Here's to 40 Joyful Years!

It's hard for me to believe this year is the 40th anniversary of my entry into the wonderful world of beauty therapy, not that anyone knew what I did when I told them! My school guidance counsellor helped me find the Joyce Blok Beauty Therapy School - one of only tow places to train in the whole country - and, after writing a letter of application, 16-year old me went by bus to Auckland and then found my way to Henderson for an interview. I was accepted and started training at the age of 16, the youngest in the class.

My first lesson was in sterilisation and sanitation, hygiene in other words. Different times, though. We recycled wax as there was only one type available and we had to make our own eyelash tint papers as there was none available. It was a strict environment but I thrived under the training regime, doing well in the course, and the knowledge I gained then still stands me in good stead today, including the understanding the role diet and nutrition have in keeping our eyes bright, hair healthy and skin glowing.

There were only two girls of in the eight-strong training group who didn't come from Auckland and Joyce was very encouraging of Gail (still my best friend after all these years) and myself to return and work in our respective home towns of Havelock North and Tauranga - and that's exactly what we both did. Upon graduation I registered with the Beauty Therapy Association and became the 86th therapist to do so.

There were only two other beauty therapists working in Tauranga when I started so I feel like I have been one of the pioneers in this city, especially as I am now the beauty therapist who's been working here the longest.

I still love the beauty therapy industry, and it has been kind to me. Although the past 12 months have been difficult for some businesses, I have stayed busy and thank you for that. One positive 'side effect' I have noticed is that more clients are wanting to take better care of their wellbeing, and that's where I come in. When you feel better, you look better.

I am proud of what I've achieved in the past 40 years and the next year I have another milestone when I will mark 30 years as a self-employed beauty therapist. Looking at how far I've come - with my own lovely clinic, an online Beauty Store and online bookings - sometimes takes my breath away.

I look forward to seeing you soon. Much love,


Photo - ALL THOSE YEARS AGO: Receiving my certificate from the Mayoress of Henderson with Joyce Blok on the far left.