We've featured Victoria Houllis and her mesmerising nail creations for Mannequin Hands before, but the fandom never dies, so we're switching up our usual schedule. This week, we chat to the nail artist and small business owner about being her own boss and navigating the highs and lows. Bookmark these tips for later.
Top 3 aspects of having your own business:
- Having the freedom to create a brand from scratch that reflects how I want to create and live.
- Working with other inspiring and like-minded people.
- No two days are the same!
Top 3 things you wish you knew before starting:
- I had the misconception that I'd have lots of wiggle room in my schedule when really it's eternally full and, as a business owner, there's an ingrained idea that if you slow down everything will stop.
- How to best prepare myself for the ebbs and flows of running a business.
- That it's not lazy to outsource elements of your life to achieve balance.
Top 3 business tools:
- For those in any kind of service industry, I love the pricing calculator by Boss Your Salon. It's beauty-targeted but works perfectly for pricing in the service industry.
- Friendships with other sole traders and business owners. Having people around who have celebrated the business milestones and struggled with the same stresses has been so helpful.
- The Reminders app - it sounds simple but my sweet client Murphy showed me how she categorises all her to-do lists and it's been a daily game changer.
Top 3 sources of inspiration/motivation:
- From a creative perspective, art and fashion are always a source of inspiration.
- From a business perspective, my friends Nina at Extra Silky, Hattie Molloy, Lauren Winzer and Ian Tran at Domus Vim always keep me inspired and motivated with how dynamic and creative their approach to business is.
- My parents - they're super hard working and always encourage me to make my business decisions with confidence.
Top 3 outfit essentials:
- A good shirt - there's a million ways to style a button up and take it from casual to formal with ease.
- Comfy pants - I sit for 12 hour days and being able to move with ease and comfort is key to making my long days a little easier!
- Jewellery - I'm quite lazy with getting dressed through the week, but having accessories that I can chuck on makes me look a little put together on even the most chaotic days.
Top 3 ways to unwind after work:
- The infrared sauna - the one I go to has no reception so I get an hour of silence unless I sneak in my aux cord.
- The gym - I love reformer or yoga to get some movement back into my body after being hunched over all day.
- The cinema - heading to the movies is always sweet for me. I love cinema and it forces me to be uncontactable for a couple of hours.
Top 3 things that keep you going on the toughest days:
- My little cousin Georgia and my best friend Chloe. They both work with me a couple of days of the week and they ease up every day that they're in the salon by lightening the load, giving me cuddles and being generally fun to spend time with.
- Good music - it immediately sets the tone for the day and changes the pace at which I work so I always switch it up if I'm in a bit of a slump.
- Food - it sounds simple but I love to eat lavishly, so having a good meal in the calendar always gives me something to look forward to.
Top 3 words of wisdom for budding entrepreneurs:
- Get across the support available to you in your industry. There are so many grants that I didn't know were available to me when I was kicking off my business and it provides a great jumping off point.
- Create a routine that keeps you feeling happy and healthy so when things get crazy or busy, you have some support in place.
- Slow down before burn out hits. It's really hard to get back into a creative mindset when you're burnt out and you can run on empty for quite a while, but it's incredibly humbling when it happens.
Shop Victoria's picks