3 inspirational beauty industry ambassadors speak on International Women's Day

An interview with Sam Pearce, Director & Self-Proclaimed ‘Head Gnome’ of Garden-Themed Spa The Potting Shed Spa

[Phorest Salon Software]: How and why did you become a salon owner?

[Sam Pearce]: I had an overwhelming urge to turn the generic salon model on its head, and having come from a spa background, I wanted to mix the two; to make something like a ‘Spa-Lon.’ I wanted to demystify the industry and create a recognised brand. Theming it, considering the environment, and creating our language was key to our ethos. I wanted to create an environment where our clients and staff would be inspired and sold on the concept. I wanted to create an emotional buy-in so they would believe in me and want to share my journey.


[P.S.S]: What does being a leader mean to you?

[S.P.]: It brings with it a sense of responsibility that my contribution is worth something. You have to be authentic. I live and breathe what I do and this, in turn, brings knowledge. I have fought for what I believe in and the change I want to make. I haven’t always got it right, but I have learned from my mistakes, and I have an unwavering belief in what I do. I am courageous and passionate.
I have a clear vision, but I also recognise that my position is open for criticism and judgment and this is something I am still working on. Success doesn’t mean you are bulletproof.  It’s been hard, really hard, but they say “what doesn’t kill you makes your drinks stronger!” I love that and this quote: “When you’ve worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and you give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed.” (Michelle Obama)


[P.S.S]: What keeps you passionate?

[S.P.]: An overwhelming sense that I haven’t even scratched the surface yet in terms of what I hope to achieve. Sunday, 24th February, saw us winning our 30th award at the Professional Beauty Awards, and this is something I am incredibly proud of. I love seeing how far I can push the boundaries without being crass and I have realised that humour is the thread that runs through what I do.
I love how exciting the industry is. It’s continually evolving, and I love the fluidity of change and adapting to that. I hope I have shown my daughter that grit, determination, and fight against adversity is worth it no matter how challenging. I want to be the role model she deserves.


[P.S.S]: What does being a part of the salon industry mean to you?

[S.P.]: It’s an honour to be part of the beauty industry, although I have do also have my issues with it. Sometimes the fight to make a change can be too great, and the standards of training are just not there in my opinion, which makes it almost an impossible task to recruit. I love being part of a hugely profitable industry contributing to the British economy, but most of all, I love seeing my dream become a reality. I never thought when I had this crazy idea to call a salon environment ‘The Potting Shed’ and launch a skincare brand that I would have achieved what we have today.
Most of all, I love that we can interact with our clientele holistically and make a difference, however small. We provide a service with love, respect and honourable intent. To me that’s what being part of this industry means; being the difference.


[P.S.S]: What advice would you give to aspiring female leaders, both in and out of the industry?

[S.P.]: Every day you have the power to make a better history. Don’t base your decisions on fear, but on hope. Go for whatever it is you believe in and be the best version of you. Don’t compromise and don’t settle. Listen, learn and be kind and mindful to yourself. Be humble, confident and trust the ground under your feet. I have always lived by the quote, “A flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, it just blooms.”