My name is Kate Williams. I am the founder and director of Tranquility nails and beauty academy. My journey to reach the academy is a big part of my business.
I started out as a beauty therapist 22 years ago at the age of 16, after my career advisor told me being a dolphin trainer was unrealistic I thought the industry would allow me the opportunity to help others feel good on a daily basis and use the social skills I had.
My childhood was disruptive, and I grew up telling myself when I was an adult I would be in control and I would no longer feel scared lonely or lost, it wasn’t really the fault of those around me they had suffered disruption and abuse in their own childhoods and carried this emotional trauma with them not knowing how to manage their anger and emotions anyway I decided the cycle ended with me and this was my motivation I would no longer be lonely, scared or lost.
I set myself my first goal: complete college, get a full-time job in a salon, move out and mark the occasion with a tattoo and by the age of 19 I had completed this goal and that’s how i have lived my life since setting myself achievable small goals which have all lead to the bigger ones. My story isn’t one of self-pity. I simply share my story to those I choose to let others know your past doesn’t define your future and the path you are on can be moved in any direction you choose.
My career saw me manage salons, spas and work self-employed. I put myself on any training course I could to always keep myself up to date with the latest treatment trends and was soon headhunted to take over a suffering salon to turn it around. It was there I started to realise there was a real gap for good quality education, during interviews i often had therapists apply with what they thought to be industry recognised qualifications in actual fact these were not suitable for the salon environment and those that had attended college needed further training to get them to a salon standard. It seemed very unfair for the individuals who had given up their time and often money to train in something only to be told it wasn’t enough.
My passion for the industry was at an all-time high in 2015 when my husband and i decided to relocate to his place of birth this was a 200 mile move for us and our children so getting it right was crucial, however it was impossible for me to get a job, after applying for dozens which were all unsuccessful it now appeared i had hit a brick wall within my career i loved so much and was overqualified for the roles available to me.
During this time of frustration, I met with a friend and her new partner, we shared a bottle of wine and conversation soon lead to our jobs. I shared my upset with my recent failures. My friend’s partner took an interest in what I was saying. He asked me what I ultimately wanted.
My reply was simple: “I would love to teach. I’m not interested in teaching at a college I’ve had to retrain newly qualified therapists in my current role and I’m tired of disappointing therapists telling them I need to spend additional time training them, but I do only want to teach NVQs in an environment that’s educational, encouraging and stimulating. I also would love a salon so the people I do teach get the all-important work experience to help them start their career”.
I left that evening not thinking anymore of the conversation i had, until two weeks later i received a call from my friends partner “Kate i have an opportunity for you i was talking about you to some colleagues and they want to pay for you to complete you teacher and assessor training and have you deliver their level 3 diplomas in nail technology”. The move was off and I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
I had the promise I made as a child. I was now inspiring my own children and I was determined to show them you can do anything you set your mind too with hard work and determination anything is possible. I was a girl that had scraped through school, fought through college through no fault of my own on paper, this should not be happening to me but I was not going to let that stop me.
In 2016 i started delivering the level 3 diplomas in nail technology in 3 areas i was soon known as the nail lady and had students lining up, i hired training rooms and conference rooms travelling around with the equipment. By the end of 2016 students were asking for more qualifications so I introduced the level 3 beauty therapy diploma shortly followed by the level 3 makeup artistry. This journey was not without its own challenges, i had been linked in with another company and the success i was having meant less work for them this made them bitter and they sabotaged my classes, during one lesson they ushered me out of the room and proceeded to tell my 12 students i didn’t know what i was doing and i had taught them all wrong on discovery of this information i was devastated at my lowest point i sat in a field sobbing into my knees not knowing where to go from here i felt utterly defeated the self-doubt kicked in and i even questioned if they were right, but then i remembered what it was all for i had got through far worse than a bunch of bullies why would i let them take away from me what i had worked so hard for i dusted myself down and marched back to the training room politely told them i would take over and carried on. The weeks following this were tough but soon enough the partnership ended, and I was flying solo.
These people actually, helped me though i didn’t realise it at the time they taught me my first lesson in business there will always be knock backs. It would have been easy for me to run away and hide and give up but if success was meant to be easy everyone would be doing it.
My ambitions were happening all around me, as far as I was concerned. I had the best job in the world. Not only was I sharing my passion for the industry I loved so much I had women working again that had been out of work for many years, having complete career changes after being stuck in roles that worked around their families but made them lose their identity and purpose not only that my students were feeling more confident in themselves. One of my biggest success stories was a mum of two aged 25 her partner and her had to live separately so she got the government help she so desperately needed she worked nights was missing her family being a complete unit and was utterly exhausted, she completed all three of my courses and within a year the family were all under one roof fast forward another year she opened her own hair and beauty salon and has four members of staff two of which i have now trained too, I was changing other people’s lives. My vision was happening. Salons started to approach me asking for students to work for them. I was delivering to that high standard I had wanted. Why was I handing over all these therapists? they should be working for me, it was time to find my premises so the vision would be complete.
In 2018 I started to look for the premises i needed an area big enough for the academy but also, now I was ready for a salon too. Who would’ve thought this would be so much to ask for there were many viewings none of which fitted the vision or simply needed far too much work.
Fast forward to 2020 I had finally found the premises that was suitable; it was over two floors both with their own entrances. This was also an important feature; it was open plan but very clean. The downstairs would become my academy and upstairs with some partition walls and clever planning would become a 4-treatment room salon. I put my offer in knowing in my stomach this was the one and my tenancy was agreed 2 days in to the first lockdown, can you imagine searching for two years to find the perfect property to find it as a pandemic starts at first i considered just waiting the pandemic out and starting again however after questioning if i was possibly mad going through with it during such uncertain times i decided it couldn’t possibly get any worse than staring like this i convinced myself the only way was up and signed the tenancy.
Tranquility Nails and Beauty Academy
Tranquility nails and beauty academy is so much more than a beauty salon or school its been built on dreams and goals my staff members are all ladies that have trained with me i now have three teachers/assessors all of which started as a student of mine my motivation is building people, I was given an opportunity by talking to a friend over a glass of wine that has changed not only my life but my families and many of my students. I want to continue to share not only my passion for the industry, my story, and my belief that anything is possible despite your past or current path in life.
My advice to anyone wanting to build a dream or a business is believe in yourself, without that how will you possibly withstand the hurdles you face, talk kindly to yourself. Never stop learning, don’t ever believe you know all there is to know, 22 years later I still study both business and beauty courses without fail. Listen to audios that inspire your mind, those that feel the author is directly talking to you, take knowledge from those that are where you want to be, why try and figure it out yourself when others already have. You have to have a reason, a purpose that’s strong enough to weather the storm’s vision of how that feels, believe it’s happened already and take action steps towards those goals, remember small goals lead to big dreams.