Corina Conn opened her salon when she was just 22. She had dyslexia and struggled with paperwork - but working with her hands came naturally to her.

Name: Corina Conn
Job title: Salon owner/director
Company: Hair to stare at

What does your job involve?
Where do I start? There's a lot of things I do but I think my main and most important job is nurturing my staff members. I think they are what makes the salon what it is today. I always try my best to ensure they are happy, have inspiration, drive, and goals. I try my best to help them achieve and I strive to make sure we work as a team to create an amazing work environment for both the staff and our clients to enjoy.

Why did you get into this profession?
I fell into hairdressing at the age of 15 and loved it from day dot, but I do remember on my first day of work I looked at my new boss and thought "wow I want to be just like her". I opened Hair to stare at when I was 22. I won't lie and say it was easy because it wasn't, but 11 years down the track and 18 years of hairdressing later, myself and my husband have created an amazing salon with a great reputation.


What do you like about your job the most?
I love working with people and the hairdressing industry is so exciting. There's always new things coming out, I learn something new every day. I get to dress up every day and hang out with people who make me happy.

What's the most challenging aspect of your role?
The salon is growing and I have got busier so I guess the hardest thing is to manage a good work/life balance.

What's your proudest work moment?
I think our salon making the top three in five categories in the nationwide Kitomba Salon awards two years in a row makes me feel pretty proud. I also feel really proud when I see my girls achieve great things. Helping them achieve their apprenticeships and then gaining a clientele, it's very rewarding. Also coaching and helping my seniors achieve their targets and goals makes me super proud.

What training prepared you for your role?
To be honest I didn't even have my trade when I opened the salon! I have very bad dyslexia so I struggle with any kind of paperwork but working with my hands in the hairdressing industry came so easy to me. I didn't have any management or business skills but I am a people person. I knew when people were happy and when they weren't, so I guess I just always tried - and still try my best - to make people and staff happy. If they aren't I will do my absolute best to fix it. That's good business.

What's the best piece of career advice you've received?
For me the best career advice came from a very special client of mine. She said, "You will go far, Corina, because you care." It's something I always think about when I get too busy, when I stress out or start to get a big head. I step back and remember why I started Hair to stare at and why I'm a hairdresser. It's because I care and want to make people feel good and to be happy.

What's the most important thing your role has taught you?
To really value my staff and my clients because without them there is no business.

Describe your work wardrobe.
I love clothes, shoes, everything about fashion! But because I often get bleach, colour and hair all over them I wear cheap but fashionable clothes.

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