Learn­ing how to cut it as a boss

Lu­cia bought salon at 19 – now­she’s cel­e­brat­ing 10 years in the business

Isis Town and Country - - News - By MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

AS LU­CIA Momesso re­flects on the suc­cess of her business Chi­a­bella Hair De­signz, it is easy to un­der­stand how dif­fer­ent her life could have been if not for her will­ing­ness to take a chance.

Miss Momesso cel­e­brated the 10th an­niver­sary of her hair­dress­ing business on Oc­to­ber 4, but it wouldn’t have hap­pened if not for her own “Slid­ing Doors mo­ment”.

“I ac­tu­ally wanted to be a drama or PE teacher,” she said.

“I just missed out on the first round of ac­cep­tances be­cause my OP was one point out. I passed all of the other exams.

“They tried to con­vince me to wait un­til the sec­ond round but I was like ‘nup’.”

Miss Momesso com­pleted a se­ries of mas­sage cour­ses be­fore an op­por­tu­nity to buy the pre­vi­ous Katy’s Hair Salon saw a rad­i­cal change in pro­fes­sion.

“This salon was for sale and I told my par­ents I wanted to do it and they even­tu­ally said okay,” she said. “I was only 19 at the time. “At that point I was try­ing to do mas­sage ther­apy. I fi­nally went to TAFE in the Jan­uary but learnt a lot from the staff I had work­ing.”

She also worked at a salon in Mary­bor­ough, gath­er­ing as much ex­pe­ri­ence as she could.

From the out­side it looked like a bizarre set-up.

She closed the store ev­ery Mon­day to go to lessons, while her staff mem­bers also acted as part-time in­struc­tors and ad­vis­ers while she was on the job.

“It was pretty hard,” she said.

“I’ve al­ways had re­ally good staff and I still do. It was very chal­leng­ing be­cause I was try­ing to run the business as well as learn. I even spent my Satur­days cut­ting friends’ hair.”

With the ben­e­fit of hind­sight, Miss Momesso ad­mit­ted it was “not an ideal” set-up but a great learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

“It was not an ideal way to learn and I prob­a­bly wouldn’t rec­om­mend it to any­one, but I would have to say it was the best ex­pe­ri­ence,” she said.

“Own­ing my own business at 20 is a huge deal. You grow up a lot faster, that’s for sure.”

PHOTO: MATTHEW MCIN­ER­NEY

ON THE JOB: Chi­a­bella Hair De­signz owner Lu­cia Momesso with reg­u­lar cus­tomer Han­nah Wiemers.

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