In­vest­ment in staff core of suc­cess

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - BUSINESS - KATH­LEEN SKENE kath­

TO suc­ceed for this long, a busi­ness needs to cul­ti­vate clients who are cham­pi­ons of the busi­ness – and this Sanc­tu­ary Cove sa­lon has nailed the for­mula.

When Caro­line Childs and hus­band Steve took over the es­tab­lished Cham­pi­ons Hair Beauty Day Spa 17 years ago, there were just four staff work­ing in a 95sq m sa­lon.

The work­force at the Ma­rine Vil­lage site has since quadru­pled and the floorspace more than dou­bled – growth Ms Childs said had been en­abled by fos­ter­ing a loyal long-term staff.

“The girls are well-trained and we have a lot of long-term staff who make Cham­pion what it is,” she said.

“I think that re­ally sets my busi­ness apart.

“In all small busi­ness, it can be chal­lang­ing to find the right peo­ple and keep­ing ev­ery­one happy, clients as well as staff.

“I think I’ve found the right recipe.”

In 2005, the busi­ness built a larger fa­cil­ity nearby, which they moved into two weeks

af­ter Ms Childs gave birth to her son.

Five years later, as the GFC was rav­aging busi­nesses of all sizes, this busi­ness took the op­por­tu­nity to ex­pand again into the shop next door.

The ex­pan­sion and di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion has paid off – there are now 14 hair­dress­ing chairs, six beauty rooms and three nail tech­ni­cian sta­tions.

Some clients have been go­ing to the sa­lon since be­fore Ms Childs took over.

“With some clients we rem­i­nisce about when I started in my mid-20s,” she said.

“I’ve seen them grow up and then the next gen­er­a­tion com­ing through – it’s gone so quickly.”

Over the decades, the sa­lon has made a name for it­self as an “oa­sis of re­lax­ation”.

“I’ve had a pas­sion for it from a young age,” Ms Childs said. “I en­joy giv­ing to peo­ple and mak­ing them feel re­laxed and con­fort­able. “

Over the years, six of the staff have be­come moth­ers, with nine “sa­lon ba­bies” be­tween them.

Some of the team have worked at Cham­pi­ons for more than 20 years.

“We call it our core group, we’ve all grown up to­gether, got mar­ried, had kids – and we’ve all got to work,” Ms Childs said.

“I’ve made it the right en­vi­ron­ment to be fam­ily friendly and don’t want any­one to feel pres­sured into com­ing back into full-time work af­ter they’ve had a baby.

“I try to make it the best work­ing en­vi­ron­ment – happy staff mean happy clients.

Ms Childs’ staff had their chance to re­pay her care for them last year – their world stood still when at 47, she was di­ag­nosed with breast cancer.

“I’m one of the lucky ones who came out the other side of it,” she said.

“I was also lucky to have the sup­port of my long-term staff and clients.”


Cham­pi­ons Hair Beauty Day Spa has been run by Caro­line Childs since 2000 and con­tin­ues to grow.

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