Our skin is so important to us, it always has been and now that we are plastering our photos all over social media for the world to see, we like to keep it healthy and glowing.
We recently sat down with Belinda Hughes, the lovely and talented Natural Beauty expert, at her newly re-launched Skin Clinic in the heart of South Yarra to find out a bit more about her booming business.
We also snuck in a facial – The Hollywood Facial in fact, we couldn’t recommend it more. We thought our skincare routine was ok, our skin didn’t have too many breakouts and we only noticed a few newly emerging wrinkles. But after that facial and Belinda introducing us to Organic Spa Skincare, we quickly went home and threw out all of the face washes and creams that were actually doing our skin more harm than good, and we won’t be looking back!
Enough from us, have a read of our interview with Belinda and we would suggest you pop in and see her yourself, especially with this crazy weather, everyone’s skin is in need of some TLC!
1) How did it all begin? Where did you get your idea/concept for your business?
It feels like I’ve been planning for this business my whole career! This clinic is a combination of all the things that I’ve come across over the years and loved that work well on the skin and fit my philosophy for natural and organic skincare. When I opened last year I actually had a few things, like some furniture already, the rest was a matter of just ordering as I’d already worked it all out.
What I do in the industry and my way of doing things is unique; there are only a couple of salons I’ve seen that do something similar, so working for myself was a no brainer. When the room came up it was perfect and everything flowed easily from there.
2) What are your goals for your business?
To provide the best quality natural and organic skincare to my clients, so they get the best results. My clients don’t have to be local either, they can be anywhere in Australia as I’ve introduced online consultations as well as online selling. But you only get access to my professional brands after you’ve had a consult and are a customer.
Natural skincare has boomed and I still have clients coming in using what they’ve bought online but it’s not quite the right fit for their skin. Professional consultation is crucial to matching the right product to your skin. Otherwise you’re shooting in the dark. I’d love to see as many people as possible using the correct product for their skin.
My goal is to grow my offering across several different brands, carefully selected so there is something for everyone, no matter what your skin type or condition. I have mapped out where I’m going with brands this year and it’s really exciting!
3) What is unique about your business?
Unfortunately the most unique thing about my clinic is that I’m 100% natural, organic and vegan. Lots of salons do have a natural offering these days but they still sit with the regular cosmetics and cosmeceuticals on the shelf. I get the same, if not better results with my professional organic brands and stand by them. I’d like to see this philosophy picked up by other salons so it is less rare.
I also customise each treatment to everyone. So no one has the same routine, and clients also rarely get the exact same facial treatment because the skin is a living organic and changes with conditions! Customisation is essential to getting the best results for each individual.
4) What are the most common skin conditions/issues that you treat?
I see a lot of acne in the clinic. Acne is often caused by an internal condition. I have a network of practitioners I refer my clients to, to assist with their internal health. Often tricky skin conditions are an inside out job and I get really great results.
In June I will be launch my Acne Protocol which will combine some amazing natural high performance skincare along with a new Chinese Medicine herb supplement launching in May to give great results to my clients.
Besides the acne I see a lot of sensitivity (which can be caused by harsh cosmetics and sulphates) along with dehydration and general oil imbalance. My clients skin responds really well to the organic products, sometimes it’s just a matter of getting the right product prescribed for your skin and it clears up within a week or two.
5) If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting out what would it be?
Think about how long you feel it will take to get traction and triple it. The runway is a lot longer than it looks.
6) What is your most memorable moment regarding your business so far (famous client? Magazine exposure?)
I’ve treated a few celebrities over the years, which is always exciting. I like to keep my client list confidential though. Recently I had a write up in Urban List that was amazing! The photos turned out beautifully and the exposure was great. I got a real buzz out of it!
7) What is the most rewarding thing about running your own business?
Setting the rules and creating treatments I want to give. I know skin (after over 12 years in the business) and I know what works best. Having the freedom to make decisions and do that is the best thing ever. I get to be as creating and passionate as I can be without being held back by someone else’s ideas.
8) What do you wish you had known before you had started your business?
How to do my bookkeeping! Lol! But I have an amazing lady that takes care of that for me now.
I wish I’d had the courage just to leap into my business earlier, I think I procrastinated a lot for fear of being able to pay the bills. Now I’m doing it, it’s not so scary and things are just flying!
9) What is the most difficult/challenging thing about running your own business?
The juggle. Besides the skin clinic I also publish online natural beauty and lifestyle magazine Natural Beauty Expert and do industry events, speaking and training. Learning how to focus on one thing and be efficient in getting everything done systematically without working until 10pm every night 7 days a week. I now work a bit more normal hours and achieve more, it’s a constant process.
10) What are your thoughts on the increase of social media advertising, do you think it has a positive or negative impact on businesses?
Social media is nothing but essential these days. So yes it’s positive. I think the way you interact on social media makes the experience positive or negative as well. Keeping things light really helps. I also heard in a webinar recently that posts like memes that have nothing to do with your business often get more interaction, and I see some brands do this well. You almost need to create a lifestyle brand for yourself on social media without the constant sell, sell, sell vibe to increase engagement.
Bookings for the Belinda Hughes Skin Clinic can now be made via the website: www.belindahughes.com.au for treatments.