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Women in Business - Carla Corte-Real

Updated: Feb 9, 2021

Starting your own business is a big step for anyone to take. It may require leaving the comfort and security of a regular job for a more uncertain financial future! The success of your new venture might need planning, funds and possibly a bit of luck.

We recently met up with Carla Corte-Real of Hair by Carla, a salon using Organic and Cruelty-Free beauty products and SME National Green Award Finalist 2018.

We discussed why she decided to jump from employed to starting her own business and what her aspirations are for her salon going forwards.

What inspired you to start your business, and what does it mean to you being a business owner and an entrepreneur?

Carla: My journey started when I became poorly. After six months of treatment, I realised that I had a second chance to live a better, greener and kinder life, for me, my clients and life in general. Having my own business, it's like having a baby, being devoted, working hard, and seeing your dream grow every day.

What has been the most crucial thing in building your brand?

Carla: For me, the most important thing has been persistence, competitions, awards and pushing to make my work and brand better known.

Who or what has been your most significant influence in business and why?

Carla: My partner always told me to believe in myself and achieve everything I wanted and that he had my back; he has been supportive both mentally and physically. My other inspiration has been my Dad; he always worked for himself, and I remember growing up, seeing him getting up early and working weekends. I remember his words "when you are the boss, you have the responsibility, and you command the troops" my Dad worked very hard and when we speak, he tells me "you are like me, you're a warrior, and you never give up".

Did you receive any support or advice from other women in business?

Carla: Yes, absolutely, my clients offer me a lot of moral support, strength and positivity.

What is the best advice you have received as a new business that you would like to pass on to our readers?

Carla: Make a business plan, ask for help because we don't know everything and there are many people and tools out there that can help you, free of charge but you need to ask for that help.

What has been the most effective marketing strategy you have used to promote your organic hair salon?

Carla: Personally, it has been by direct contact with my clients, distributing leaflets, introducing myself and talking about what it is I do and why. My clients do a lot of marketing for me without realising; they get compliments on their hair, which is the best marketing; it's genuine and organic.

Where do you see your business in a year?

Carla: I will continue to promote my brand, winning awards, developing the other side of the business by educating other salons and business owners about organic cruelty-free hair and beauty products. Get another stylist on board as passionate about the brand as I am.

Any tips for our readers on how to turn the dream into a reality?

Carla: Belief in yourself, don't just think about a dream, do it! You can achieve it, but you need to take action and commit to it.

And finally, what do you enjoy doing at the end of a busy week to help you unwind?

Carla: I love cooking and listening to podcasts or audiobooks, spending time with my son and my two beloved felines Kiko and Princess-Sissi.

Thank you for checking in and reading our post. We always appreciate a Like, Comment or Share, Pam.

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