A good grounding in a practical skill, followed by sound training in business practice, gave young entrepreneur Emma Coslett the flying start she needed to get her new beauty venture off the ground.
As a beauty therapist, Emma Coslett is used to achieving transformations for her clients.
But the 22-year old from Cwmbran has undergone a major transformation of her own over the past five years, since dropping out of her A level studies in law and philosophy and facing up an uncertain future.
Today she runs her own thriving mobile beauty business, called Beauty by Emma, and is attracting customers from a radius of over 30 miles.
The qualified beautician, who launched the business in September 2012, already has 30 regulars on her books, plus many more occasional clients, coming from as far afield as Cardiff, Chepstow and even Hereford.
Emma decided to set up her own business after qualifying in her field, thanks to Welsh Government-backed CQF Level 2 training via a local salon and supported by the Newport-based Centre for Business.
Armed with her salon experience and membership of the Guild of Beauty Therapists she turned again to the Centre for Business, this time to acquire the essential skills to launch the new venture.
I originally thought of becoming a solicitor but now I just couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else but this.
The centre gave her access to a whole host of Government-funded workshops covering key topics such as finance, marketing, pricing and day-to-day management. This was further supported by regular coaching and mentoring from an experienced business adviser – something she regarded as vital to the successful launch of ‘Beauty by Emma.’
She recalled “It was a tremendous help and I can still pick up the phone to my mentor and get advice, whenever I need to.”
The fledgling businesswoman was also eligible for a Young Entrepreneur Bursary under the Jobs Growth Wales programme. This provided £6,000 towards the costs of getting the new enterprise off the ground.
Her success to date is underlined by the fact that several salons have been trying to persuade her to come and work for them but she’s determined to continue running her own enterprise, serving clients she describes as ‘fiercely loyal.’
With her customer base continuing to grow rapidly, Emma is now seriously considering the recruitment of an apprentice who she could train with support from Welsh Government-backed learning providers.
She’s now full of optimism and has a clear view of her direction in life. “I originally thought of becoming a solicitor but now I just couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else but this,” said the ambitious young entrepreneur.