Tania Gough Founder of The Image Directory joins us on the Women in Business Show

April 13, 2021 - 10:12 AM - 1079 views
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Hi, good afternoon. And welcome to a, another show here. The women in business show with me, Fiona cash, Paul AKA cybergran here on funky media radio. Today I am joined by a chief executive officer nonetheless of the image directory, and that is the lovely Tanya Gough. Welcome, Tanya. 

Hello, Fiona. Thanks for having me. You. 

Are more than welcome now. I know it's a busy time for you because it's so exciting that locked down is being lifted. Tell everybody why this is going to be probably like one of the best Mondays coming up in your life. 

I'm not sure it's going to be the best. It probably be like stressful, but two things. I have a beauty training school that's been open for five years, so obviously we're reopening our doors for that, which is amazing. The second thing is I'm launching a brand new business as well, because obviously, you've been in the beauty industry. I've been closed down for almost a year. So, I've been thinking of other ways to future proof. My future, if you like. Obviously a lot of businesses have gone online and this is what I've done. I've created the image directory, which is, inspired by trust a trader and Checkatrade, that kind of thing. 

Basically, the general public can, if they're looking for a new hairdresser, I new person to do a pedicure, or they might fancy a nice holistic massage or something like that, but they have no idea where to go. They will actually look on the directory, typing the treatment that they want, or the service that they require. Obviously the area that they're in. Obviously we will give them a selection of people. The thing with us, all of our, medical professionals are going to have to be fully qualified, fully insured and reviewed. They have to go through quite a rigorous vetting system before we actually allow them onto the directory because there's lots of bad therapists out there. Unfortunately all seen pictures of nasty eyebrows and eyelashes and horrendous things that can go wrong. So, unfortunately, the industries are quite well. Well, they're not very well regulated. 

Obviously, because of that, I know that I can't just lay on my little own can't regulate the whole industry, but I feel that this is the first step in doing. I only want people that are literally can fit that bill. They're fully qualified, fully insured and they're reviewed. We actually get reviews from their clientele that they're treating at the moment before. We do actually contact them as well. We don't just, 

Oh, that's harsh your. Worth it. Again, to be able to just go onto a site and pick anybody, 100% they are who they say they are and they are qualified and are insured. It's so important. 

Imagine we'd locked down. People who may be learning new skills and using YouTube to do so, but that doesn't make them a beauty therapist does it, right. 

It really doesn't. No, again, I've seen some, I mean, some of them you can't help, but laugh that, when people are cutting their fringe and stuff like that. 

Yes. Oh no. I've seen those. 

Yeah, I know a lot of people are desperate to get to the hairdressers and the now, the nail bars and to get their lashes done. What have you, again, it's been another long time since anything like that can be done. I know that all of my fellow professionals are going to be unindicted with business the first couple of months. I'm sure. Obviously what we're aiming to do with the image directory is to build this trusted platform and obviously get as many businesses across the whole of the UK on there as possible. We've got six different categories. You've got the hair. So to anything hair. It's not just hairdressers, it's barbers, it's hair, extension people. It's, I've got a lady that I'm talking to at the moment that does, she's she did was what people got alopecia and she fixed wigs and stuff like that. 

So it's not just hairdressers. It's the whole genre. We've got beauty, we've got aesthetics, we've got holistic, we've got fitness and diet and nutrition. Anything basically that you, as an individual, it's going to make you look or feel better your image when you look in the mirror, that's what you say. Obviously we feel that it's just as important for the, to be good inside as on the outside. Yeah. 

It's part of your mental health as well. Isn't it? These days it's going to be something I don't know about your mental health, not being able to work on clothes, but I spoke to somebody recently. He says in the nicest possible way, I can't wait touch people. 

Yeah. I know. It's so true. It's so true. I've got a little nine year old daughter and she's all mommy do me a facial or do my nails for me. You it's like anything is, I mean, I've been qualified for say over 30 years now, and the minute you pick up that nail file, all that paper tweezers or that moisturizer, it just comes flooding back to you. I, I literally know what people mean. Obviously I've gone quite lucky that my little girl wants me to do them kind of things. She strikes around with her makeup on and her hair dyed their hair blue last week. You know, why not? 

It was like, damn, why not? And it's school half. 

10 course. I do get in trouble with some of the moms when they go back to school. Cause obviously all the little girls want their hair blue now. I do get in trouble for that washing, wash it out, but it hasn't washed out quite enough yet. It's lovely. Meet with your clients. It's such a, I see it's therapy for me as well, because I mean, most of my clients are more like friends, as an educator. 

Though, as well in the industry, you've been doing that a very long time. You, I guess, what to look for in a professional and the kind of quality of treatments and things like that they should be providing for clients who are parting with the harder money at the end of the day. This must be having an industry standard is clearly something that's really, 

Yeah. Completely. That is why we're trying to work. I'm not sure if we're going to try to raise the standards, but we only want the people that are at that standard because a lot of people do go along and do a one day course, in waxing. You cannot learn to wax a whole body successfully in one day you come home, you just can't, it's impossible. They start working on people and it actually frightened. I thought of me and there's so many things that can go wrong and they don't understand, they might've had their eyebrows waxed somewhere and thought, Oh, that's really easy. I can do that until they do someone's on a price and wake the whole eyebrow off the next, then they think, Oh yeah, that's happened. But there is, there's so many things that can go wrong lock. 

Obviously, because I'm only beauty, I only really speak about the beauty industry, but it's the same with obviously the aesthetics industry. Now semi-permanent makeup the fillers, the Botox with those kinds of things. That they really, they can be really bad if it goes wrong. Yeah, yeah. 

About Tonya herself as the business woman here, because you've, this is so you've built your own beauty therapy business up you've now then become an educator. Now you've created this to let's say, raise the standard. Where did you find the time. 

When you say that? I was thinking that myself, yeah, obviously it's all been a natural progression, isn't it? I'm 50 years old now, so it's not, I've been doing this a long time. I feel like when I became a trainer, I felt that unit, I think, to be an educator, you have to have enough years of experience and age behind you. Because I just feel that if I had students that were older than me, they would just not take me seriously. I mean the training aspect I love and I absolutely adore watching the student's confidence growth throughout the day or throughout the month, whichever obviously courses they're doing. It's brilliant. When they leave, and they feel really confident and happy that is obviously my job satisfaction for sure. Yeah, like I say, it's not just the actual, I still love doing all my clients. 

That is my absolute favorite. When I've got a client day, I wake up in the morning because it's one of the things I've been doing it for so long. I can do it with my eyes closed. I don't have to think too much about it. My clients know me, I'm a bit scatty, I've got blonde hair, so, and I'm a beauty therapist, so let's be honest. What do we there. It's another thing we're going to try and banish, it's a stereotype. I may be able to dye my hair and be a bit more sensible as well. I'll look into that. 

As a woman in business then. Let's say, can you think of, perhaps maybe two or three, bits of advice. Another therapist following in your footsteps or things like that, what have you kind of learned particularly maybe over the last year about being a business, being a woman? 

I think first and foremost is just to believe in yourself. It really is. You've got to have, if you don't believe in yourself, no one else is going to believe in you. I think it's really good to have the massive support network around you, friends and family. I mean, I'm, I am fortunate. My friends and family are brilliant. They're all supportive, helpful, I'll off always ask for advice and, I don't get offended if they don't agree with me. I just won't talk to them for the next couple of weeks, I think realistically, you've really got to believe in yourself when you've got to have the goals. You've got to make plans, write it down. Nothing. I mean, I don't, I sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and I can be awake for two hours. 

Cause my head's going doo doo to do all these things, going on. I find, but just writing them on a piece of paper, writing them in a book then even if it takes a month or so to look back and you think, Oh, I've done that. I can take that off my list. I mean, I like ticking things off lists anyway, so maybe that's therapeutic, but yeah, I mean just take one step at a time. I think it's also really good sometimes to just look back at how far you've come. I don't do that often myself and that's probably really good advice to listen to for myself is to sometimes look back to six months ago or a year ago or even five years ago and maybe think how different you are yourself. 

Yeah, I mean, I do, I think the first thing would be self-belief and cause like I said, if you don't believe in yourself, no one else you can't expect anyone else to, 

Right? No. That's really good advice. As the project evolves here, so you've got the six different categories and you're looking for more, people, women in business or men in business as well as anybody in the image business to actually connect with you and be listed on the door. 

That's right. Yeah. I say w men, women doesn't matter. It doesn't matter what age they are. We, we are looking for mobile therapists, so people that work on their own, they might work in their spare bedroom. They might have little shed in the garden. That's fine. As long as they fit our criteria, we just want to be representing amazing therapists. Let's say I would use it's directly. I'm not saying that cause it's mine, but I would use it if I was looking for someone. Because the thing is, our industry is very flooded now. You can walk down any high street and there'll be maybe 10 to 15 just now places. 

How do you choose which ones to go to? So the fact that you can look on our directory and pick one, or there's, there might be one or two down the high street that comes up on the directory. I'd like to think that people would trust the fact that we've done our research on these papers and they would be happy to go and use them. Absolutely. I always go back to, like if you go to somewhere like boots or like a huge store, and you're looking for like a new foundation and you look and look, and it's like, Oh my God, I don't know where to start. I think it's the same if you're, I mean, say for example, you've moved to a new area and you haven't got any friends or anything there and you're going to need the hairdresser. 

You're, you're going to need some way to go and get your things done. You're going to need somewhere to go and have your physio done or osteopath or something like that. Again, how do you find out where these people are? So that's what I'm hoping is that we're going to get enough businesses on the directory for the whole of the UK when the in first year ideally, to become an eventually we want to become a household name, literally to represent the whole of these six industries. And who knows. I mean, we might, the, some, we might add some more to categories if we feel the need I'd like to stay. 

Yeah. So, well, it sounds like you're a woman on a mission with a vision that's for sure. And, what were say, what are like your predictions perhaps, maybe for how you see, the COVID safe treatments expand the, I have a theory that I think the one that's going to become the most popular after next week will be, self tan. 

Cause we all desperately want some sunshine and we can't travel. Now I going to say the thing is we don't know about holidays, do we? So yeah, I think it's, I actually think, I think hair coloring and lashes, that would be my prediction. Obviously. Don't forget. We're all in debt. We live in different areas as well. I think it just depends on what era you're your intake, but again, who knows? Cause if the weather is really grotty next week, everyone will be covered up still. 

You got to be zoom friendly, haven't you? So I just feel like I'm looking incredibly pale on zoom at the moment. And. 


Listen, it's been really interesting finding out about, the project and if people want to connect with you, another website is the image doc directory, isn't it? 

That's correct. Yeah. There's no.com. There's no.com.uk because they want kids going, Oh, you've missed the bit off the end, 

The dots in the middle East, the direct tree. And I'm getting touched, speak to Tanya. She will put you through the mill. She's not just letting any Tom, Dick and Harry on a hard directory that's for sure. We look forward to catching up with you and finding, perhaps you can give us an update in a few weeks on how the industry is faring. We would be nice to be able to support local businesses as well. It would be great to have an update from. 

You. So thank you very. 

Much for joining me today, Tanya, and, yeah, we'll catch up with you. Very lovely. 


Thank you so much, Fiona. Okay. Bye bye. Okay, bye. Bye. 

Visit Tania's Website:


email: tania@theimage.directory


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