Vanessa Bell Mumbition the Podcast


The Podcast By Mums & Co

Episode 76: From ambitious to mumbitious

Natalie Anne

Founder of Natalie Anne Haircare

July 18, 2023
Poised and professional are two words that come to mind when we reflect on our interview with Natalie Anne. She started in the hairdressing industry at 14 years old. She’s now a mum of almost two children and at the helm of a thriving hairdressing empire and she describes her lively Lebanese family as her biggest business network. A style influencer with a difference, Natlaie Anne has a very keen sense of the tenacity required to create a legacy with your business and she also includes some very cool hair tips for those of us looking for a quick fix at the beginning of the day.

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Natalie Anne Haircare


Produced by - Lucy Kippist

Edited by - Morgan Brown
‍Interviewers - Carrie Kwan and Lucy Kippist
‍Guest - Natalie Anne

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Episode 76 Transcript

Lucy Kippist (07:51.214)

Poised and professional are two words that come to mind when we reflect on our interview that you’re about to listen to with Natalie Anne. She actually started in the hairdressing industry at 14 years old. She’s now a mum of almost two children and at the helm of a thriving hairdressing empire and she describes her lively Lebanese family as her biggest business network. A style influencer with a difference, Natlaie Anne has a very keen sense of the tenacity required to create a legacy with your business  and she also includes some very cool hair tips for those of us looking for a quick fix at the beginning of the day. 

 So here at Mums & Co, we are absolutely passionate about telling women's stories. Natalie, Anne, could you please start by telling us yours?

Natalie Anne (08:01.987)

So thank you so much for having me. I love your podcast. I really appreciate you having me on. My career started with really humble beginnings. I come from three generations of hairdressers. So I truly believe that my career chose me, not the other way around, being in the family for so long. I started working when I was 14 years old. So very young into the industry.

But I think it was incredible for me because it gave me the headstart that I needed. I started freelancing then when I was 21 and dabbled in some freelance work, in some fashion, editorial, and really tried to navigate the entire industry to see where I felt most comfortable. In that time, I was creating content very early. So MySpace, as early as that.

For all of those who listen. Then Facebook, Instagram then popped off for me. So I really used some of the skills that I pulled from my session and fashion background to then translate that into creating content online. From there, inquiries started to come through hard and fast.

 I started to, I employed an admin person. I opened a small little salon at my mum's house. This is probably around seven, eight years ago. We got evicted. That's a very long story, which forced me into my first salon. And it's been seven years since then. I have a team of 12 now in Croydon, New South Wales and a haircare line and education division, a bridal department. My husband and I have some, have a development company. So lots of things happening.

Lucy Kippist (11:12.991)

Wow, that's certainly a trajectory and I absolutely love what you said at the top there about the career having chosen you. And I can only imagine all the things you've absorbed from watching your own family through the years and then applying that to your own business must bring a lot of depth to what you're offering.

Natalie Anne (11:35.435)

Most definitely.

Lucy Kippist (11:36.662)

So speaking of how you run your business, as well as running this very successful business, you also have a very young daughter. I'm just wondering how you find or if you find that there's any transferable skills between being a mum and running a business with 12 staff that you've mentioned.

Natalie Anne (11:55.159)

This answer may change. I'm expecting my son in seven weeks. Thank you. So this question may change when this podcast drops, but I believe patience is probably the most transferable skill. My daughter taught me, I believe my staff taught me patience. And then...

Lucy Kippist (12:02.414)

Well, congratulations.

Carrie Kwan (12:02.924)


Natalie Anne (12:21.107)

that really sort of paved the way for me being a really patient mum. Because yeah, I feel like you just need patience on all ends, you know, with your partner who's trying to juggle it all with your, with your mum, you know, me being patient, more patient with my mum was really important. Uh, my mother-in-law, you know, that's like a big one. You just got to be patient there. And then, you know, being a mum and a business owner, I think it's just the key.

Listening to people, making sure that, you know, they might not have the right skillset when you first employ them. But if you're willing to, just like a mother, take them on that journey and teach them and have that patience, I think you're always gonna win.

Carrie Kwan (13:09.574)

It's a definitely one of the skills that we draw upon daily, whether it's your work family or your own family. Very exciting news to welcome another one to the fold soon. And Natalie, look, working with thousands of women over the past seven years as well at Mums & Co so our businesses are at the same age. And I know that, you know, we've been there at the catalyst point for many women starting their business.

You stepped into, you know, known in some space because of your parents, you know, having that sort of third generation business experience, but you are still stepping into the unknown in many ways. So can you tell us a bit about perhaps some of the doubts that you might have experienced as you began your journey? What could have prevented your business from taking off?

Natalie Anne (14:04.299)

I actually recently did a talk at the Eden retreat. I don't know if you're familiar with that. Up in Queensland and it was for a brand called O&M and we were fleshing out imposter syndrome. And you know, how I managed to conquer that really early on in my career. And I think being a hairdresser, but also being a content creator, you have to be willing to take a risk, you know,

Putting your art, and that's what it is, your art out into the world every single day, whether it is a client being in your chair or you creating or curating a piece of content and putting it out on the internet, you have to be ready for some sort of criticism. And you have to be ready that, you know, your art might not be for everybody. And that's okay. But dealing with that self doubt very early was probably one of my biggest challenges, you know, the fear of, are you good enough? You know, am I worthy of this? You know, as, as our audience started to grow, I'm like, did I, do I deserve this almost? And I was an early adopter and somebody first to market on Instagram and Facebook. So that was something that I really had to conquer really early on. And I'm so happy that I did because.

If you struggle with those things, it can really disable you from creating and curating and sharing, and that's what you need to do every single day in order to be able to succeed online.

Carrie Kwan (15:44.546)

Well, thank you for being vulnerable and brave because that's when the innovation and the magic happens as well, right? So I have a little bit of a, I can empathize in many ways with my first startup which was Daily Addict and an insider's guide and at the same time when Facebook was new and you have to apologize when you're Tweeting from the runway or creating that content that no one else has access to. So thank you for being brave because that has resulted in great leadership and the success of your business today. And I'm sure some amazing content. If we had to, I guess, look back on, you know, just the art of, you know, you're creating a new category, right? Like when you first started. So how have you, I'm wondering how you've actually best used your networks on your journey to support the creation of your business. And second part is, do you have any top tips that you'd like to suggest to another woman in your industry with networking?

Natalie Anne (16:54.507)

Most definitely. I will start with the family dynamic, because obviously three generations of hairdressers. And then now I employed my sister, my family, my cousins. I brought my husband into the business. My daughter's 2 and a half, but she's already sweeping floors. But it's very interesting how that was my first network and how I leveraged that family dynamic and brought that culture into my business.

Which was so important for our new staff members and new family members to then witness. That was a huge part of us growing a business was having that family circle, everybody dealing with, I guess, any kind of workplace drama in a family manner, it was like, sort it out, get it done. And it was really beautiful to see. And we still have that family culture. But going into my haircare brand,

It's been really interesting. Um, and as an educator as well, you know, I always caught slack very early on. It's like, why are you teaching the consumer? Why are you teaching all these other hairdressers your secrets? So this is kind of before, um, you know, hacks and DIYs, and it was cool to do tutorials online. This is something that was very new to everybody. Like I was sharing industry secrets online.

So I really use that to my advantage. And some of my ex students that I've taught for many years now have now become our haircare ambassadors. They are now educators for my brand or influences within our online circle, which has been really beautiful to see because they're paying it forward, because they've been inspired by what we do. And hopefully I've given them what they need to succeed.

Lucy Kippist (18:50.430)

You sound like you're a natural relationship creator or maker, which is obviously also a phenomenal gift in a hairdresser, having been, you know, having a privileged relationship with my own hairdresser and being able to sit there and ask people questions and make them feel comfortable. That's obviously a huge part of what you're bringing to your business. But I'm wondering if the shoe was on the other foot, what's one question you would absolutely love someone to ask you?

Natalie Anne (19:26.723)

Ask me. I feel like most people don't ask me what type of wife I am.

Which is really weird. Um, and my husband is such a huge, huge part of my business and my life. And you know, the stepping stones, like we, we met really early on. I was 24 and you know, again, really, really humble beginnings. So I think having that, that life partner, that best friend, then that business partner, and then you know, my husband and my partner in crime in parenting, because that's what it is. Like, have each other's back, is really, really important for me and my balance and circle.

Lucy Kippist (20:13.630)

Yeah, 100%, 100%. And I know, you know, working closely with Carrie over the last couple of years, and I mean, I know that you too, Carrie, have that relationship with your husband and that I often hear you talk about the importance of that support in the context of, and as you say, being part of the business in your case, Natalie Anne, which brings us to the next question really about how, you know, how you balance, or sorry, how you harmonize all these aspects of your life. So at Mums & Co we describe it as harmony, bringing our ambition and our livelihood and our well-being all together. So reflecting on that for you in your life, what or how would you describe the shape of a great life for you?

Natalie Anne (21:02.015)

I don't know if you guys are gonna like this answer, but if there was like a hurricane shape.

Lucy Kippist (21:07.455)

Yes, good one.

Natalie Anne (21:12.439)

I'd probably say that is my current shape, where wellbeing is definitely the tip. That doesn't get much help down there. But on the top, you know, family is always going to be the hierarchy for me. It sets the tone for everything. It's why I'm so ambitious, I believe, you know, whether it was very early on in my career working for my family.

You know, and then supporting my family and helping support my family. And then even now it's my daughter, it's my future son, it's my husband, it's, you know, my family members that work with us. Um, you know, it just really drives that, that pinnacle part, which is family.

Carrie Kwan (21:58.302)

We love a good hurricane and you know, thank you for, you know, bringing to the fore, family as a network. I actually haven't thought of it that way. I know, I think we, I know it's that co the community around us, but it is in very much in your case from a business perspective that, you know, family definitely runs through every part of ambition, livelihood and wellbeing for you.

Natalie Anne (22:30.551)

So I'm Lebanese, so family is definitely a network. It's large, loud, crazy. Again, it chose me, it chose me.

Carrie Kwan (22:47.242)

We love it, love it. And in the spirit of women supporting women, who are some of the mumbitious, that's those that are unapologetically blending motherhood and their ambitions that you'd like to say hello to?

Natalie Anne (23:02.475)

I'm gonna say hello to Renia from Velonce. She's an incredible hairdresser, session stylist, mum, entrepreneur, educator, one of the most intense creatives I've ever met in my whole entire life. And the reason why I wanna say hello to her is because I didn't really complete transparency want children. Like it was not something in my, I guess my life plan.

And I would think it was because I was really scared that it would take away from my first child, my business, or, you know, like my current lifestyle or whatever. I don't know why it was just always a huge fear for me. And she just pulled me aside one day and said to me, she was like, Nat, you do not understand the level of ambition. If you think you're ambitious now, wait till you have a kid.

And the level of ambition you didn't even know that you could possibly have because you finally have someone to work for.

And so many people told me different things, but for some reason, when she said it, I believed it because she was already living what I believe was my like North star, you know? So I think I had to hear it from somebody who was doing it and had done it and was continuing like continuously succeeding in what she was doing. So she's definitely somebody that I would love to say hello to.

Lucy Kippist (24:42.930)


Carrie Kwan (24:44.247)

Stella advice. Thank you for sharing that and I hope that the next ambitious woman is who needs to hear that has heard it.

Kid (25:26.234)

Okay, so what is your best? I've only got five minutes to do something with my hair tip that I can share with my mum.

Natalie Anne (25:37.283)

All right, I want you to go tell your mum to get a toothbrush and a bottle of hairspray. And she's going to brush all her hair up, nice and slick. Leave a little center part, tie it up in a high knot, and then use the toothbrush to make sure that the front is very smooth. And she's going to look sharp, chic, and polished and ready for the day.