Leilah Colley
  1. What is the name of your business and what is your role? Miss Lily Wellness Centre. I am a skin care and body therapist at the beauty salon as well as a kettlebell instructor at the fitness centre.

2. Describe your business in two sentences. At Miss Lily, we want people to feel comfortable being themselves as well as provide a welcoming, detailed-orientated, caring service. Once people feel comfortable and get to know which services we offer, I help them decide which direction they want to go in their health and wellness journey, whether it be through health coaching, personal training or physical relaxation treatments.

3. How long have you been in business? I opened the beauty salon in April 2013 – 8 and a half years ago. We rebranded as the Wellness Centre when lockdown lifted in July 2020.

4. How did you get into this business? I wanted to be a beauty therapist or masseur from around 16 years old, after my first massage experience. Opening my own beauty salon probably came to me after being asked to leave a job for being “unemployable” – I decided that if I couldn’t be employed by anyone, it would have to be by me!

5. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced, and how did you overcome it? COVID was tough. My partner and I both couldn’t work until level 2 and 3 respectively. I applied for a grant and got it (after submitting and re-submitting forms over and over because the site kept crashing!) and used the money towards opening a secondary business (called “my darling”) making natural soap and body products, which could operate in level 4. I also had a couple of clients (doctors or special needs) who got permission letters for me to massage them at their homes, even in level 5. It ticked me over in terms of paying staff and basic expenses until we got to lockdown level 3. Therapy helped me to keep looking upwards. Friends, family and my loving partner helped me believe in myself.

6. What single trait/skill could you not have succeeded without? I do not let anything keep me down when I’ve fallen.

7. What is the best business advice you’ve received? “What if everything that was happening right now was exactly what was meant to happen?” I apply that whenever I start losing my head in business and it works like a charm.

8. Your secret to business success is? Staying in my lane and pushing my personal comfort zone to the edge. Believing in myself, my suppliers and my team.

9. What is your business goal for 2022? My goal for 2022 is to host a wellness retreat. There are too many people out there who prioritise others over themselves, to their detriment, and I want to change that.

10. Tell us one thing that not many people know about you? When I first opened my business I was a size 40 pant size.