After a career in Human Resources and Training in the corporate world, I worked part time as a facilitator in change management and corporate values and part-time as a homeopath.
At the grand old age of 42 I met and married my husband and we moved to a remote rural area in Swaledale. We decided to have a bit of a life change and I left my training work behind and trained in aromatherapy, massage, Indian head massage and reflexology, eventually adding in beauty, hair and makeup over the years.
This led to me opening up Ginger Tree which has evolved over 17 years to be an award-winning holistic skin and lifestyle business, supporting client to achieve healthy skin and improved lifestyle
In a way yes, right up to the age of 18 I was going to be a teacher. Never thought about doing anything else. I dreamed about it, played schoolteacher games, my teddy bears and dolls were my pupils and even had a register! And although I didn’t go to do my PGCE after my degree at Birmingham University, I found different ways to express the teacher in me – fitness instructor, aqua aerobics, training in the corporate world and completed my IPD (as it was then) diploma. Now, I have completed the required teacher and assessor qualifications, so that I can take Ginger Tree and all it stands for into the area of NVQ Holistic and Beauty Training – Ginger Tree Academy.
Throughout my career I have always been deeply committed to my own personal development. I can’t see that learning ever stops. It is through learning that I have developed and changed my career as suited me on life’s journey. I also learnt, that in beauty/holistic industry, there is little regulation and too many organisations offering inadequate courses and the public are unaware that their therapist may hold little but a piece of paper stating they are a reflexologist after two days of training. The piece of paper gets them insured, but their so-called training is woefully inadequate and brings our industry into disrepute.
It’s one of the reasons I am a member of BABTAC/CIBTAC who are championing the move to greater regulation within the industry and educating people to understand the difference between regulated and accredited training courses. Regulated courses meet the standards set by the Government for National Occupational Standards and are overseen by OfQual. They are assessed by both internal and external assessors and are rigorously examined. This is what Ginger Tree Academy will be providing. NVQ 2 and 3, eventually 4 in Facial Services, Aromatherapy, Massage, Indian Head, Reflexology.
Many challenges over the years and I sometimes wonder how I have managed, but my determination and belief in what I am doing has kept me going. The biggest problem in the early years was quality rental premises. I had to move five times.
Keeping my business running and succeeding despite a spinal accident, COVID-19, and the endless multiple plate spinning many of us deal with daily. But I have persevered and after many times a Finalist, winning both the Individual Salon and Facialist categories at the 2022 BABTAC/CIBTAC Awards has been the biggest boost to my morale in a long time.
Clarity in what I am doing – belief that I can do it (sorry that’s two)
When I was in corporate training, back in the early 80s, the idea of formal mentoring was becoming more of a thing……business started springing up offering mentoring, coaching, business development. I’ve taken a different view. I do it myself. I think, explore, read, learn and make my conclusions – by doing this people come into my life that I can share and learn from and vice versa. When the student is ready the teacher appears…..this has led to some lasting healthy business relationships that are mutually supportive, but not formal. I also have avoided the idea of accountability and having an accountability partner – this is alien to me. If I decide to do something, I do it. I determine the why, when and how. I am responsible for myself and I listen to my inner self more than the outer world.
My early working life was in male dominated industries. I have rarely encountered obvious sexism, but I am sure that unconscious bias was constantly present – in myself too, in so much as I didn’t realise it was happening. Accelerating change isn’t always about being loud and angry to get the point across, although this important, but highlighting the subtle, sabotaging unconscious bias would do a lot to create awareness without threatening others.
Develop and listen to your intuition. It never fails.
Getting the training academy up and running and training my successor as I plan for my retirement……or at least semi-retirement!