Member in the Spotlight … Louisa Alessandra Pini
If you love to relax, Louisa is your lady! She kindly gives us a great insight into her holistic & clinical aromatherapy business, which has won several awards recently. Louisa shares insights into what it takes to be a successful business in the health industry.
Describe your business
There are two parts to my business:
As an Holistic & Clinical Aromatherapist I help people to relax using essential oils, massage and acupressure techniques. I am passionate about creating a deep state of relaxation so my clients can fully let go and allow their body’s own healing processes to work their magic repairing and replenishing. I have a wonderfully relaxing therapy space in Beddington, Surrey where I see clients.
I have also created a range of organic creams, balms, oils and sprays, all made using 100% organic essential oils to improve and nourish the skin and promote wellbeing. Every product is made with love and care and with a specific action in mind. For example my Renew Intensive Foot Cream is excellent a softening and hydrating dry and cracked heels. I also offer bespoke oil blends or products made to order for specific conditions like a dry, itchy scalp for example.
I offer workshops on aromatherapy and massage and a latest one that has proved very popular is Mother & Daughter Time for Relaxation Workshop.
How does a consultation with you work?
Clients will often call me to book in for a therapy session. I have a consultation form that I send clients to complete in advance to see how best I can meet their needs and if necessary make suggestions of the most suitable massage or facial. I always contact my clients following their session to see how they feel and how they have slept. I often put together therapy plans with my clients to help achieve their goals which may be:
- to have clearer and softer skin
- to de-stress and relax and relieve tight muscles
- to help improve sleep
The therapy plans are not off-the-shelf packages but 100% tailored to my client’s needs
I also meet new clients at fairs and markets when I am selling my products. It’s nice for people to have the opportunity to meet me in person before they have a therapy session.
Who do you work with?
The majority of my clients are women aged 40+. Women who need quality time out, who are often leading very busy lives. Women who care about what they put on their skin bearing in mind about 60% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. Women who want to look as young as possible for as long as possible and not spend a fortune doing so.
What did you do before?
After completing a degree in European Cultural Studies mostly made up of Publishing, Linguistics and Literature units I did an Executive Secretarial Diploma because I wasn’t sure quite what I was going to do and I knew these skills would be useful. The idea at the time was to go into Publishing. I was offered a job as a PA to Director of an independent mobile phone shop and it was here where I learnt all the skills of running a business so well that I could make it all tick along so the Director didn’t need to come in that often! I was only 23 at the time. This gave me a great understanding of all the different parts of running a business from maintaining stock, customer service, marketing, accounts, staffing, but I wanted to do something more rewarding and that’s when I started a course in aromatherapy. It had been a passion for mine for years but I hadn’t thought of it as a career option. I worked as a PA to another Director for a few years and moved into HR whilst building my business which I set up as a therapist back at the end of 2005.
What have been the biggest challenges of running your business?
Most of my challenges have been on the products side of my business. My suppliers discontinuing all my containers! Brexit affecting the costs of my ingredients and containers. Juggling a part time job with building my business and keeping a work-life balance. Marketing - getting people to recognise my brand and how it’s not just another franchise but each product is handmade by me.
What's in the pipeline for you?
I’m really excited about my new rebranding that is underway mainly because my main supplier discontinued all of my product packaging! EEEEK! My new range will have a whole new look. I will be launching some new products later this year – cleanser, eye cream and body moisturiser. I am planning to do more workshops and creating some online courses too so lots in the pipeline at the moment.
What are you proud of?
I am very proud to have 3 awards over the last year. Best Local Producer for Surrey in June 2016, CAM Business of the Year October 2016 and Trusted Sales Award 2017 in February. I’m also very proud that two and a half years ago I was able to take the leap and concentrate on my business full time, leaving my part time employment!
What advice would you offer wannabe entrepreneurs?
Definitely look at getting funding and don’t be worried about borrowing money as long as you have a good business plan. I never looked into funding early on because I just don’t like being in debt and in hindsight this has slowed the growth of my business. You can’t do it all! To grow you definitely help whether it is initially outsourcing some jobs or taking on staff. Know your strengths and outsource what you are not so good at or what you don’t need to spend time on. Take care of your health and have boundaries so you don’t end up working all hours.
Louisa's contact information
Louisa Alessandra Pini, Creator of Just Be Natural skincare, Member/Director at Carshalton Lavender CIC, Holistic & Complementary Therapist at Louisa Alessandra Pini
Phone: 07888 689881