There’s been challenges along the way, but beauty therapist Madeline hasn’t lost her drive.
Helping to motivate and inspire others is a bit of an ambition for Madeline.
Having left school with just a few GCSEs, she doubted she would be able to achieve her ambitions.
But just four years later, the former Redcar and Cleveland College student runs her own beauty salon, Cora Beauty, and is making plans for a second.
She said: “I struggled at school with dyslexia, but I want people to know that this doesn’t have to be a barrier.”
Her passion for beauty started from school, but with so much competition in the industry she feared she wouldn’t have what it takes to stand out from the crowd.
“I decided to follow my second passion which was sport,” she explained. That led to an apprenticeship and teaching PE in a school. But after a couple of years, she said: “I realised that it wasn’t what I wanted.”
Working part-time on a department store beauty counter, she realised this was definitely the right direction for her.
“I signed up for a Beauty Therapy course at Redcar and Cleveland College and I loved it,” she said.
In fact, she was still studying when she started her own Instagram page to showcase her progress and with friends and family regularly sharing her posts, the grassroots of her own business started to grow.
With further training Madeline eventually started offering treatments from her own dedicated beauty room at home.
“I guess having my own salon was always the ambition,” she said and with a growing client list the dream started to feel more like it could become a reality.
It was Madeline’s mum that first spotted the empty salon in Brotton. It needed a lot of work but getting the keys in February, she was ready to open by March.
Then, after just one day of the doors opening, lockdown struck.
“It was such a shock,” said Madeline. “No one knew what to expect at the time, it was all so unknown. I thought I would just be closed for two weeks.”
It wasn’t until July that salons were finally allowed to reopen, but with further lock downs to follow.
Madeline said: “At first I was crying every night, but you have to come to terms with it. Everyone is in the same boat. I am just grateful to be getting grants and my clients have been so supportive.”
Renting out two chairs in the salon and offering a range of services including nails, makeup application, brows and eyelashes, when the doors are open, she said there’s plenty of people ready for a bit of pampering.
The last year hasn’t been enough to dampen her vision or enthusiasm. Madeline’s thoughts are already turning to a second salon and perhaps even one day training an apprentice. And, she said, with trends constantly changing, as a beauty therapist you should never stop learning yourself. “I want to aim big. I have so many plans and so much I want to do.”
She said: “I guess with the challenges we have had to face I have had to mature a lot, but when we have been able to open, we have always been busy. People might not have been able to go out at Christmas, but they still wanted to have a little treat. There has never been a day that I haven’t felt grateful to my clients.”
Take a look at Madeline’s work at: https://www.instagram.com/corabeauty_/