lady startup

Melissa was made redundant from her real estate job, so she started a beauty salon.

Beauty was always just a passionate hobby for Melissa Young, but she decided to take control of her future and her career and enrolled full time into beauty college. She also worked two jobs in the beauty industry while she was studying.

She knew she had to follow her passion.

After getting her qualifications, she stepped into the beauty world full time. She started as a junior therapist and eventually worked her way up to managing a salon.

Read her interview with Mamamia.

What is Melissa Young Beauty?

Melissa Young Beauty is a boutique french-inspired beauty salon in Glebe, New South Wales. I offer various treatments such as advanced facial treatments, HD brows, brow feather tattooing, eyelash extensions, waxing, tinting, laser hair removal and spray tans.

It has been featured on Sunrise Channel 7, awarded a finalist in the Inner West Local Business Awards, State Chamber of Commerce Awards and Small Business Champions Award. This year, it was ranked Top 4 in the Beauty Salon of the Year for New South Wales in the Australian Beauty Industry Awards.

I have also just launched my own Natural Soy Wax Triple Scented Candle line!


What were you doing before you went into business for yourself?

Beauty hasn’t always been my career. After finishing high school, I was offered an amazing role working in real estate. However, after five to six years of working in different sectors of the industry, I was made redundant.

That’s when it really hit me. Am I really happy with my career?

What made you want to start your own business?

Not only did I want to be my own boss, I wanted the control, challenge and hands-on experience. I wanted to create an environment where I am the brand.


How did you come up with the name?

Very simply, I wanted to brand myself (hence using my name) to offer unique treatments to clients in a way I would want them done on myself.

Describe the staff structure of Melissa Young Beauty. Do you have a partner? Has it changed?

It was just me for the first year. I worked solely running the business and working in the salon six to seven days a week. Going into the second year, it was becoming too difficult with the increase in clientele so I brought on an amazing therapist to work with me. We are now both at the salon full time.

Did you require investment to start your business? 

Prior to starting my business, I did own an investment property, which I sold. I used the profits made from that investment plus my savings to start Melissa Young Beauty.


What kind of advice did you get before you started and from who?

Be prepared for hard work and tough times. But most importantly, believe in yourself. My parents and my husband are my absolute rocks.

What’s the single best piece of advice you got?

Everything happens for a reason!

What’s the one bit of advice you would give yourself if you were starting again?

Don’t plan a wedding and open a business in the same year…

Listen: It’s a dilemma that has us divided: can you outsource wedding vows? (Post continues after audio.)

At Mamamia we have an expression “flearning” – failing and learning. What have been your biggest flearnings since you have started your business?


Owning a business, whether it be big or small, you are always going to make mistakes. However, I don’t look at mistakes as a failure or setback. They are learning curves and allow you to create smarter ways for the future.

What’s the smartest thing you’ve done since starting Melissa Young Beauty?

The smartest thing I have done is believing in myself and taking the step to starting a business.

Also, to continue learning and researching. I am always looking for new opportunities, new treatments and new machinery to provide the best I can.

Are there any pieces of technology or software, apps or systems that have made it easier to do what you do?

Yes! My online booking system. Prior to bringing this amazing investment into my salon, we would constantly be going back and forth with emails, phone calls or social media booking requests. Now my clients can book their appointments at any hour directly through my website.


How many hours a day do you work on your business?

While I’m at the salon, I am working with clients back to back performing treatments. Generally, I am there between nine and 13 hours a day (three to four days a week). When I am at home, I work on the backend of my business and all the other stuff that comes along with it.

What are your non-negotiables?

Quality time with my son and husband.

What’s the biggest misconception you had about starting your business?

It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.

Although I always knew it would be hard work, I did envision it to be a little easier than what it is. You budget, you time manage and you think you have it set. Then you realise you need to multiply all that by three or four!


Tell us about your proudest moment. 

I would say having Sunrise Channel 7 broadcast out of my salon, being ranked top as the top four beauty salon for New South Wales and starting my own candle line.


What does your personal life look like?

I am a proud mum to my beautiful little boy Zac who is 20 months old. I also have the most incredible husband and parents. As a little family though, we definitely make it a priority to step outside of work mode and cherish the moments with each other and our son.

What can you recommend to women who might want to get their own hustle going?

Do it! Do research. Know your industry. Be different.

I started my business based on true passion. Before taking the steps of opening my own salon, I did my research and made sure I wasn’t going to be the typical salon you always see.

Since we’re in the #LadyStartUp spirit, which Lady Startups do you recommend? 

Twothree.two is an amazing kids’ clothing line.

Elevation Hair is a hair dressing salon that has been around for over 20 years.

My Private Tailor does the best alterations for any outfit, including bridal.

You can see more from Melissa Young Beauty at their website, Facebook or Instagram. If you have a #LadyStartUp or want to recommend one for us to cover, drop us an email: