Louise Searles – CEO
Louise completed a 3 year Hair, Beauty & Wigmaking course at Havering College in 1984. She worked as a hairdresser and therapist in hotels, salons and spas in Romford, Cornwall and Reading, until 1988 when she established her first business within a hairdressing salon in Chelmsford. After a year she enrolled on a teacher training course and returned to Havering College in a sessional post, becoming a full time lecturer in 1992. Louise was introduced to City & Guilds by her head of department and quickly became an examiner and involved in the development and introduction of NVQs. She soon became an external verifier and held the post of Hair & Beauty Regional Lead Verifier for London & South East for several years. She enjoyed this role, however gave it up in 2001 when she left Havering College to set up her own training centre. Her training organisation has changed greatly over the past fifteen years to meet the demands of learners and the industry. Louise has maintained a semi-active role as a consultant with City & Guilds working on a variety of product developments, in particular with the assessment team.
Having delivered funded provision for the majority of the business’ life, the organisation has taken a change in direction: Louise now offers City & Guilds qualifications to mature private learners who are helped to create their own flexible learning plan incorporating the units they would like to study. Louise helps those who have already undergone training, to achieve formal qualifications and she is currently developing an online training programme to support this work.
Louise’s focus is enhancing the quality of the learner’s journey, whilst meeting the industry’s needs and expectations to create quality provision.
Paula Hole – Training Manager
Toni embarked on her original training course at The Brentwood Academy of Health and Beauty in 2004. She decided to take the pure Nail Technician route and is trained in all enhancements systems, nail art, gel polish and also spray tanning. She has trained with leading brands such as CND, ibd, Calgel, Gelish and OPI.
After working freelance for a few years alongside her ‘day job’ she decided to take the plunge into nails as a full time career and in 2006 began work as a Nail Technician in a salon based in Brentwood. A move abroad to Spain in 2007 meant that she could take her skills with her and continue to work both as a mobile nail technician and in the glamourous setting of a Marbella salon, where she built a loyal customer base within the expat community for the next 4 years.
Upon returning to the UK in 2011, now with 2 young children, Toni decided to follow the natural progression into teaching and enrolled and completed her ‘Certificate of Teaching in Lifelong Learning’ and Level 3 Assessor Award, while working as a lecturer at Havering Adult College, which offered VTCT accredited qualifications to 18+ learners.
When an opportunity to work in private sector teaching arose she made the move to Phoenix HBNT in 2014 where she continues to work now, as well as a Nail Technician based at The Bay Tree Salon in Great Baddow.
Toni continues to be inspired by the fast paced and forever evolving nail industry and is always updating her skills to remain abreast of new developments. She is committed to delivering informative and current information relevant to today’s nail industry and the next generation of nail technicians.