Salon Owner to Skincare Founder: Turning Your Passion Into a Passive Income

For founder of Lady Luxe Beauty, Jessica Nash, channeling her love for efficacious skincare into a money-making stream was no easy feat. Here, she shares her story with Hannah Gay in hopes of inspiring others to take the plunge.

Lady Luxe Beauty’s Jessica Nash

The inspiration

“Growing up, I had terrible skin. I thought that was me for the rest of my life – lousy skin first, Jessica second. 

I was 16 [and working] in real estate. Honestly, it was not my cup of tea. I knew of a salon that specialised in skin treatments down the road, and it sparked my interest. 

Eventually, I worked up the courage to go in and ask for advice, and with shaking hands, I walked out, spending the better part of $500! That was a considerable amount of money then, so I was determined to follow the advice written out for me and use the product accordingly. After a while, I noticed a massive difference in my skin, and here is where you can say my love for skin and health was formed – a match made in heaven.”

The training

“I was so intrigued by the results that I spent a lot of time researching key ingredients and skin in general within my spare time. After a lot of research, I quit dairy for two years. The topical applications and internal changes resulted in clearing my skin almost entirely.

This incredible experience led me to enrol for a Diploma in Beauty Therapy with TAFE NSW. I loved my course and completed it with flying colours. I feel embarrassed to say this now, but I always thought beauty was something you did if you weren’t interested in school. But through my course and the changes to my skin, I grew to know it was indeed my vocation.”

The business owner

“I ended up managing the salon I apprenticed at. When I [eventually] left there, my goal was to apply [for a job] at what I thought was the best spa in Sydney. So, I did, and I got the job. Through this period, I met a lot of VIPs and famous people, and found the confidence [in myself] to polish my skills, research where possible, and ask the right questions. 

The product that I was working with at the time didn’t speak to me and even then, I knew one day I would create a range that had little to no preservatives and would exclude most nasties that no one should be putting on their skin or into their bodies in general.

During this period I fell pregnant with my first daughter, so I took some time off. A few years later, my second daughter came along. I yearned to be back in the industry, however, but needed it to work for my family. 

This was when I came up with the idea of opening an at-home salon with skin treatments as my main focus. Over a short period, I quickly became ‘that facialist’ who was conveniently placed for local mums, and the go-to skin woman for close family and friends.

[During this time], I was voted in the top five beauty therapists in Sydney by The Urban List. It was such an incredible feeling knowing that my business was taking off, even from home. The media support resulted in me expanding my business, and the customers were flying in. I had to find a commercial space, stat. 

Finding the space to fulfill my long-term dream of a skincare salon was hard but once I was in, it became real. I invested in the relevant marketing collateral, social media promotions and creating loyalty programmes to incentivise my long-term customers.”

“I knew one day I would create a range that had little to no preservatives and would exclude most nasties that no one should be putting on their skin or into their bodies in general.”

The pivot

“Everything was going well until COVID hit. And then I was lost. I had rent to pay and had nothing to pay it with. 

I had my own product in the pipeline, but I didn’t think it was at that stage of becoming real. However, given the circumstances, I decided to push through and deliver to my clients what I couldn’t give them in person. 

I started small, researching locally-based manufacturers. I asked close family and friends to try my new skincare products, hoping to get as much feedback as possible. I got a feel for how my social media followers felt about me sharing the news of a product drop. They were excited, and it was the confidence boost I needed to push forward and click ‘LIVE’ on my e-commerce website.

It sounds so easy, there was so much uncertainty; I was determined to make it work no matter what. Creating a business is challenging, however despite one closed stream, I was essentially starting another. 

“Creating a business is challenging, however despite one closed stream, I was essentially starting another.”

The skincare line

“I found certain preservatives and additives [in skincare products] super irritating for my own skin. I wanted something I could introduce onto both my daughters’ skins with ease. [I didn’t want to worry about] unbalancing their young tissue.

Professionally I use a few different peels and protocols from other ranges, but I find my own skincare line does exactly what I need it to for all my clients’ needs at home. 

[Today, our best-selling product is] the Glass Skin Collagen Slather – by far! This product has a cult following – it’s picked up by lots of beauty bloggers and I send it around the world. It’s one-of-a-kind due to the fact it goes over your serum and under your moisturiser, hence why I called it a slather. It [provides an] added veil of tiny collagen molecules to intensively plump and calm all skins, making you look super dewy.”

The future

“Fast forward to now, my business has moved to a bigger commercial space. We have added new employees to the Lady Luxe Portfolio, our e-commerce store is thriving, and the Lady Luxe online space is a growing community for skin-loving everyday women seeking simple and effective products that work. 

This year I feel like I will continue to put energy into the design and experience of the salon but will give more to the product. I’d love to go into some department stores!”

Jessica’s advice around starting your own beauty business:

  1. Save. Do not wait to do things on credit. Get a good cash flow in your business – start with an egg!
  2. Take all the advice your way –  sift through [the noise] and take all the best bits.
  3. Back yourself, and not just in the way people tell you to on social media. Sit with yourself and ask yourself – “have I ever let myself down before?”
  4. Don’t wait to hit publish until it’s perfect. Changes can, and will always be made along the way. Get it open, get it out there, and make further changes as you go. Your business should always stay active and be evolving – always keep this in the back of your mind.

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