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TGt Meets... Gemma Wood - IWD Special
As part of our interviews to celebrate International Women's Day, we've been speaking to Gemma Wood, owner of local beauty salon Gem's Beauty, about her profession and maintaining that all-important work/life balance!
Name: Gemma Wood
Location: Gems Beauty Swindon
Occupation: Beauty therapist
Which woman would you compare yourself to?
Eeeek I’m not entirely sure I compare myself to anyone. I’m a bit individual, a bit mad, a bit weird but all in a good way obviously.
What would you say is your most valuable skill and why?
Waxing is something I would say is my most valuable skill within my job, I’m not a shy girl and try to make people feel very comfortable, seeing as they have to take off their undergarments and bend over... it’s a very intimate treatment, but by putting my lovely ladies at ease they are surprised at how brave they are with not just the pain but overcoming what they thought was going to be terribly embarrassing as it turns into a great giggle and a smooth finish. So it also comes down to the most valuable skill being the ability to allow others to trust and believe in what I’m about to put them through by being honest relaxed and at all times completely professional.
Why do you think it's important to have an International Women's Day?
I think it’s not so much that it’s important to have a day for praising only women, as I think every day should be for all men, women and children being praised for any achievement they are proud of. But I do think for all the girls out there trying to succeed at anything they work hard at, sometimes feeling pressure to be perfect, as well as the things they just do as a normal every day to day life it’s a hard balance and sometimes can go unnoticed so they may feel they are not doing enough. It’s a great day for them to shine, to be heard, seen and feel proud of themselves; that they are doing just fine by being who they are and doing their best is more than enough.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
It’s something I’ve been working on but taking a break, having a laugh, putting the phone down, date nights with loved ones and gin helps in a big way. Put your efforts into living your life and work efforts will balance itself
Have you ever had to give up or miss out on anything in order to pursue your career?
Absolutely not, I’ve missed out on a few bowling nights but I'm not a big fan of bowling (I lose a lot) so I’ll always use work as an excuse not to go... it’s great for those occasions. But planning in advance so you're available for the important things is a must, if anything important comes up and you're not prepared you’ll find a way if it means that much to you.
Do you ever experience any discrimination in the workplace because of your gender?
No, we mostly work with women but the few men we do work with have always been incredibly polite and appreciate what we do and have never made us feel inferior to them being boys.
Based on your own experiences, what advice would you give to fellow females looking to get into your profession?
It’s a wonderful job, you never know from one day to the next, who’s coming through the door and what you will do in your day. Be prepared to laugh, cry and fall in love as you become closer to your clients, it’s very very rewarding in so many ways, making people feel fabulous gives you a bright feeling inside. It’s long, hard and you have to love it as money isn’t the best as you work your way up. Work hard show passion and commitment dedication and do your best. When your having a bad day don’t hahaha.
If you want to get into beauty it’s not as glamours as painting nails and doing make overs it’s about creating a bond between client and therapist; if they come in sad and leave elated, then you’ve done your job and it’s all worth it at the end of a 12 hour shift.
If you could have dinner with 5 inspirational women dead or alive, who would they be?
- My mum
- Lady Gaga
- Angelina jolie
- Kate winslet
As a successful female, where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Well, I’ll be 43 that’s seems a million miles away. I mostly hope to be happy and healthy. That the business is keeping up its reputation and growing to good strengths. I would like a bigger premises to allow more staff and more clients to become part of Gem's Beauty and offer more new exciting treatments. I think I’d also like to train people to become better within their fields, because if I can help people feel better about perusing their dreams, my job here is done.
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