Kayley Mullard, 27, who launched her enterprise less than five months ago, was placed 49th in the final of her category in the UK Hair and Beauty Awards.
"I was gobsmacked when I saw my name come up,” said Kayley, of Heanor, who watched the awards online after a friend’s birthday party on Saturday. “I was very skeptical when I entered and thought I was never going to get anywhere."
Beauty professional Kayley’s story is inspirational, showing a woman who has overcome obstacles to achieve success.
She said: “I was about 14 when I started plucking my eyebrows and used to tweeze them until there was nothing left. It’s all about social media and an expectation of beauty so you follow the trend. I used to get bullied in school, I had dark hair and was quite dark skinned and got told that I looked foreign. I used to do anything to try and blend in and not stick out.”
She worked as a sales assistant at Ikea in Giltbrook for five years but after having her daughter Esmé, who is now two, the single mum found that she was unable to fit that work around caring for her little girl.
Kayley, 27, said: “I've never been one to not work. Even when I was pregnant I worked up to a week before I gave birth. After I had Esmé, I was on maternity leave and pay and I thought I needed to go back to work to get some money for her.
"I messaged Krystal Lacey of KML Beauty Academy who I knew did training in Langley Mill. I did my brow, wax and tint course to start with and I qualified after three clients and then I moved onto brow lamination and I passed after five people.”
Kayley set up the spare bedroom at her home in Carlyle Street to do brow wax and tints and brow lamination.
She said: “I'm focused on brow care. I’ve got some people who have come with sparse brows through over-plucking and they now have a full shape to their brows which is a nice feeling.”With around 20 clients currently on her books, Kayley offers competitive prices with a brow wax and tint costing £10, normal brow lamination £20 and hybrid lamination £30.
Kayley’s determination shows no sign of easing up and she’s striving to better herself and build a bigger business. She said: "I'd love to have a big outdoor area with a little log cabin for a beauty business one day. I would like to expand and I keep straying towards faciaIs. I don't want to do eyelashes as I don't think I can sit there for three hours to do someone's eyelashes!
“If it wasn't for my little girl I wouldn’t be where I am now. As soon as she was born she made me stronger and gave me a backbone. She made me realise that I needed to buck myself up and push myself to get that money to build a better life for both of us.”