Meet Blushed and Beau­ti­ful owner Melissa Edwards

How Melissa Edwards made the leap from so­cial ser­vices to the beauty busi­ness

Northern Rivers Style - - CONTENTS -

Just over a year ago, Melissa Edwards made the brave and bold move to leave her job and start her own busi­ness, Blushed Hair and Beauty Lounge in Ballina. In the highly com­pet­i­tive and tough-to-crack beauty mar­ket, Melissa has carved out a niche for her­self and her busi­ness. On the eve of her lat­est ven­ture, Melissa spoke to Style Mag­a­zine.

What was your child­hood or ear­li­est am­bi­tion?

Ever since I was a lit­tle girl, I wanted to be a hair­dresser or so­cial worker. So­cial ser­vices won out for the first part of my ca­reer, and hair­dress­ing is my cur­rent love.

Am­bi­tion or tal­ent: which mat­ters more to suc­ceed?

Tal­ent is im­por­tant, how­ever am­bi­tion be­comes the drive to nav­i­gate the jour­ney of suc­cess, which is of­ten not a straight­for­ward road. It takes many ups and many downs to be­come suc­cess­ful and am­bi­tion, tenac­ity and self-be­lief is the only thing that will get you there.

How have your am­bi­tions changed in re­cent years?

I worked in the so­cial ser­vices sec­tor for eight years. I was a case man­ager for six of those years, and as much as I en­joyed help­ing peo­ple to fa­cil­i­tate change within their own selves and fam­ily life, I didn't feel as though it re­ally sat­is­fied my crav­ing for creativ­ity. I went to night school for three years to study hair­dress­ing and beauty whilst still work­ing as a case man­ager.

I started do­ing wed­ding hair and make-up on week­ends, and once my busi­ness was es­tab­lished, al­beit part-time, I left my case man­age­ment job and opened a small home sa­lon.

Af­ter work­ing there for six months, I knew that I needed to open a for­mal com­mer­cial space, and that is how the idea for the Blushed Hair and Beauty Lounge was born.

Look­ing back five years ago, I never would have thought I would be in the po­si­tion that I am in now. This is a true tes­ta­ment to the value of am­bi­tion and hard work, and be­liev­ing in your­self and in your idea de­spite what peo­ple might say or think.

Who was or is your men­tor?

Over my life, I have learnt many les­sons from many dif­fer­ent peo­ple, al­though my very best friend, Al­lan, was a big in­flu­ence in my life. He sadly passed away nine years ago, but the wis­dom that he be­stowed on me has stayed in my heart and soul. My part­ner Steven has also been a great men­tor to me and has been my big­gest sup­porter to date.

With­out his sup­port, the crazy yet won­der­ful ideas that I reg­u­larly come to him with may not have seen fruition, as he is the one with the “build­ing” skills.

What’s next for your busi­ness?

I am in a re­ally ex­cit­ing time for my busi­ness. The Hair and Beauty Lounge has been opened of­fi­cially for 16 months, and I am now start­ing to see the fruits of long hours and mar­ket­ing ef­forts. We have re­cently launched our make-up and hairstyling

classes and are po­ten­tially go­ing to run some pop-up classes in a lo­cal shop­ping cen­tre at some stage, and we have had some in­ter­est from a few lo­cal com­mu­nity groups also.

Our cur­rent project, The Blushed Beauty Bi­ble, is a col­lab­o­ra­tion with a few lo­cal busi­nesses to cre­ate a series of short makeover videos de­signed to up­lift a de­serv­ing per­son, whilst pro­vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity to brand our­selves as “ex­perts” in our fields. Each seg­ment in­cludes a fash­ion, health and well­ness, hair and make-up makeover, and a pro­fes­sional photo shoot with the re­veal at the end. These five- to six-minute videos will be shared on our so­cial me­dia chan­nels.

De­scribe your per­sonal fash­ion style?

I am a hair­dresser, so black, black and more black! No, I ac­tu­ally re­ally love blue skinny jeans with over­sized knitwear and an­kle boots. I love dresses with in­ter­est­ing flo­ral pat­terns, colour­ful off-the-shoul­der tops with state­ment ear­rings, and I love the beau­ti­ful state­ment jew­ellery pieces that my jew­eller part­ner (Steven from Gem Ar­ray Jew­ellers) makes me.

Has your style changed over the years?

I was some kind of pur­ple and black hippy goth in my teenage years and early 20s. I lived in long black skirts and my vin­tage pur­ple Doc Martins. I then evolved into more boho styling (be­fore it was a thing) and am now more of a clas­sic styled dresser.

What’s your most trea­sured fash­ion item and why?

My denim jacket and my col­lec­tion of For­ever New dresses. They are so well made and al­ways fit in the right places.

What is the sin­gle best piece of beauty ad­vice you can share with read­ers?

Beauty means dif­fer­ent things to dif­fer­ent peo­ple, and there is no real right or wrong; just guide­lines that take into con­sid­er­a­tion colour the­ory and sym­me­try. Be cre­ative and en­joy the process. Take your time to in­ves­ti­gate the brands that test on an­i­mals – it is a bar­baric prac­tice that re­ally does not need to hap­pen. There are so many amaz­ing and qual­ity brands that do not test on an­i­mals, and I urge peo­ple to get to know them and sup­port these brands.

You can only pack three make-up items – what are they?

Mas­cara, tinted lip balm and pressed pow­der - the three key items to a nat­u­ral, no make-up look.

What is your favourite new beauty trend?

Lashes for sure. I am a fan of lash ex­ten­sions and tem­po­rary strip lashes. The right lash style can take years off your look, open your eyes and give the il­lu­sion of a more youth­ful com­plex­ion.

In what place are you hap­pi­est?

As a child, I grew up sail­ing the eastern se­aboard on a 38-foot yacht with my par­ents and brothers. As an adult, I still find the wa­ter in­cred­i­bly sooth­ing, and would love noth­ing more than to be sail­ing through the Whit­sun­days on a yacht with my part­ner Steven, and our two mal­tese shitzu, Rocco and Chilli Charles.

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PHOTO: SARAH HUGHES

Melissa Edwards at work in her hair and beauty lounge in Ballina.

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