I'm absolutely proud to translate my Interview with Polish ,, LAW BUSINESS QUALITY MAGAZINE''
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My first advice is to believe in yourself! It sounds trivial, but if we don't believe in ourselves, why would anyone believe in us? By believing in ourselves, we become stronger, we feel good about ourselves, we are confident in our self-esteem and our own competencies, we accept ourselves and believe in our abilities. Thanks to this, we can face life's challenges, belief in happiness and success.- says Izabela Szlapa, owner of the Beauty Land House Of Beauty and Wax Salon in Great Britain, Member of the European Business Women's Club.
Ilona Adamska: How did it happen that an entrepreneurial Polish woman landed in Great Britain and founded a thriving BEAUTY LAND HOUSE OF BEAUTY AND WAX SALON, winning the hearts of not only Polish women, but also British women?
Izabela Szlapa: I come from a small town in Małopolska, where there were many beauty salons, so I saw no point in opening another one. My husband and I came to England to save money and, in fact, to start a life together. After less than 3 months, we knew that we would not return to Poland and we also knew that we did not want to stay in London. Although London was a dream come true for me as it is a multicultural metropolis with a lot to offer, we made London a stop in our lives. I used the opportunities to learn from the best coaches in Europe, which helped me look at the beauty industry from a completely different perspective. I gained British qualifications, completed a lot of training, improved my language, learned a lot and gained confidence, after which we moved to the West Midlands, where I plan to stay.
I.A. : What were the beginnings of your activity in England? What barriers did you have to overcome to get to where you are today?
I.S.: London is very expensive and the zloty exchanged for pounds is of little value. In Poland I worked in a hospital, in England I had to start cleaning houses. With time, I took care of young children, then I devoted all my free weekends to making artistic make-up and painting the face of the youngest. I worked hard, often took the last metro home, but I remember this time with a smile. I met a lot of good people who make me here today. London teaches humility, appreciating what you have and working hard. I believe everyone has stormy beginnings in exile, but after each storm, the sun comes out.
Did the trip abroad and the country where you live to turn out to be your dream place on earth? What were your first impressions after coming to Great Britain?
I think so, I found here everything that a Pole is looking for in a foreign country. Life in Great Britain is much easier than in Poland, there are many perspectives and opportunities for development. The procedures for opening a business and running a business are much easier. Shockingly, running a business costs much less and is cheaper. Many official matters can be dealt with over the phone or the Internet. I go to the accountant once a year, not every month, as in Poland. Another economic aspect is the value of the pound, which is higher than the value of the zloty. There are also intangible assets such as learning about new cultures, getting to know other cuisines of the world - anyone who has visited Great Britain at least once has certainly seen great Indian supermarkets selling spices that I had no idea about. We also have friends from all over the world. Finally, the business aspect - in the UK, cosmetic fairs are organized twice a year, one of the largest in Europe. Trainers from the most distant countries of the world also come to teach and promote their brands. Last year, during a master training in wax depilation methods, I met a woman from New Zealand who had come to London especially for training. Daily, she worked for the royal family in Saudi Arabia, and previously on the most luxurious ships in the world. It gives you the motivation to act.
What does your salon have to offer to its clients?
Beautyland offers mainly minimally invasive face treatments, including photorejuvenation, chemical peels, RF, IPL, manual cleansing, which is now out of fashion, and hydrogen purification. The main branch of activity, however, is epilation with strip waxes and the stripless method. I also offer body treatments, especially anti-cellulite and very popular modelling treatments. In addition, my clients can benefit from special prices for my own cosmetics brand The Wild Queen. This brand is primarily natural cosmetics created with the environment in mind, they are vegetarian, not tested on animals, contain a minimum amount of packaging, and all the oils and raw materials needed for their production are certified and do not contribute to the destruction of forests or the use of children or women in the process. production. I have also completed training in recognizing domestic violence and a series of "Behind The Mask" courses, because too often acts of domestic violence are covered up. I want to act when the other person is hurt, not passively watch. To sum up, I hope that my living room is not only a place where you can improve your appearance and feel even more beautiful but also a safe and friendly place for everyone, regardless of the country of origin, skin colour or religion. I support LGBTQ activities and call Beautyland a JUDGE FREE ZONE where everyone can just be themselves.
What are your values in business?
Honesty. I don't say what the client wants to hear, but what is truth. The second golden value of Beautyland is that I like people. I think that even the most beautiful and luxurious Beauty Salon will not develop without the appropriate, experienced and people who like their work. That is why I attach great importance to training, expanding my knowledge or searching for newer and more effective solutions for my clients.
How important are recommendations and recommendations in your industry?
I think it's the most important and very motivating. Recommendations from satisfied customers are the basis of my work. Most of my clients are recommended, they are people who have trusted me, and this obliges me. How do you build your company's image daily? There are many factors involved in building the company's image. I primarily focus on lectures, seminars and training. I am constantly developing my showroom, investing in newer and newer machines and the latest technologies entering the market. I am also glad that as one of the few salons I have my line of cosmetics. I focus on quality, not quantity or size, and I think my clients appreciate it.
What do you think is the greatest strength of women in business?
The strengths of women in business are, above all, great commitment and diligence. I am a feminist and I am very supportive of women in a sadly still very male world. Women are motivated by a great willingness and readiness to learn, as well as the willingness to help others. I think that instinctively, as a present or future mothers, we can take more care of clients, family and friends. This is a huge advantage over the opposite sex. Supporting each other, motivating, helping each other and, above all, solidarity is the greatest strength of women in business.
Do you have any golden advice for women who dream of working abroad, but do not fully believe in themselves? In that, they can achieve success?
My first advice is to believe in yourself! Sounds trivial, but if we don't believe in ourselves, why would anyone believe in us? By believing in ourselves, we become stronger, we feel good about ourselves, we are confident in our self-esteem and our competencies, we accept ourselves and believe in our abilities. Thanks to this, we can face life's challenges, belief in happiness and success. My second piece of advice is motivation and the implementation of plans. It's not easy, but it's worth taking this first step towards success. Personally, after coming to the UK, I worked from Monday to Sunday in three different jobs. Rainy weather and huge prices in London did not inspire optimism. Nevertheless, I had a plan that I was striving to implement, I kept setting new goals for myself, and 4 years after leaving Poland, I was the happy owner of a beauty salon. After nearly 7 years, I am still the owner of a developing salon, as well as the owner of a brand of natural cosmetics. Quite recently, I completed my training as an international trainer. In my opinion, there are no barriers and blockages - these only exist in our heads. I must also mention that my inspiration was and still are my two wonderful cats. Just watching them tirelessly and persistently achieve the goals they set for themselves has often become my inspiration and motivation. And the third and last piece of advice is if you dream of going abroad - let's do it! Life is too short to wait and wonder "what if?" Let's not be afraid of changes.
Plans for the coming years related to the development of the brand in the UK?
I have many plans for the development of the brand, but also less and less time to implement new challenges. Business is a way of life, there are no breaks or days off from work. There is always something to write, check or order. After all, I plan to develop the brand both in Great Britain and, over time, in Spain and Poland. My husband and I have many different ideas and he supports me tremendously at every stage of the planning process. We are not limited to just the UK. Indeed, Brexit and the unstable situation on the market as well as the coronavirus pandemic are a big handicap, but it treats them as a new challenge.
Interviewer: Ilona Adamska