Louise Caithness - Women of Inspiration 2016

My business provides professional skin and beauty treatments across 3 locations in Edinburgh. Our key goal is to deliver effective treatments at an affordable price in a safe, trusted and non-intimidating environment.

What is your current role within the company?

My current role is to lead a team of 16 like minded individuals encouraging them to be the best they can be through continual professional development and self evaluation. I also play a key role in marketing our brand through our website, database and numerous social media platforms.

What is your background prior to working for this company/setting up your company?

I have been a qualified Beauty Therapist for 20 years and have remained in the industry since I qualified from The Mary Reid International School of Beauty in Edinburgh. I travelled extensively in my role as a Therapist and Spa Manager with Steiner Transocean working onboard luxury cruise liners. Following this I was appointed Training Manager with Clarins UK and covered the UK working in salons and stores training and motivating  key staff and promoting the brands values. Then, in 2005 I launched my business Zest Skin Spa where I have spent the last 11 years developing and nurturing the business and brand.  In 2014 I launched The Edinburgh School of Beauty, a private training school that delivers classroom and commercial Beauty Therapy training within my 3 Skin Spas, this allows our students to learn in a real life working environment to ensure they are confident and competent graduates. Now Zest Skin Spa and The Edinburgh School of Beauty work simultaneously in a very unique way to educate and nurture only the finest Therapists in the industry.

What makes your company and/or your role stand out?

I think it is really important to lead by example and I am present on a daily basis in my business to help support the team as and when required. I would never instruct someone within my team to complete a task I wasn’t prepared to carry out myself and I think this is vital to ensure we have fair working relationships amongst all team members. I am still a practising Therapist too, although not on a daily basis, which is really important for me as I am aware of the experience our clients receive and also the environment my staff are expected to work in too.

What is your area of expertise / inspiration?

I absolutely love talking about my business and the team that make it such a success, so I now spend most of my time reaching out to existing and prospective clients through our various social media platforms. I think it is such an exciting era for business that we have all these interactive tools available to us that don’t cost a penny! It’s great to see and hear what other businesses are doing and also having the ability to research new treatments and products through social media is such a time saver too. As I previously mentioned I still treat clients on a monthly basis, removing unwanted blemishes from the skin such as moles, warts and skin tags using advanced epilation techniques.  This treatment is very specialised with just a few practitioners available in Scotland. I am also training some of my own team to carry out this treatment as demand continues to rise.

What are your plans for the future?

I have lots of ideas in my head and in my orange (zesty) notebook that will hopefully become firm plans in the future! I am always looking at opportunities to grow my business, whether it’m really looking forward to working with the team ahead of the retreat opening in August. In 2013 I climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with an amazing team of trekkers to raise funds to help with the build costs associated to the retreat and in 2017 I will take on the Grand Canyon to raise further funds for the charity…there are still places available for anyone interested in joining the trek team next year!

What inspires or motivates you?

I am inspired by most people that I meet! I find people really interesting and take any opportunity to network and meet new faces. I am inspired by the team that I work with who have trust and confidence with what I am trying to achieve for them professionally. I am inspired by our clients who are very loyal and return to us on a regular basis, it’s really important to me that my business works hard to ensure they are satisfied with the experience we deliver and that they feel valued and in safe hands. I am also very much inspired by the families the charity supports as no matter how tough business can sometimes be these children are fighting a much tougher battle.