Why I started LeSalon

It took me five years of studying and two years of training to become a lawyer, but once I got there, I absolutely loved it. I felt a sense of pride and achievement to be part of highly reputable firm. The hours were long, but there was a strong sense of community amongst my colleagues – work hard, play hard. I specialised in the niche area of film and TV. It was fantastic to see such a visual end product and know that I was a part of that process.

During my career in Law…

…I fell pregnant with my first daughter. At that time, I was surrounded by women making difficult choices and compromises around childcare. For many, with the cost of childcare topping £1200 per month in London, continuing to work was not an option. Once you leave the workplace, it can be very hard to get back in. Women face a range of obstacles: they can lose confidence; there are often logistical constraints; and there is outright discrimination.

A difficult crossroads…

After the birth of my daughter, I knew I wanted to continue working but I also wanted to be able to see her for at least a couple of hours in the day and be able to put her to bed. Leaving the office at 5.30pm, whilst not a fireable offence in and of itself, does not give the best impression if you’re looking to progress in your career – at least not at my firm. There is no right answer – it’s a very personal decision and every woman feels differently about the choices they make. For me, I knew that not having a significant amount of time with my daughter was something I would later regret. Understandably, the nature of my work had to adjust and as a result, my enjoyment of it diminished.

Soon enough, I felt like I really had to justify any time I spent away from her. I realised that alongside wanting to earn an income, I’d also need a job where I felt I made a difference to the outside world – something my role at the firm didn’t provide. Whatever my next steps were going to be, I wanted to support women working alongside their family obligations and choices. I fundamentally believe that knowing you have the ability to bring in an income and provide for your own basic needs and, if applicable, your dependants, even if it is just a contribution, is vital for a sustained sense of self-worth.

My inspiration for LeSalon…

Female lawyers often maintain a polished appearance, with many aspiring for Meghan Markle’s Suits image. Blow drys and manicures were a must. However, long office hours plus having children to get back to meant it was difficult to get to a salon. Finding a mobile beauty therapist was tricky, unless recommended by a friend, as I always worried about the quality. Whilst chatting with some freelance therapists, I recognised how challenging it can be for women who need the flexibility of working independently from a salon. It takes, on average, two years to build up enough clients; taking cash payments can be uncomfortable; scheduling bookings is a challenge; and in addition, there are concerns about safety.

An idea became reality…

That is where the idea for LeSalon was born. The vision was to be a company that provides women with the opportunity of flexible work, a sustainable income, training, support and a strong community. In addition, we wanted to provide clients with quality beauty services delivered conveniently to their office or home, both inside and outside of traditional salon hours.