From humble beginnings in New Zealand, to creating a beauty business empire in the UK, Haylee Benton’s business journey has been one of sustained growth, calculated decisions and a dedication to succeed.
It all started during Haylee Benton’s travels of the UK while she was working part time to pay off her continued exploration of Europe, something not uncommon for young travellers abroad. However what set Haylee apart was her drive to make more out of her opportunity as she sought out an opportunity to work in marketing through a contact in London.
“I absolutely loved the business vibe in the UK there were so many more small businesses and entrepreneurs. The opportunities for seminars and events in London were huge so I soaked up a lot of knowledge and it got a bit addictive.”
Fast forward a few years and she had gained a strong background in marketing as well as a degree in Business from Warwick University, rated one of the world’s best Business Schools by the FT, the Economist and the Guardian. It was from here she gained the confidence and business acumen to take the steps to launch her own company, PamperPad, which still runs strongly today.
PamperPad is in Haylee’s own words “the Trip Advisor of the salon industry”, with over 8,000 businesses listed in their extensive directory which allows for customers to find the very best local deals, while pamper professionals can also achieve great exposure of their business at an affordable rate.
Since launching in 2014, PamperPad has become a trusted resource for both consumers and professionals in the beauty and wellness sector and has helped skyrocket Haylee’s business portfolio. After understanding more about the industry, Haylee made the shrewd decision to launch three beauty brands– a day spa, a hair salon and a skin clinic – all with the promise of offering the customer a unique and personal experience.
“Despite not having the background in the beauty industry that some feel is needed to succeed, as a woman I felt I understood what people will want from their visit to a spa that others locations aren’t living up to. When I go into a salon or spa, I have extremely high expectations. I don’t want it to be a boring, run of the mill experience and that is what we set out to do with all of our premises.”Haylee Benton
Haylee’s salons are all about the client experience. For example, the hair salon ‘Alchemy & I’ is a blow-dry bar focusing around treating yourself and your friends. Clients can order cocktails and gossip with each other while they get glammed up, taking it to another level in comparison to standard salons. Cecily Day Spa aims to immerse client in a different world with cruelty free treatments being offered inside individually designed themed rooms. And finally, Koha Clinic combines tried and tested techniques with state-of-the-art technology to create a new age method to rejuvenate and revitalise skin.
Haylee also smartly spotted a gap in the market for beauticians and hairdressers who were seeking coaching and mentoring towards successfully running their businesses. She took the years of experience she had learnt building PamperPad and shared her knowledge of marketing, finances and long-term strategy through a dedicated mentoring scheme. This allowed her to give back to the industry that had given so much, while also promoting her own brand at the same time.
Away from her beauty industry work, she has been a keen investor and continues to up new projects and hobbies. In 2017, she set her sights back home and launched her own signage and events company on the other side of the world in her native New Zealand. After employing someone to take care of day-to-day operations locally, Haylee took charge of strategy from UK, eventually building the business to such a great level she was able to sell it on for a great profit. Her current ‘hobby’ business is her luxury ladies’ golf clothing range, something she decided to create after yet again astutely finding a gap in the market that good looking womenswear was hard to find in the sport.
“As an investor, I love to help businesses thrive to their full potential. My real passion is sharing what I’ve learned about building a successful business – as a speaker and as a mentor to up new startups.”Haylee Benton
For the future? The skies the limit. Haylee is firming has her eyes set on replicating the successful salon model she has created in other affluent towns across the UK as well as potentially having a site back in New Zealand.
“My new thing is ‘global domination’. I’m learning to be less impulsive and to slow down making decisions meaning I’m a lot more calculated jumping into business opportunities. But this doesn’t mean I don’t have plans to grow even more!”Haylee Benton