Career Inspiration: ReeRee Rockette – Salon Owner at Rockalily Cuts

I hope you’re all having a good start to the week. Today I’m here to share a new and rather exciting Career Inspiration interview. For those of you who’re new to Career Inspiration, the aim is to help people looking for career ideas, a career change or simply an insight into what others do.

It’s very hard to know what you want to do in life and I’ve always loved finding out about what others do and the journey they took to get there. Today my interview is with a business woman I truly admire. She set up her own vintage inspired hair salon (even though she isn’t a hair stylist), blogs, writes and much much more. I hope you enjoy today’s interview with ReeRee Rockette, a Salon Owner and Blogger at Rockalily Cuts.

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What was the inspiration behind Rockalily Cuts?

For most of my 20s, I was focused on a career in education, having completed a four year degree in teaching. I went on to become a primary teacher as well as a secondary school librarian. I quit, and started with my own lipstick brand; Rockalily Lipsticks. This led to opening my hair salon, Rockalily Cuts. I’m not trained in hair or beauty, but I was drawn to creating my brand from writing my blog, and connecting to others were understood the power of creating a personal style.

What made you make the change from a career in education to setting up your own salon?

I’d suffered from itchy feet as a teacher, and after trying to scratch it by becoming a librarian, I knew I needed something more. I had no clue what else I could be good at, but via a part time job in cabaret, and my blog, I realised I had the ability to succeed elsewhere.

Was it daunting venturing into a new field?

Gosh yes! I’d gained a lot of my self worth from being a good teacher, and I found giving that badge of honour up pretty tough. Who was I, if not a teacher? It took a couple of years to get that self worth back in its entirety.

Please tell us a little more about the initial steps you took in setting up Rockalily Cuts.

It was all rather fast to be honest! I’m more of a do-er, than an over-thinker! I started by trying to create my ideal vision; from the salon look to the customer experience, from booking to leaving with their new do. I started looking at shop spaces, and it all just spun from there.

What challenges are there when running a brick and mortar business as opposed to an online business.

The running costs are challenging to manage, staff, rent, utilities, rates etc. All of these costs remain, whether you have a single client or not.

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Tell us about your other ventures.

I’m still a blogger, and I have a column in a tattoo magazine, as well as the occasional article in magazines. I also dip my toe into the speaking arena, giving talks on social media, blogging and branding. I teach vintage hair workshops too, most recently to the staff at a retro bowling alley. I’ve been trying to develop my writing and push myself, and have become a Huffington Post blogger to help me step up my game!

Has your blog played a part in your career?

Without it, I imagine I’d still be teaching! It allowed me to find another path; something else I could perhaps be good at. It’s helped me develop skills in PR, branding, and writing. It’s opened so many doors, and allowed me to create an audience that I could then build a business around.

Have your friends and family been supportive of your career decisions?

Yes! It’s brought me and my family much closer, and although it’s definitely my ‘baby’, they’re very involved behind the scenes. My mother, my aunt and me painted the salon together!

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What is a typical workday like?

I wake up, and log in. I need to check any new or changed appointments, a lot of clients tweet, email or facebook rather than phoning. I like to wake up slowly, and take a while of working from bed, having coffee and watching some tv online before getting dressed. Once up, I’ll reflect on my tasks for the day, they may include banking, writing, blogging, admin, accounts, or visiting the salon. I like to get out of the house when working from home, so will go and buy dinner or get a coffee. If I’m going to the gym that day I’l go late in the evening.

What do you enjoy most about being self-employed?

I enjoy the freedom it gives me day-to-day, I knew I wanted a job I could do from anywhere with a laptop. I’m more than happy working randomly but pretty constantly as a lot of it doesn’t feel like work. I’m a night owl, and I enjoy being able to be productive late at night. It’s tough, and definitely not for everyone, you give up a lot to work for yourself, but if it suits your personality type, then not much beats it.

What keeps you motivated?

Paying the bills! I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far, and proud that I’ve created jobs for others. It would be hard to give up, as I have so much further to go.

What direction do you hope to take Rockalily Cuts over the next year?

I’d be more than happy with us just continuing to grow, to grow as a team, and have lots of happy heads walking out of the door!

What advice would you give to others thinking of setting up their own business?

To really focus on what people are willing to give you money for, not just what you’d love to sit around doing all day. You may love to crochet dog socks all day, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to pay your rent with it, no matter how hard you work at it.

Thank you so much to ReeRee for taking the time to be a part of Career Inspiration. I really enjoy talking to people who’ve managed to create a career through their passions in life and ReeRee is a perfect example of just that. I think it’s important for everyone to remember that it’s possible to find or create a job you love and you should never be afraid of changing the direction of your career. 

You can find ReeRee on Rockalily Cuts, blog, Twitter and Facebook.