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Honorata Terlecka, 27, had previously studied architecture and worked in factories before deciding to pursue a career in beauty. She joined City College in 2013 on a part-time course and went on to achieve her diploma in Beauty Therapy, graduating in 2015.
“All my life, I’ve always been into beauty – there’s so much more to it than just painting nails! When I started my course at the College, every day I was learning something new and I just thought, wow – this is what I want to do.
“I loved meeting other students on the course. Everyone at College is there because they want to be, so you appreciate what you’re learning and everyone works hard and helps each other. Also the lecturers were always there for you and would give up their time to give you extra advice.
“Having the experience of working in Stars really built up my confidence and experience. The clients all know you are learning so they are very patient. For me, just even getting practice in picking up the phone and talking to customers was a big step in overcoming my nerves. I was also really grateful for what we had learned about things like price structures and the support we got with CVs and interviews at the College – it was such a help when I came to hire my own staff.
“I loved my time at City College, and I think it is better to spend the time getting your career started in something you want to do early on – that way you get the life you want without any regrets. Now I can invest my efforts in my own business.”
Located near of Plymouth’s new Bretonside development, Honorata’s Barbican Beauty salon offers treatments including massages, Acrylic Nails, microdermabrasion, waxing, threading, lash extensions and tinting, and also offers male grooming treatments, such as eyebrow shaping.
“It was a big step, finishing College and then starting my own business right away. The first week we opened, I didn’t take a single break! It is wonderful, though, getting such good feedback and seeing people coming back again and again.
“I love people and really enjoy hearing their stories about life and their travels all over the world. I also enjoy the variety in my work – everything from waxing to massage – and it changes week to week, season to season.
“This salon is small, but it is mine and I am making it something special. It’s the little touches which make the difference, like creating the right atmosphere with music, aromatherapy and calming décor.
“If I had one piece of advice, I would say to anyone: find out what you love doing and make it your career. I am so thankful that going to the College gave me the chance to do a job I really enjoy and be my own boss.”