Having dropped out of school when she was 15 and left her home in Auckland, New Zealand to move to Australia, Tania had already displayed an ability to follow her heart and take risks, so after gaining valuable experience managing several other beauty spas, at 25 she opened her first venture, Madison Beauty, on the Gold Coast. Based within a hair salon, it wasn’t long before Tania had built up a booming client base, and with the support of husband Joel, she decided to officially branch out on her own. “Back then we had no money, we were young and ambitious, and we had signed our first lease in a shopping centre, so we were wondering how it was all going to work,” says Tania. “We’ve got a photo of the first store that we now show everyone at the staff Christmas party, and it’s of Tania standing there looking around it, and her face…” laughs Joel, “she looks so stressed!” “I remember sitting there on a late night shopping night and no one had come in for about six hours, but I still stayed there right up until 9pm and waited,” she laughs, “it was hard work back then, but I know that’s the case for most people when they start out in their own business and they’re trying to make it work.” Although she admits she had doubts on occasion, Tania says she knew from the very beginning they would be successful. “When you open a business rather than purchase one that already exists and there’s no one coming through the door, it can be disconcerting. You really are just believing in your brand and your ability to make it happen. But the phrase, ‘Build it and they will come’, is something I truly believe in,” she laughs. And come they did, with Shine becoming so successful, Tania and Joel were able to expand to not just two, but six stores throughout the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast and Brisbane.
Do we have all the SECRETS as to how to make it work? I don’t think we do – we just UNDERSTAND each other fairly well.”Like any couple both living and working together, they admit it’s not always easy. But as I watch them banter and bounce stories off each other throughout this interview, their admiration and respect for each other is obvious. “There are highs and lows, but I wouldn’t change it at all,” adds Tania. “Do we have all the secrets as to how to make it work? I don’t think we do – we just understand each other fairly well.” Both attribute amazing staff and great systems as the reasons behind their great work/life balance, and although they confess work can sometimes sneak home with them, it’s the fact it’s a family business that keeps them grounded. “I don’t think anyone ever has the perfect work/life balance every day,” says Tania. “It’s important, but it’s not always possible. We’re luckily at a stage now where it can be more about our family.” While it may be a determined team that continues to lead all six businesses and the 45 staff under their employment, Tania remains the driver behind the enterprise, and was recently awarded Outstanding Business Woman of the Year for her efforts, at the 2016 Sunshine Coast Business Women’s Network Awards. “I didn’t expect it at all as all the finalists were so professional and inspiring. The publicity has been great for business and it’s been really great to reflect on my journey and my past achievements,” says Tania. “There was a moment just after I won the award where I was feeling a little emotional and I was sitting at the gym, and this song came on (Story of my life by One Direction) and I just burst into tears because after 17 years, I realised it’s been a long journey.” It’s a fantastic achievement and one that adds to what is already a long list of accomplishments, and while Tania is now able to enjoy the fruits of her labour, the passion in her voice when she talks about her enterprise makes it clear we can expect plenty more.]]>