Business profile: Bronze and Beauty - Reading Evening Post Business profile: Bronze and Beauty - Reading Evening Post

Friday, May 25, 2012

Business profile: Bronze and Beauty - Reading Evening Post

Business profile: Bronze and Beauty - Reading Evening Post

The business: Bronze and Beauty, 887 Oxford Road, Reading, RG30 6TR. Tel (0118) 945 4000., email

The boss: Sarah McVey: “I am originally from a sales environment, which I was involved in for the best part of 30 years. I gave up my job two years ago to care for my husband who had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour.

"Sadly, he passed away last year. It was an absolutely life-changing moment and made me realise life is far too short so, when I was ready to return to work, I decided that I wanted a complete change.”

What is your business about? “The business is all about beauty and lifestyle, and making the customers feel good about themselves.”

What product/services do you offer? “At Bronze and Beauty we offer treatments ranging from tanning (spray tans as well as a tanning booth), manicures including nail extensions, pedicures, eyelash extensions, waxing for both women and men, facials, massages including Indian head massage, reflexology, ear piercing, body wraps and teeth whitening.”

How and when did you start your business? “The business was established in 2003 by Emily Shepherd. I bought the salon in January 2012 when Emily decided that she wanted to concentrate more on her family.

“Although I did not have prior experience in the beauty profession I had been a customer of Bronze and Beauty myself, and when chatting to Emily I realised what a great little business it was, and that the existing staff would be able to continue to manage the shop as well as teaching me along the way.”

How many staff do you employ? “I employ five staff.”

Who are your customers? “Bronze and Beauty has a wide range of female and male customers from the local area as well as further afield, including a few who appear on television, and it is therefore important for them to look their best.

“Some of our regular customers pop in as and when they feel the need for a quick tanning session without having to make an appointment.

“Others, like the busy mums, will make an appointment and set aside a few hours or so to have a complete pamper session and will take in a relaxing massage followed by a facial, manicure and pedicure.”

What sets you apart from the competition? “Because we are located just outside of the town centre, we are able to provide our customers with free on-site parking, so they do not have to worry about the high parking charges in the town centre. Also, Bronze and Beauty has been established for over nine years and prides itself on its strong loyal customer base.”

How has the recession affected business? “I have to say that although the first few months of the year were relatively quiet (which I put down to the usual post-Christmas lull), business has since picked up and our appointments diary is steadily getting fuller.

“Before knowing that I had taken over at Bronze and Beauty, a friend of mine who had driven past the salon and noticed that it had been redecorated said to me: ‘What idiot would open a beauty salon in a recession?’ However, women and men will always want to look good and feel good about themselves, even if that means just a few minutes in the tanning booth or a beauty treatment.”

How do you feel about the future? “I feel positive about the future. I have great staff, some of whom have remained at Bronze and Beauty since my takeover, and some I have employed since I took over. They are keen to continue to attend training courses to learn new techniques and treatments and I am hoping that, in the not too distant future, Bronze and Beauty will be able to offer new products and treatments as they become available.”

Morning business round-up: Spain's Bankia shares suspended - BBC News

What made the business news in Asia and Europe this morning? Here's our daily business round-up:

The main event in Europe on Friday was the news that trading in shares in Spanish bank Bankia was suspended in Madrid.

It asked for them to be suspended ahead of a board meeting later on Friday to reformulate its accounts for 2011 and submit a plan to shore up its finances.

The bank is reported to be due to ask the government for a bailout of more than 15bn euros ($19bn; £12bn).

Bankia, which is Spain's fourth-largest bank, was part-nationalised two weeks ago because of its problems with bad property debt.

In China, the telecoms equipment maker Huawei filed a competition complaint against US firm InterDigital with European Union regulators.

Huawei accuses InterDigital of "abusing" its position and demanding "exploitative" fees to use its patented technology, said to be essential to 3G in mobile devices.

It added that such moves were against the EU rules which require holders to licence their patents fairly.

InterDigital said it was "committed" to those rules.

International banking giant HSBC will be the latest UK firm to face a shareholder vote on executive pay later, amid growing concern about high rewards for bosses not reflecting company performance.

The bank is holding its annual general meeting (AGM) at which shareholders get to express their views about how the company is being run.

Chief executive Stuart Gulliver is in line for a pay package worth £7.2m.

But shareholder advisory body, Pirc, is advising shareholders to vote no.

Business headlines

In economic news, Thailand reported a surprise fall in its exports for April because of falling demand from key markets such as Europe and the US.

Shipments fell 3.7% from a year earlier. Many analysts had forecast an increase of more than 3%.

The data comes just days after the World Bank warned that the eurozone debt crisis was a threat to export-dependent economies in Asia.

Analysts said exports could come under further pressure in the near future.

And in Japan consumer prices rose in April, spurred by rising fuel costs, but growth remained below the central bank's target, official data has shown.

Prices rose by 0.2% from a year earlier, as fuel and energy costs jumped 4.7%.

Energy costs in Japan have risen after it shut all of its nuclear reactors in wake of last year's quake and tsunami.

However, prices excluding those of fuel and food fell, indicating that deflation remains a problem.

The latest Business Daily podcast is the second special programme from the Future in Review conference in Los Angeles. Lesley Curwen talks to the chief futurologist at Ford Motors and the actress Julia Ormond, and discusses whether robots could replace soldiers in combat.

Business demands early poll - Australian Financial Review
Business demands early poll

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and Prime Minister Julia Gillard cross paths during a division at Question Time Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Michael Smith and Jenny Wiggins

Business leaders are calling for an early election, warning that the political uncertainty created by a federal government lurching from crisis to crisis is eroding confidence and forcing them to put investment decisions on ice.

Chief executives of top-100 listed companies interviewed by the Weekend Financial Review said “enough is enough” as a string of political scandals coupled with a deteriorating economic picture meant Australia could no longer afford to have a question mark over key policy areas.

They singled out uncertainty over the carbon tax, industrial relations, the national broadband network and the mining tax as the main areas of concern that could be resolved if the Gillard government went to the polls. “Business needs some stability, we have short enough parliamentary terms as it is. If those are mirrored by internal instability along the way, it really isn’t helpful for anybody,” the chief executive of rail and ports giant Asciano, John Mullen, said.

A Nielsen poll for the Weekend Financial Review two weeks ago found 52 per cent of Australians would like an election to be held as soon as possible, up from 50 per cent in February.

The business community’s confidence in the Gillard government, already damaged by the leadership challenge by Kevin Rudd in February, has further eroded following the Peter Slipper and Craig Thomson scandals.

Senior executives in the mining, retail, energy, financial services, transport and construction industries questioned by the Weekend Financial Review said an election was the only way to stop business being undermined at a time when the European debt crisis, falling stockmarkets and weak consumer confidence were rattling sentiment.

Myer chief executive Bernie Brookes said during the week that businesses were reluctant to spend money in the present political environment.

“When Parliament are concentrating on the marginal nature of the government and the vote, and concentrating on individuals, then it doesn’t work well to give a degree of confidence for both investors and consumers,” Mr Brookes said, although he stopped short of calling for an early election.

Myer joined David Jones this past week in issuing a profit downgrade following a sudden deterioration in sales. Mr Brookes blamed uncertainty created by the carbon tax and rising living costs for fewer people shopping in his stores.

The chief executive of building materials group Adelaide Brighton, Mark Chellew, said it was time to let the public vote on a number of policies that would hurt business, such as the carbon tax.

“Enough is enough. I think the government should call an early election and let the people decide,” Mr Chellew said.

“The government is implementing a number of policies which we think are detrimental on business, and the public should have the right to make a decision about the future of this country.”

The mining community has also lashed out at the Gillard government over taxes and workplace relations.

BHP Billiton chairman Jac Nasser attacked the government earlier this month, calling for an overhaul of the industrial relations system.

Treasurer Wayne Swan has criticised mining billionaires Gina Rinehart, Andrew Forrest and Clive Palmer in comments that upset the resources sector at a time when it is dealing with rising labour, capital and tax costs.

BC Iron chief executive Mike Young said an election should be held “the sooner the better”, saying the government, Mr Thomson and the independents holding the balance of power had all done the wrong thing by clinging onto power.

“The country is in suspended animation at the moment and you can’t do anything. Their bare-faced determination to stay in power is just breathtaking.

“I just can’t wait until they are gone,” Mr Young said.

“It makes my blood boil that we, of all countries on Earth, aren’t holding our head up high and being very proud of what we have achieved.”

The managing director of Lend Lease’s Australian construction business, Peter Brecht, said he was worried policy decisions were being delayed.

“Politics are very difficult at the moment . . . I think it does [affect us]. It’s a confidence issue, we just try and work through that,” he said.

“We try and encourage everyone to get on with it but we don’t like to see decisions delayed or postponed. They get caught up in the politics.”

Asciano’s Mr Mullen, who has been battling industrial relations disruptions at the company’s port operations for almost two years, said constantly changing policy was not healthy.

“We studiously try to avoid backing one horse or another or making specific comments on any individual thing but it’s clear to the whole of corporate Australia that insecurity and instability is just not good for the country,” he said.

“Whichever side is in power, or whatever the situation, the chopping and changing and reversal of policies and stated objectives is a perpetual threat of any changed government.”

AGL Energy chief executive Michael Fraser stopped short of calling for an election but said the energy sector was exposed to political uncertainty.

“Businesses right across Australia want to see stability in politics and stability in policy settings so we can make long-term investment decisions,” he said.

The chief executive of insurer IAG, Mike Wilkins, said: “Certainty is what Australian business looks for. Any uncertainty is not good for confidence and a clear and solid direction is paramount from our political leaders.”

Not everyone agrees, however. Westpac chief executive Gail Kelly said earlier this month that the government’s critics should back off. Some chief executives would not go on the record to call for an election but were highly critical in private of the political situation.

Several senior chief executives, however, said in private that Ms Gillard was more impressive than her public image portrayed.

Some business leaders also privately expressed concern about the quality of the Coalition leadership.

The Business Council of Australia declined to comment on whether the government should call an early election.

But president Tony Shepherd said this week government policy must balance the needs of different groups.

Business: Student credit cards still scams to avoid - Examiner
  • American Idol catsuits

    Slideshow: Chaka Khan and Fantasia rocked the Idol stage in catsuits.

    You decide: Fashionable or fails?

  • Business Calendar for week of May 25 - Phoenix Business Journal

    Wednesday, May 30

    “Whittling Down the Details of a Business Bankruptcy,” Women in Banking, noon, offices of Ryan Rapp & Under­wood, 3200 N. Central Ave., Ste. 1600, Phoenix. Free. Emily Amparan, 602-763-1875 or

    Thursday, May 31

    “Identifying and Protecting Your Intellectual Property,” Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation, 11:30 a.m., GateWay Community College, 108 N. 40th St., Phoenix. Free. Reservations required: 602-286-8955 or

    “Simple Steps 2: How the Right Information Can Make You a Lot of Money,” Greater Phoenix Score, 2 p.m., NMBCA/SSC Boring building, 1951 W. North Lane, Phoenix. $25. or 602-745-7250.

    2012 Business & IT Expo, Arizona Technology Council and Phoenix Business Journal, 2:30 p.m., Sheraton Phoenix Downtown, 340 N. Third St., Phoenix. Free. www.aztech

    Monday, June 4

    “Global AZ Tech Beat,” Arizona International Growth Group, 7:30 a.m., ASU SkySong, Global Room, 1475 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale. $20. globalaztechbeat

    Wednesday, June 6

    “Sales for the Technology Venture,” Arizona Small Business Development Centers TechEdge, 11:30 a.m., GateWay Community College Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation, 108 N. 40th St., Phoenix. Free. Reservations required: 602-286-8955 or

    Manufacturing Series: “Portfolio Management,” Society of Manufacturing Engineers, 5:30 p.m., PADT offices, 7755 S. Research Drive, Ste. 110, Tempe. $20.

    Thursday, June 7

    West Valley Procurement Fair and Trade Show: “Mastering the Purchasing Maze,” Glendale Chamber of Commerce, 8 a.m., Thunderbird School of Global Management, Glendale. Free.


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