Brains, beauty and savvy business mind – Yes! Meet KitschMix’s new Beauty columnist Sam Marshall – the beauty Guru.
Sam has had an illustrious career managing Harvey Nichols’ Urban Retreat, working on X Factor, as well as working with the beauty industries leading mentors and brands. She is published journalist, and has featured on local and national TV and Radio, in the UK
Based in the Manchester, Sam currently runs her own beauty consultancy business; providing in-depth business advice, guidance, and training to other beauty professional and salons around the UK.
Oh, and she is also an out and proud lesbian, as well as full-time mother – and we at KitschMix are very happy to have her on-board.
“I’m a good all round beauty expert, and someone once referred to me as a “Beauty guru”… hence the name!”
KitschMix: Welcome to KitschMix. Let’s start with beauty – can you tell us how you got started in in the business?
Sam Marshall: My beauty career started when was 16. I attended a bitchy all girls’ school and I hated it. My parents wanted me to stay on but I was defiant and determined that I wouldn’t. So I enrolled myself at college to do Beauty.
Let’s just say, after spending thousands on my private education they weren’t too pleased with this choice, but I persevered, and now my Mum couldn’t be prouder.
I have Urban Retreat to thank for a lot of my knowledge. There, I was trained by industry leaders, and was given a free reign to do my own PR. I had some amazing mentoring from other managers and business coaches.
KM: When did you make the next step to start your own business?
SM: The beauty consultancy side happened by accident. I was going to salons and as soon as I walked through the door I saw opportunities. I can go into a business and see instantly what they are doing great, and just by asking a few questions I can work out what they can do to increase profit and productivity. It comes naturally to me. Also I am incredibly outspoken – I don’t hold back.
I now spend the majority of my time teaching intimate waxing (male and female!), and I offer salon business consultancy, where I can mentor on anything from how to set a room up to creating a business plan for a new venture.
I don’t do a huge amount of clients, so those who I see tend to be friends, family and referrals. The treatments I do are mostly waxing, brows and tanning.
KM: What is unusual or unique about your business, in comparison to others?
SM: I don’t know anyone else offering what I do – most freelance trainers have their own salon and freelance on the side. I don’t know of any specific beauty business consultants.
I’m lucky because I have such a varied week – I also sometimes do events where I spend the whole day chatting to people and painting nails – I have a rule that I never turn down work.
KM: Who are your typical clients?
SM: For training my clients are brands such as Leighton Denny, Regis and Outback Organics Wax. For business it is usually people I have trained who want to know more. My home clients are just some of my regulars from Urban Retreat, friends of friends, and the odd celebrity J.
KM: Outside of work, what are your passions in life?
SM: Well I suppose my no 1 is my son. He is 3 and an absolute terror, but gorgeous all the same.
Beauty is my passion – but I’m not your usual “this will change your life” therapist. I’m realistic and sometimes blunt. But it seems to work for me. I never tire of being pampered too – I could literally spend every day getting something done.
Cooking – I adore food, eating out. I think I have my father to thank as I always wanted to try things he had; snails at 8yrs old, then rare steak at 12. I also had a small stint as a chef whilst at college, which enabled me to learn so much. I try to cook a decent dinner once a week for me and my partner, Nat. I also bake with my son every week. I remember doing it with my mother as a child and I am determined he is going to grow up knowing how to cook a decent meal.
Customer Service – what has happened to it? I rarely see great customer service these days, something I am really passionate about in my work.
Health and fitness is my new(ish) passion – especially after having a child. I CARE what goes into his little body and try to eliminate junk and allergens as much as possible (we made coconut milk rice pudding last night with dates!). I also go to the gym 3-4 times a week, I think on your 30’s you need to start trying a bit harder, and after using it to shift my pregnancy weight I got the bug. There’s nothing more satisfying than lifting more than the guy next to you. Must be my butch side coming out!
KM: What are your hopes for the future?
SM: I want to grow my brand, have another child (eventually), buy the house back I grew up in, grow old with my beautiful girlfriend, and just lead a positive, happy life. Cliché but true.