Louise Searles – Founder
I completed a 3 year Hair, Beauty & Wigmaking course at Havering College in 1984. I worked as a hairdresser and therapist in hotels, salons and spas in Romford, Newquay and Reading, until 1988 when I established my first business within a hairdressing salon in Chelmsford. After a year I enrolled on a teacher training course and returned to Havering College on a sessional post, becoming a full time lecturer in 1992. I was introduced to City & Guilds by my mentor and manager and very soon became an examiner and involved in the development and introduction of NVQs. The bug for quality had bitten and I was chosen as to became an external verifier and held the post of Hair & Beauty Regional Lead Verifier for London & South East for several years. I loved this role, however gave it up in 2001 when I left Havering College to set up my own training centre. The training organisation has changed greatly over the past fifteen years to meet the demands of our learners and the industry. I have been fortunate to be able to maintain 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, I have taken the organisation in a different direction, now offering 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. I really enjoy helping those who have already undergone training, to achieve formal qualifications and am currently developing an online training programme to support this work.
My focus is enhancing the quality of the learner’s journey, whilst meeting the industry’s needs and expectations to create quality provision.
Samantha Blake – Holistic & Beauty educator – Massage specialist
I started my career with a 3 year Beauty Therapy, Makeup and Hairdressing course at University College Birmingham in 1995. I then continued to study to become an all-round Beauty and Holistic Therapist and specialise in different types of Advanced Facial and Body Services, with a particular interest in Holistic Aromatherapy Massage and Spa Treatments. I then went on to complete associated training in Nutrition and Health Screening to add a whole person approach to my therapy style. With a love for Electrolysis, I also trained with Gill Morris in Thread Vein and Skin Tag Removal.
I have honed my passion and expertise for our industry by working as a senior therapist, salon manager, trainer and company troubleshooter for top and award-winning salons and successful salon group Re-Aqua, providing treatments and managing teams in many different environments in the Midlands, Surrey and London.
Working in a luxury environment also means I have worked with all of the top line products and treatment houses including Clarins, Guinot, E’SPA, Dermalogica, Decleor and learnt some successful sales techniques.
I always knew I wanted to teach, so embarked on the Certificate in Education, Level 3 Assessor and Level 4 Verifier Qualifications,
starting my teaching career in Further Education at Farnborough College of Technology as a Lecturer as well as specialising in students with learning issues.
Working in two very large organisations with diverse learner issues, gained me much experience until the opportunity to work in the private sector with Phoenix after having my daughter in 2011. Working with small groups of learners allows me the autonomy to use all the skills I have learnt. Teaching and passing on
knowledge and experience is my driving force as an educator, to build self-esteem and confidence for my students to have the best career on the planet, (apart from being Mum of course.)
I continue to feed my industry passion by helping small businesses to thrive and grow with my consultancy and business development services. I have also founded my own brand girls experience focused
Toni Larkin – Nail tech specialist
I embarked on my original training course at The Brentwood Academy of Health and Beauty in 2004. I decided to take the pure Nail Technician route and is trained in all enhancements systems, nail art, gel polish and also spray tanning. I have also trained with leading brands such as CND, ibd, Calgel, Gelish and OPI.
After working freelance for a few years alongside my ‘day job’ I 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 I could take her skills with me and continue to work both as a mobile nail technician and in the glamorous setting of a Marbella salon, where I 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, I decided to follow the natural progression into teaching and enrolled and completed the ‘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.
I jumped at the chance to join Phoenix HBNT in 2014 where I continue to work now, as well as a mobile Nail Technician.
I am continuously inspired by the fast-paced and forever evolving nail industry and am always updating my skills to remain abreast of new developments. I have recently been appointed as regional sales training manage for INK London Nails and am committed to delivering informative and current information relevant to today’s nail industry and the next generation of nail technicians.
Tara Jones – Reflexologist
I have been a teacher of all ages for 25 years and enjoy passing on my knowledge. I made the change quite late in life to move into complementary therapies, it had always been something I was interested in but decided that I wanted to take that further and qualify as a reflexologist. I am very passionate about reflexology and have a client base where I specialise in reflexology lymphatic drainage particularly for autoimmune disease sufferers and those in chronic pain. Helping couples who cannot conceive is also a passion along with helping ladies through their pregnancies and sometimes through to birth and after. I believe strongly in being able to offer individual treatment plans to clients and have continued to grow my skill set to be able to do that. Reiki, Bach Flower remedies, homoeopathy, Ayurvedic facials, Indian head massage and the use of paraffin wax baths for
those in pain have enabled me to produce treatments that change and move with the client as their needs change. This year has been an amazing year culminating in being shortlisted for the Inspiration Therapist of the year 2017 by Holistic Therapy Magazine.
I am delighted to be joining Team Phoenix and be able to bring my teaching and therapy skills into
the perfect setting and hope that I will be able to pass on my passion for reflexology to my students.
Angela Latham -Beauty, Body Specialist & Reflexologist
After completing a 3-year full-time City and Guild’s beauty therapy, electrical epilation and hairdressing and wig-making program in 1983, I started my career in salons around Romford and Barking, quickly becoming an expert in waxing, the signature Clarins facial and body treatments and electrolysis and the popular ‘Slendertone’ slimming treatments.
I used my skills to maintain a flexible work pattern by working as a mobile therapist whilst I raised my daughter until 2010 when I decided to refresh my skills and update my training. Adding Indian head massage, deep tissue massage and intimate waxing to my skill set secured me a position as spa therapist at Greenwoods Hotel Spa & Retreat in Stock. I embraced all the training that they threw at me, completing Elemis training which encompassed face and eyes, body therapy, Exotics and mother to be training. I also trained in ‘La Sultan de Saba’ which included bamboo massage and I also added reflexology to my skill set.
After three years I decided to move to a smaller more personalised salon in Great Baddow where I could get to know my clients better and develop treatment plans for them to really make a difference in their well-being. I extended my training to include IPL & microdermabrasion treatments and was also able to increase the Elemis training which included Aroma stones and update my body treatments.
Although I adore learning new skills and treatments, I felt the time was right to start passing on my knowledge to others. I completed the City & Guilds Award in Education & Training as well as the Assessors Award and have been teaching and managing the learning of apprentices in salons in 2016.
I have developed a love for A&P, the more I teach the more I want to know and the more respect I have for the human body and everything that it does. I am excited to be developing my Reflexology knowledge and skills into the world of oncology & working with clients with life-limiting conditions to help support their well-being.