Young Entrepreneur Shares Success Story

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Written by Melissa Anne Currie on in Strathclyde and West

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Lazy and unmotivated are often words that you hear associated with young people. Unfortunately these negative stereotypes exists right across Scotland. Despite this, young people from across the country are showing that this perception couldn’t be further from the truth. Melissa Ann Currie is one of these people. Here she shares her story.

Melissa at a young age was one of those little ‘girly’ girls. Loved trying out all the latest long hair trends, braids etc but even when it was time to leave school she was still unsure about which way to turn. All her friends seemed to have a path, were being accepted for University and/or moving away. Still unsure, she decided to try other things but keep her beauty studies on the back boiler by attending night school.

Quickly Melissa found out that being young and inexperienced in the adult working world was not so easy. Determined to survive in the working world, Melissa did everything from temping in offices to being a croupier in a casino. Working back to front, throughout the nights and sleeping during the day took its toll on her and she quickly became ill. A virus, similar to viral Meningitis struck her and ever since then her immune system has been shattered. Together with more serious problems she was in and out of hospital – she tries to make light of the subject by saying “not everyone at this age can say they have been speeding through the Glasgow streets in an ambulance – 3 times in 6 months!”

As Melissa was in and out of hospitals on a monthly basis, this put an end to a glowing health record which is important when trying to secure work.

At the end of 2010 and at the beginning of 2011, while sitting up in her hospital bed Melissa put a plan together. Research on the internet brought her to the door of The Prince’s Trust and in particular their Enterprise program. This course helps young people explore their options in self-employment and straight away she knew this was for her. She loved meeting other like-minded people with similar ambitions and acquired a solid grounding in basic business practice. Melissa also benefited from the guidance of a business mentor, who had some great ideas and for once made her feel upbeat and positive about her business plan.

Macs Glasgow Hair & Beauty was born mid 2011 and this quirky salon with its modern ideas, spearheaded by Melissa, offers hair styling and beauty treatments. The company has grown from its original mobile beginnings into a flourishing venture situated in Glasgow’s vibrant West End.

While working hard at making a success of her salon, she has also introduced her own Wunnabe branded hair extensions and products.

After encountering illness and a series of depressing knock-backs, Melissa has battled on. With the support from her parents and The Prince’s Trust, she has realised, and is living a lifelong dream. She is not out of the woods yet and is still struggling with her health problems but she strives to succeed and continues to provide an excellent service to her customers. Only a few customers know about her turbulent journey and just by being her normal, down to earth self, she has built up a group of loyal customers some of which have also become friends.

Melissa, (far left of table), shared her story as part of a Truth About Youth Grants funded Glasgow Youth Council event which aimed to inspire young people to become actively involved in their communities.

Just recently, expanding on the Hair Extensions side of the business, together with the power of the internet & social networking has taken Melissa to a new level. Through various virtual meetings/discussions with Easilocks who are based in Dublin, Macs Glasgow Hair & Beauty is now the first in Glasgow and the first in Scotland to be associated with Easilocks Hair Extensions. “As soon as I got the green light to promote these in the Salon, the phone did not stop ringing!” (Easilocks : 100% Russian Remy hair. A revolutionary approach to hair extensions that require no heat, sewing, glue, braiding and no damage to the natural hair) Currently the ‘must-have’ hair extensions worn by celebrities.

“I gained so much confidence with The Prince’s Trust and I thank them for that – they saw something in me that Employers did not” said Melissa. On top of her busy workload at the salon, Melissa is honoured by being one of the Princes Trusts’ Young Ambassadors & regularly gives inspirational talks to other young people who are interested in making something of themselves. However, the icing on the cake was when the envelope dropped through her letterbox saying that she had been nominated for their Celebrate Success Awards – Business Enterprise Category, which took place in Glasgow on 28 November 2012.  Melissa was named in the top 3 our of a possible 7000 people – a fantastic achievement.

“After a very turbulent couple of years I now have an exciting future ahead of me in doing something I love – the experience has matured me and I know not to rest on my laurels just yet. Every day is different, which is exciting! I work hard at being my own boss and cannot simply switch off when I turn that ‘open/closed’ sign on the window. But what I do feel when the working day is over is a sense of self achievement”.

Melissa’s story shows that young people should never be written off. Her story is an example of the determination, passion and innovation shown by Scotland’s young people, often through difficult situations. Truth About Youth wants to help share your positive stories about Scotland’s young people and in doing so, we can help shatter the myths that exist and tell people the truth about youth.

Have you been inspired by Melissa’s story? We would love to hear from you. Click here to contact us.

Follow Macs Glasgow Hair and Beauty on twitter @MacsGlasgow

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