Find Your Career in Beauty Therapy

with Ashlee Middleton

A career in beauty therapy can take you places you may not have considered before. From a career in the traditional spa to a career educating future beauty therapists, there are incredible opportunities available in the beauty industry.

This week on the “A Career in Beauty Therapy” series, we catch up with Ashlee Middleton. Ashlee has had an incredible career so far with extensive experience in education & training, beauty therapy, and more.

Tell us a little about you!

I knew from the age of 15 that I wanted to be in the beauty industry. When I was in Primary School I remember my Mum taking me to the local beauty salon for a steam and extraction treatment before Netball on Saturdays, which perhaps built the foundation of my love and passion for the beauty industry. I also suffered from hormonal acne as a teenager and as an adult, so I know how this can impact someone’s self-confidence.

I grew up in Albury/Wodonga, so after finishing Year 12 I moved to Canberra and studied my Diploma at Ellebana School of Beauty Therapy.

While I was studying I worked as a Manager at Hungry Jacks (also where I worked while at High School), which gave me really valuable Management experience. It taught me structure, organization, strong work ethic and how to manage people. I honestly believe this experience helped mold the career I have today in the beauty industry.

What has your career in the beauty industry looked like?

I started my career as a beauty therapist working in a Day Spa, but I also spent time over the years working as a therapist and managing beauty salons, and also worked as a cosmetic counter manager for Clarins.

I knew I had a passion for management and training, so in early 2011 I was lucky enough to get a job as a Business Consultant at Dermalogica. This was the turning point in my career. While here, I attended every course I could possibly do, learned everything I could from my colleagues and worked extremely hard to develop my skills. I was really lucky as Dermalogica invest a lot of time into developing their employees.

After 4 years I decided to open my own business, Skin and Beauty Bar, where we offered all beauty treatments, but specialized in skin treatments and spray tanning. I worked across all aspects of the business, including performing treatments, training staff, social media management, accounting, marketing, etc. I sold the business after a few years and secured a position as a Business Development Manager for Skinstitut, which had both sales and training elements. Again, I took all the opportunities available to develop my knowledge and skills. My time at Skinstitut really cemented my love for skin and skin treatments, and really extended my knowledge on ingredients, skin conditions, nutrition and treating the skin from a holistic approach.

I have recently started working for Lumenis, a company that sells Laser-based devices, as an Area Sales Manager. I have really enjoyed learning about the different types of laser machines and their capabilities. It has really expanded my knowledge of the amazing results we can achieve for our clients. This role also allows me to work closely with Dermatologists, Doctors and Plastic Surgeons, which has been very insightful.

Source: @ashleejademiddleton

I am very grateful to have worked in the beauty industry for 12 years, and I feel very privileged that I have a job that I love, and that I enjoy going to work every day. The best part of my career is knowing that along the way, I have helped beauty therapists and fellow colleagues become better at their job and helped develop their knowledge and skills. I have also been very blessed to work with some amazing people.

What advice would you give to someone considering a  career in beauty?

1.There are many career options.

2.Never stop learning and developing your skills.

3.Education is key! Take advantage of the courses your skincare/brand houses offer, even if you have to go in your own time.

4.Utilize industry Facebook groups and learn from your fellow colleagues.

5.Listen to industry based podcasts (I am a self-proclaimed podcast nerd). I personally listen to Beaute Industrie and Inside Aesthetics while I drive and at the gym.

6.Network, network, network!

What do you love most about the beauty industry?

I love that the beauty industry is forever evolving. When I first became a beauty therapist, Microdermabrasion was only just becoming a popular treatment. Now we are performing skin needling, laser treatments, body contouring procedures, cosmetic tattooing and much more.

I also love that we are seeing businesses that specialize in particular services. For example, I visit different businesses for nails, spray tans, waxing, laser and skin treatments.

What change would you like to see in the beauty industry in the next 5-10 years?

More training and development for beauty therapists around client consultation.

More emphasis on treating the skin with a holistic approach, looking at lifestyle and diet factors, and how they can affect the skin.

More training in the Certificate IV and Diploma level training on retail expectations.

An increase in the use of devices in beauty salons and clinics.

We are so incredibly grateful to Ashlee for sharing her experience in the beauty industry.

For more guidance about your future career in beauty therapy, chat to the expert team at ACTI at 02 6176 3411.