Rocky beauty business shares secret to 20 years success
AT 17 Erikka Smith delved into the world of beauty with a dream that she would one day own her own business.
Working her way from beauty salon to beauty salon, she climbed the ranks, gaining certificates including her diploma in beauty therapy.
After six years in the industry the Rockhampton woman made the call to start her own shop on Derby St where she has remained for the last 20 years.
Growing from one staff member to three, including herself, Errika celebrated being open for two decades this week.
The mum-of-three said she wanted to ensure she had enough experience before she went out on her own, so worked at other local salons before making the plunge into business.
"I was 24 when I started up the business,” Errika said.
"I left Beaucare where I worked for five years and worked at a few other salons in Rockhampton and Yeppoon over the next two years.
"I then bought the building here and started to open my business when my children were small.
"I always wanted to own my own business ... and I just wanted to make sure I had experience in the industry first.”
Erikka said she was the only staff member of the business at first and opened on casual work.
She has since grown the business to three staff members, who she says have been vital in its success.
"I had small children so when I first opened it I didn't want to be full time,” she said.
"Because our house is attached to the business it allowed me to be at home with my kids.
"The business has grown as I've gotten more staff and we've expanded the services we offer.
"We were the first ones in Queensland to get an automatic spray tan booth.”
Looking back, Errika said they didn't face many challenges starting the business.
"I think that is down to the simple fact that when I opened, I just opened on a part time basis,” she said.
"We've been at the same premises and the same amount of space for as long as we have been open and a lot of clients followed me from my previous workplaces.”
Errika said it had been wonderful to have such dedicated clients for more than 20 years.
"I had been working as a beauty therapist for six years before I opened my own business so I got a lot of clients that followed me,” she said.
"I have clients that have been coming to me since I was 17 and I have seen them and their children grow.”
Errika said the trick to staying competitive in the industry was to keep growing and to keep up with the industry and treatments involved.
"Things are constantly evolving and new treatments are always available so it's about determining what's just going to be a small fad and not last long and what is going to stick in the industry,” she said.