They say in life it sometimes takes a major event for you to have clarity of thought, to redefine your course and wonder if “this is really it?” In the case of Sian Adamson – this event has landed her, quite literally, in the [ comfort zone ].
In 2006, Sian Adamson was in what some may consider to be ‘the box seat’. She had qualified from Otago University back in 1992 with a degree in pharmacy and gone on to become one of the youngest owners of a pharmacy in New Zealand – purchasing Knox Pharmacy in Dunedin at the age of just 25. She single handedly grew this pharmacy into a multi-million dollar business, went on to train numerous pharmacists who achieved their own success, appeared as Pharmacist Mentor in TV series ‘Just the Job’ and did the hard grind year after year to discover the secret elixir to profit was indeed people.
It was in this Pharmacy that Sian formed a lot of her business practices that have stood her in great stead today.
“It really is true that your life can change in the blink of an eye. Jamie went back to NZ to work and I had to stay in Australia and learn to walk again. I had never felt so hopeless and so completely on my own. It was the first time I had to contemplate that I wasn’t bullet-proof and it was frightening”.
|Thanks to her level of fitness and her stubborn streak, Sian was able to walk up the aisle to marry her sweetheart, but without even knowing it – this accident was to change the course of Sian’s life and career, an event that today, she is exceptionally grateful for. “It wasn’t like a bolt of thunder, more like a slow moving front. It just made me realise that I wanted to move in another direction. Life is about moving forward and challenging yourself and I felt that I had reached a turning point”.
It was also at this time that the pharmacy industry was changing due to government regulations and Sian felt that rather than being able to help her patients’ in-pharmacy and talk about their needs, she was discussing why they had to pay more and more each week for the medicine they so desperately needed. She sold her pharmacy, had her first child Emelia, and she & husband Jamie packed up and left for Sydney three months later to live. They had only been there 18 months when an opportunity to move back to Dunedin and buy a new business cropped up.
Right from the get-go Sian’s attention to detail and dedication to creating the best service in New Zealand was instantly recognisable. In 2011/12 after her first full year of operation, Beauté Skin Bar and Beauty Clinic won Best New Business at the NZ Beauty Industry Awards. Her prescription for success was written and, unlike the number of children in her little family, the Beauté family has continued to grow. Sian now owns the spa in Dunedin as well as one in Lambton Quay in Wellington and another in Taranaki Street in Wellington with more on the horizon.
“This was a really natural progression for me” says Adamson. “I always had an enormous interest in skin while I was in pharmacy and this aspect of my business had always been exceptionally successful. The ability to be able to prescribe the right treatment for the right condition is something that is very satisfying. It is an area where you can make a huge amount of difference to someone’s daily life and if you add to that the ability to create an amazing experience for them, for me, it was a no-brainer”.
When you ask Adamson about the differences between pharmacy and beauty she is quick to point out that there is a distinct lack of regulatory standards in the industry in NZ. Whereas in pharmacy the regulations were somewhat stifling, the lack of compulsory procedure in the beauty industry in NZ is an area that she feels could do with improving. She also makes no apologies that she strives for best practice in all of her spas. It has become her signature and one that she is aiming to replicate throughout the country. Adamson is a big-picture girl and rather than just being happy with the status quo, in 2013 she made another move that she says is part of this big picture with regard to her long term plans for her business model.
In September 2013 Sian took over the distribution of [ comfort zone ] Skincare in NZ.
|Paolo Braguzzi travelled from the home of [ comfort zone ] in Italy to launch the amazing Head Office and Educational Training space and even he was blown away by what the team here in NZ are achieving.
“Over the years I have learned what it means to live in a company and to deal with the community of people it represents. We are thrilled that community has extended to Dunedin, NZ” says Braguzzi.
Now in 35 spas in NZ, the [ comfort zone ] experience and treatment menu is one that is indeed special.
The Spa at Millbrook, the new Beauty at the Tannery in Christchurch and all of the Beauté Spa Group are just some of the exclusive [ comfort zone ] spas, but as well as offering a Head Office and National Trainer, the [ comfort zone ] team comprises a National Operations and Marketing Manager, Client Care Manager and various other staff who help run the office and improve communication and education for the stockists to help them grow their business. Adamson has learned that in order to achieve the goals she has set for herself in business, she needs to surround herself with people who share the same vision and have the same work ethic and belief system. This is not something that has come easily to her. A natural “t-crosser and i-dotter”, this savvy businesswoman has had to let go of the reigns a little in order to grow a lot.
It would be remiss not to ask what Sian Adamson sees in her future for both the Beauté Spa Group and the [ comfort zone ] brand in NZ and you will also find that in typical Adamson style, she doesn’t dwell on what she has achieved so far.
“I finally feel that I am in a place business-wise where I am able to put into action all that I have learned in my last 14 years. It is very special to be able to help people on a daily basis, I dreamed of this from the age of 15. But to be able to do that by marrying all my principals is indeed special”.
So from a young chemist she has developed into more of an alchemist. Combining all of the ingredients she has gleaned over the last 14 years to produce a business model that is indeed – magical.
For more information about [ comfort zone ] visit: www.comfortzonenz.com
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Article written by Nicky Rennie.