Sunday 25th February 2018
By Michelle Hammond
Q1 - How did your childhood influence your work ethic and attitude towards
My parents divorced when I was in my early teens, which at the time was an incredibly traumatic event. It meant that my mother had to work full time and I was the eldest of four children and we all had to muck in, clean the house, help prepare dinner and team work was at the core of how things got done. Being the eldest meant I was naturally bossy(!) – I hope that I no longer have this trait, but I am used to directing the way and pulling my team together.
Q2 - What do you believe the principles of a successful business are today?
Employing people who are better within their role than you! It’s just simply wrong to think as a business owner you can do everything yourself and know it better - put simply this is no way for a business to grow and flourish. Lead and delegate, reward and promote, allow people to make mistakes and learn from them. Budget, target and ensure your team is behind you. A successful business puts the customer at the heart of everything, you start and finish always with the customer.
Q3 - Looking back, what was your best business decision?
Purchasing the formula and rights for Universal Contour Wrap. This was back in 1990, when the only wrap around was the old fashioned QuickSlim type of wrap. But I had been working with the treatment in my own salon for a year and had seen the results and knew it would be huge. We had to mortgage the house, and all advice was that it was simply mad - after all it came from America!! But within the first year and after a half page editorial in the Sun Newspaper we had around 150 salons all who were flat out wrapping and the phone never stopped! Now, 27 years later – we still have a solid base around the world working with Universal Contour Wrap, and of course over time this set us up to work in other areas, such as with our range of skincare with Germaine de Capuccini.
Q4 - Who has influenced you the most through your career?
I honestly cannot say there was ever just one person, in the early days I worked closely with a friend and colleague, Anita Clarkson who had a wealth of expertise and knowledge and she helped us with training programmes and came with me when we first visited the laboratories of Germaine de Capuccini taking the decision that they were the right company for us to partner with. I have been inspired by many successful entrepreneurs within this industry and indeed others. I love people who are passionate about what they do, these people get things done! But mostly, I am grateful that my husband believed in me.
Q5 - What was your most difficult / worst business decision?
Trying to expand too quickly. In the early days with our range of skincare we employed a team of account managers and allowed them to run their own diaries and schedule their own calls, but looking back we just did not manage them well enough and the outcome was disappointing. Through this process we painfully learnt that people are not always truthful in their interviews and now we look for solid evidence based past performances, and put in place guidelines and line managers, targets and key performance indicators.
Q6 - What would you say was the single most advantageous character trait for
I am not sure there is just one; I think that Optimism and Resilience have to be within every successful person. Who wants to do business with a glass half empty person, - we all love a positive outlook, but have to be prepared to pick ourselves up and try another way if something doesn’t go to plan! Somebody who is optimistic is able to inspire, encourage and support those around them.
Q7 - What happens when you’re stressed or overwhelmed?
We all have times when it all becomes a bit much! – Leave your desk, get out in the fresh air and go for a long walk. Sometimes you can become so involved in a particular issue and it can become difficult to see the wood for the trees, you need to take a step back and try and take a wider view on the whole situation.
Sleep is important; you can’t work at your best when your body and mind is tired. Finally, always have a cold bottle of Sauvignon Blanc in the fridge!!
Q8 - How do you invest in your own wellbeing. How do you look after yourself?
Running a business can be all consuming, it can take over to the point when you have no work/life balance and I have been there many times. You can worry about all aspects of simply everything, and sometimes it takes a huge, unexpected situation to occur to make you think that goodness, there is more to life than simply work. All I can say is that finding a balance and have a social life outside of work and keeping fit, even by just taking a walk every day can help clear the mind and put things into perspective.
Q9 - If you could change one thing about the spa and wellness industry what would it be and why?
There are two things!
1. Within a training environment to bring in the importance of how any commercial business exists and grows. Retail should be a fundamental part of any transaction. Why let our clients purchase their products from the supermarket or department store? After two /three years of training believe that you, as the therapist, are most definitely in the right position to advise and recommend.
2. To pay therapists well, and certainly more than they can earn stacking shelves in any store. Turnover of staff can be a major problem and the cost of recruiting and training can be considerable. Staff who are paid well, rewarded and trained will give back and help grow the business.
Q10 - Finally, What’s your favourite quote or the best advice you’ve ever been
No – simply isn’t an option! There will always be a way; you just need to find it!
FLASH FACTS - FOR FUN SECTION
1. What’s your favourite book?
Loved A prisoner of birth by Jeffrey Archer and anything written by John Grisham.
2. What’s your favourite film of all time?
Ground Hog Day. I know it's yonks old, but how good would it be to go back and make it all perfect!
3. If you could have dinner with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
Margaret Thatcher - a woman who knew her mind and stuck to her principles,
besides I love politics!
4. You get taken to your favourite place to be, where are you taken?
The Driftwood Beach Club in Florida, where its always hot, beautiful beach, great restaurants nearby.
5. Your perfect dinner is?
6. Your go to drink is?
Cold dry Rose or a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
7. Your favourite sweet treat is?
Would prefer a savoury snack any time!
8. What’s your favourite essential oil / scent?
I love Jo Malone Basil and Neroli
9. You go for a treatment - what do you have and why?
Give me the SRNS Global anti-ageing treatment for the face any time by Germaine of course – there simply isn’t anything quite like it!
10.What’s your favourite flower?
11.You want to sleep deeply, what do you do?
Go to bed and start reading, sleep soon follows….
12.You want to energise fast, what do you do?
Brisk walk with the dogs
13.The theme tune to your life is?
Shine on you crazy diamond by Pink Floyd
14.What makes you laugh to your belly?
A family meal with all family members there, with plenty of time to simply talk, drink and always laugh!
15.What’s your favourite season?
Spring, seeing everything come to life again
16. What’s your favourite colour?
All shades of blue
17. Your favourite time of day is?
Early Evening, dinner cooking, glass of wine, time to relax…
18. If you could have been anyone or anything else, what / who would you be?
Definitely a forensic pathologist!
19. What’s your current TV guilty secret?
24 Hours in A&E, I am never failed to be amazed at what some people will go to A&E for!
20. Magic dust - you can learn one new skill instantly, what is it?
To play the piano –(really well!)
Carole Jones Managing Director of Totally UK which was formed in 1991 and works with Universal Contour Wrap, Germaine de Capuccini and The London Spa Company. Carole entered the industry in 1989 opening her first salon in Egham with a second opening in Farnham Common in 1991, employing a total of 25 therapists. Totally UK was formed when, following the success of the Universal Contour Wrap treatment within her own salons, she purchased the formula and set up the company to distribute the treatment throughout the UK. In 1998 Totally UK took on the distribution of Germaine de Capuccini within the UK. In 2006 Totally UK bought out the world-wide rights for Universal Contour Wrap and now work with distributors and salons across the globe.