The thought of leaving a successful career to follow your passion can be scary. However, that’s exactly what HD Brows Stylist Danielle Dean-Barlas did and hasn’t looked back since. Here’s her inspiring story.
What did you do before training in HD Brows?
Prior to becoming a HD Stylist I worked withing the construction industry, having graduated 10 years ago in Landscape Architecture. When the recession hit in 2008 it made it hard to secure employment and at the time it seemed like that was the only path to take. I subsequently had a numerous jobs over the years within that sector and the design industry as a whole. However I couldn’t shake a niggling feeling and the voice at the back of my head.
I’ve always been creative and expressed myself in a variety of make up looks, including some major disasters. Thank goodness for best friends!
Have you always had a passion for beauty?
I owe my passion for all things beauty to my mum. She was the best. She always made sure I didn’t have uneven foundation lines (learnt from the best – Sophia Loren), that I always cleansed, toned and moisturised from an early age, and insisted I take my vitamins. Sadly I lost my mum to cancer in 2013. It broke my heart and still does to this day. She was my light, my best friend, my advisor.
Then things started to turn for the worst in employment. Redundancies were being handed round so I took the decision to divert within a different aspect of the design sector. Though that voice never went away and I found myself researching beauty therapy courses.
Could you tell us a little more about what triggered your career change?
I’d survived the first round of redundancies in 2013 after finally securing paid employment within my sector but it was hard. The competition was fierce. I was thinking more and more about turning my passion into my career as working behind a desk staring at a screen for 8+ hours a day drove me insane.
Unfortunately at Christmas 2016, I didn’t survive the second round of redundancies. My personal life was a mess, my daughter was struggling at childcare and I thought “I’ve had enough”. I took the time out to sign up to a beauty therapy school to gain a level 3 NVQ with electrical facials which I’ve nearly completed.
I also wanted to make sure my daughter knew me. From her being 9 months old I’d worked 5 days a week and felt I’d missed out on her mile stone achievements.
I listened to that little voice inside of me to pursue my passion.
A total career change can be very scary! How did you find it?
It is scary and, yes, there are times when I do miss my £30+k a year job. However I look back and see how depressed I was and how my daughter felt. That rat race affected me both mentally and physically. It even broke my marriage (although I’m happy to report we’re back together). Above all, it affected my relationship with my daughter; I want the relationship I had with my mum with my own daughter.
What made you decide to train in HD Brows?
It was after a disastrous appointment 7 years ago where she waxed half my eyebrow off! Countless (and pointless) SPMU tattoos and eyebrow appointments to rectify the problem, I decided that only I can achieve my desired shape. Thus, leading me to train with HD Brows. After all they are the UK’s number 1 salon brow specialists.
I’m very particular about who touches my brows since I’m a child of the 90s when thin was in. Just the thought of someone plucking gives me chills! So I pass on that confidence within my clients that I will take care and I will give you the results you’re after. I do understand eyebrows are precious.
What advice would you give to anyone thinking about following their passion and retraining in beauty?
Just do it, otherwise you never will.
It’s a struggle, as most start up businesses are, but never give up. Plan and plan and plan! At the end of the day we’ve got one life to live, so live it and do something that makes you happy.
Everything I do now, I do for my girl to make our lives better. In fact, I named my treatment room Eden’s Beauty Sanctuary after her.