out?
5. Do you need any qualifications to do what you do? If so, what are they?
Yes, I’m a true believer that knowledge is power, and I pride myself on continuing to learn and achieve new qualifications. I’ve completed my Certificate III in Hairdressing, and various speciality beauty courses. I’ve also completed 3 photography courses including a qualification with Kelly Brown (she’s like the Australian Anne Geddes) specialising in newborn Portraits.
6. What is the best career advice someone has given you?
- Continue to learn, and learn like you are going to teach it.
- Organisation is key.
- Always prioritise self-care.
7. What advice would you give to someone looking to get into this profession?
Take some time to work out your purpose in life… This may sound morbid, but picture yourself on your deathbed and think about what you want to be remembered for in your life. If your passion or purpose is a creative career like photography, hair or beauty… study it, learn it and Go For It!
If you are looking to navigate a career change or pivot, you can learn more about our career coaching programs here.