Friday, December 19, 2014

Katie Pennington worked hard at The City of Liverpool College to achieve her dream of setting up her own beauty business

Photo by Jo Forrest Photography
Katie Pennington studied her craft at The City of Liverpool College before opening up her own business ‘Katie Diane’s Beauty’. Katie provides beauty and nail treatments in Crosby and the surrounding areas, including manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing, tinting and many other treatments, working as a mobile beautician for part of the week and renting a room in a salon for the rest of the week.

Prior to setting up the business, Kate studied BSc Nutrition at Liverpool John Moores University and worked for the NHS as a Health Trainer, but always had a desire to get involved with the beauty business. Making the tough and brave decision to leave her job she enrolled at The City of Liverpool College to study Level 2 Beauty Therapy in October 2012, studying Level 3 Nail Technology the following year.

City of Liverpool College has a great choice of courses, whether these are apprenticeships, NVQs, A-Levels or GCSES, and fantastic links with employers and universities. Katie says, when studying Level 2 Beauty Therapy; ‘I learnt a lot on this course – it is more than just painting nails! There is a lot of anatomy and physiology that you have to learn, which I think a lot of people are unaware of.’ Katie passed this course with a Distinction and went on to win the Level 2 Beauty Student of the Year Award in 2013

Moving on to study Level 3 Nail Technology she reached even higher heights, passing with a Distinction and winning the Level 3 Nail Technology Special Recognition Award of 2014. Katie says; ‘My time at City of Liverpool College taught me that hard work really does pay off. I have always set high standards for myself and it was thrilling when I passed both courses with such high grades. I have brought this mindset into my business – you get out what you put in.’

Working hard is what Katie does best, and isn’t one to let anything get in her way. Katie suffers from a rare blood condition called ITP, which is characterised by a low platelet count, which can lead to severe fatigue. She says on her condition; ‘I have been determined however not to let this hinder my business goals, in fact it has made me more single minded to make my business a success’.

It was whilst studying at college; Katie decided she wanted to set up her own business, as like many others, she enjoyed the idea of being her own boss, and working in a field that is her passion. She also says: ‘I knew if I was in charge, things would be done correctly and up to my standards. I am very meticulous and organized, so starting out by myself was right up my street!’

Katie, as she says herself, has always set high standards, and works hard to get to what she wants. Whilst she was studying at City of Liverpool College, she also worked in a restaurant, and managed to squeeze in time to do some voluntary work at a salon to; ‘get the feel of how it was to work in that environment.’ For Katie, although she was working, there was still the big issue of her start-up costs. She put in the hours so she could buy all the beauty equipment that she needed and chose to avoid taking loans out for these, wanting to purchase them herself before setting up her business. 

Other issues that Katie faced were her own doubts about setting up the business, she says; ‘I had no idea where to start. You think of all the possible pit falls and worry about making a success of the business. In time confidence increases and it helps when your work is praised and appreciated.’

These doubts are experienced by many beginning their own business. Katie was able to come to The Women’s Organisation for support and advice on all aspects of setting up a business.
She says; ‘I felt I had a lot more confidence and understanding about business after attending these courses’, and built up a great relationship with her business advisor Yan Miao.

So far, ‘Katie Diane’s Beauty’ is going from strength to strength, now renting a room at Zara Jones Hairdressing in Liverpool, as well as still working mobile, and her advice to other women out there who are considering setting up their own business is three simple words; ‘Do your homework!’ as well as seeking out advice and looking into the nature of your business through market research. Katie believes it is important to make sure you have a solid support network and to not expect instant success: ‘It will take time to achieve your goals.’

We think Katie’s attitude towards her business is fantastic and we are thrilled to have helped her on her way to setting up ‘Katie Diane’s Beauty’. Katie says of her own hard work; ‘I hope to be successful and to carry on developing as time goes on. The beauty industry is continually developing and evolving, and there are no limits of barriers to aspiration. Careful planning and attention to detail will always be one of my main priorities as well as continuing to deliver a high level of customer service and standards within my work.’

If you would like to find out more about ‘Katie Diane’s Beauty’, the details are below;

Twitter: @kdbeauty_1 Instagram: @kdbeauty1 

To find out more about how The Women's Organisation will be helping City of Liverpool College Students to pursue their business dreams in 2015, contact

Photo Credit: Jo Forrest Photography

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