Katherine Francis: Restore and Rejuvenation Clinic
With over 17 years’ experience in the beauty industry, and a foundation degree in Aesthetic practice and Spa management, mum of three Katherine Francis decided that the time was right to start her own business after becoming unemployed.
A fully qualified practitioner specialising in advanced anti-ageing treatments that restore natural beauty through hair and skin rejuvenation, Katherine launched her business Restore and Rejuvenation Clinic in August 2019.
Based in Saville Place in Newcastle, Restore and Rejuvenation Clinic provides natural skin rejuvenation treatments including: Collagen Induction Therapy, which stimulates natural growth factors in the skin; Medical Microdermabrasion, which is a mechanical skin exfoliation that restores smooth younger looking skin; and, Skin Peels to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. It also offers treatments to combat hair loss, including Hair Fibre Restoration, providing a natural stimulant that enables new hair to grow, and Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) which provides hair tattoos to instantly provide a solution to hair loss.
After completing her foundation degree, Katherine became president of Newcastle College Student Union in July 2017 on a one-year contract, during which she supported students to achieve their educational potential. When her presidency came to an end in July 2018, Katherine was unemployed, and during that time she decided to start her own business.
To kick-start her enterprise journey, Katherine’s job centre in Newcastle put her in touch with PNE Enterprise and she was also registered onto the New Enterprise Allowance (NEA) scheme. Initially Katherine’s idea was to offer a mobile service, however it quickly became apparent that in order to meet regulatory requirements, the business would need to operate from premises. Identifying a suitable location was one of Katherine’s biggest challenges, with issues such as regulations concerning changing the use of a building taking time to sort out. Eventually after two months, Katherine had managed to secure the ideal premises for her clinic.
Katherine is very appreciative of the support she received from the New Enterprise Allowance scheme saying, “When I found myself unemployed and my job hunt was proving unsuccessful, I decided to use my experience and become my own boss with the help of the New Enterprise Allowance scheme.
“The costs incurred by a new start-up can be a worry until you become more established, however the NEA really helped towards paying the rent which makes a real difference at such an early stage of my business.
“The NEA payments are incredibly helpful and have reduced the stress on me and the business while we start to grow the clientele, and move towards achieving greater financial sustainability.”
Commenting on the support she received from PNE Enterprise and the ERDF programme, Katherine said, “My PNE business adviser, Lee, was an immense source of support and guidance especially on financial control, so that I knew exactly how much I needed to sell to generate a profit.
“PNE’s two day start-up course was very helpful in helping me develop my business plan, and gave me a lot of very useful insights on marketing my business effectively through social media.”
“Without the fantastic advice and support I’ve received from NEA, and PNE through the ERDF programme, I wouldn’t be where I am today with the business. They help you overcome so many obstacles and give you the skills and confidence to achieve your ambitions.”
Katherine believes that enabling people to look their best improves their confidence and self-esteem, and she hopes that the business will become widely known as a place that helps people transform their lives.
Once established in the North East, Katherine hopes to open up another salon, perhaps in the south of England.
Katherine believes that starting the business will play a big part in the life of her family, saying, “As well as providing a livelihood for my family, starting the business has also inspired my daughters, and both of them are already helping out in the clinic and want to become part of the business in time.”