The managing director of Pelactiv is passionate about learning in an ever-changing industry
How important is it for members of the beauty industry to stay updated and further their education?
Any industry – whether it be beauty, fashion or otherwise, is ever-evolving – so it is absolutely imperative to keep up to date and current. Trends, technology and laws constantly change, so what you learned originally in your craft may be obsolete in accordance to what is practised today. Often it is up to the individual to remain on top of their A-game. They could be working in an environment where further education or courses is not offered. In order for them to be keeping up with what’s new in their industry, it is often up to them to undertake courses on their own. This is especially important for industry leaders. They are the ‘go-to’ people for anyone coming up through the ranks. They need to know their business/industry and have a good understanding of new changes, trends and systems. They are the ‘influencers’ and if they are not setting a good example by continuing to learn in their field – then they are doing a disservice to their peers. To have a long and successful career in any industry it is well advised to undertake courses to keep you current and on top of what is new in your industry.
What does it mean to you to be an educator?
To be an educator on any level is the highest privilege. Passing on your knowledge and skillset to others gives enormous satisfaction when you are truly passionate about what you do. People who are open to learning offer us the opportunity to pass on what it is that drives us in our careers. We hope to pass on not only knowledge and skills, but love for what they do. We want them to discover what it is that led them to choose their field, and become passionate about it. To love the good and the bad of the industry and help them to understand how important it is what they do for people. To be an Educator is to not only pass on knowledge, but it is to give so much of yourself and hope that you have a positive, motivating and exciting effect on them for the long term.
Apart from the ‘skills and facts’ in your training courses, what else (values, goals, ambitions) do you try to instil/develop/encourage in therapists? Why?
We initially train our staff to understand our salons’ target market – what we specialise in, our services, our expectations and our methods. Once they have settled in, we ascertain a few things: who may need further training, who wants further training, and who really wants to make a career out of what they do and eventually open their own business. My job is to identify this and to enable them to undertake the training necessary to fullfil their requirements. Your staff come from all different situations and all have completely different needs. Some may just want a casual job that works around them picking up their children. Some may be true professionals and aspire to really reach full potential in their field. Whatever their needs may be, it is my responsibility to identify them and help them achieve this.
If you are invested in your staff, you can guarantee that they will invest in your business. More importantly, if your business is service based you want them to have a good understanding
of how important customer service is and how they treat their clients has a lasting effect. Building their client base should be seen as a huge compliment as a returning client is a testament to the high quality of their service/treatment.
What is the biggest challenge when it comes to education?
For me, one of the biggest challenges when it comes to Education is trying to teach someone who is just not interested. Unfortunately, we have a few individuals that enter into Beauty Therapy for the simple reason being that they do not know what they really want to do in their career. Beauty Therapy can be deemed ‘safe’ and ‘glamorous’ and the fact is – it couldn’t be further from the truth.
In a learning environment, when you are dealing with someone like this, it is a real challenge. You have to pull out all stops to try and provoke some interest and motivation. Generally, you can turn them around, but if they’re truly not interested then it is not going to happen. This is a major challenge and one that should not distract you from the task at hand.
Likewise, the individual that challenges everything you put forward. They have an opinion on everything you say and are not open to learning anything new. It can happen in a class or work environment. I always show respect by listening to what they have to say initially and then try to direct any future comments to a more in-depth discussion after class/work hours.
Training and experience
I joined Pelactiv in 1999 as General Manager having previously worked in the finance industry. Today I have the privilege of owning and running the business as CEO. I also have two hair/beauty salons in Sydney Northern Beaches. My trainers have various areas of expertise and credentials in the beauty field. They are a diverse group of professionals that share a true love for the Pelactiv Skincare range. Together they form a formidable team that travel the country to allow up and coming Beauty Therapists to experience this unique Australian skincare range.
Years in the industry
I have over 20 years experience in both the manufacturing and distribution of skin care products throughout Australia. Both businesses are located in Sydney. I also own two hair and beauty salons in Sydney – with Pelactiv being the skin care range of choice. All our therapists are highly trained in the Pelactiv progressive peeling system which they all agree delivers outstanding results.
Educational areas of specialty
Our strength lies in our unique training systems performed personally by our trainers. They range from College Training, where they can train classes from 10-30 Students at any time, delivering Pelactiv product knowledge followed by a hands-on facial treatment experience. This interactive theory and practical based training session has proven enormously successful. Our trainers also offer personalised in-salon training for clients, or for those who prefer – they can come to our Head Office for Advanced Treatment Training.
What I love most about my role
I love being part of this diverse, exciting and ever-changing industry. I love the flexibility it allows for me to be able to do what I do.
Kerry-Anne Raiola is the Managing Director of Pelactiv. Visit www.pelactiv.com
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