The Story Behind Me

The Story Behind Me

From being a little girl I had always said I wanted to work within the hair and beauty industry. I was never good at sitting in a class room learning from a text book, this proved to be a struggle as being dyslexic these things don’t come easy to you. This brought on a lot of stress. 

The pressure on children to get good grades, get into college and go on to uni, is huge. From this I have learnt that people often don't know they're stressed, we all use the phrase ‘I'm stressed’, but what does that really mean? 

Stress can come out in so many ways, e.g. not sleeping, a racing heart, dizziness and high blood pressure. For me I never knew how down and ‘stressed’ I was, until I started getting eczema on my hands and arms. At the time I never realised that this problem was caused by stress, until I saw a pattern within my skin. When I was off school my eczema would calm down, however, when i would feel down or stressed from school and schoolwork my skin would flare up again. 

Being a young high school girl who had an angry red rash on her hands I would often be asked 'whats that?’ from people, sometimes this would be people I didn't even know. I’m sure as you could imagine this made me very self conscious. I would often avoid applying eczema cream because most of the time it irritated my skin and would leave my skin feeling oily and greasy. Avoiding using creams then led to my hands getting worse to the point where the skin would start to crack and bleed, which then became infected meaning I was given antibiotics to take most of the time. 

As a result of all this going on my only hope was being referred to a Dermatologist at the hospital, I thought this would be a step in the right direction for me, but how wrong was I! When visiting the hospital I was told that my skin was so bad because I was working as an Apprentice Hairdresser, the consultant never listened to me when I told her this wasn’t the cause of the problem as I had suffered from this since being in High School. I was also told I wouldn't see progress in my skin until I changed my job, and if I didn’t my skin would only get worse.

I was so down and upset I didn't know what to do and my skin was only getting worse. By this time I had stopped working as a hairdresser and moved to being behind reception doing more day to day jobs such as: taking appointments, cashing up, stock checks and answering the phone. This wasn’t what I loved to do and it really made me lose my passion for hairdressing. With all of this going on I didn’t know where my future would take me, though I also realised if I couldn’t carry on with hair anymore my other passion was nails and beauty. 

I was lucky enough to have the support of my grandparents who offered to pay for me to do night school at college to train as a nail tech along side still working at the salon.

As I started to train I realised how much I loved doing nails, I went onto taking clients on at home on an afterwork basis. I immediately saw how much happier this made me, I suppose the timing was just right. Katie the owner of the salon I work in started to rent the upstairs to beauticians, knowing I was taking a course she asked me if this was something I would be interested in. At the time I said no as I didn't have any confidence, knowledge or I suppose self belief, however, after months of thinking and planning I said to Katie I’d take the space upstairs, I wanted to take the plunge and go self employed. This is where I started the journey of MYSA. 

Jess Lee