#Not All Nonna’s Knit

by Chrissie Parry

At an age when many women may begin to consider winding down their working life, and maybe ponder the prospect of retirement at some later stage – I built a business – Glamour Nail Bar, which is growing at an incredible rate, and pushing retirement far, far away.

I can’t imagine; in fact have no desire at all, for any form of conventional retirement for myself – instead I plan to fly around the world visiting our Glamour Nail Bars New York, London, Paris, Milan; with a champagne in one hand, and the hand of an outrageously young and handsome lover held with the other.

Glamour Nail Bar was the first high end, destination nail bar established in Perth almost three years ago, after a best friend Jani and I discovered a niche in the nail scene. It was the need for an authentic customer orientated, consistently high quality service, personalised experience with genuine follow up care. There are innumerable nail salons in Perth, hundreds, in every shopping centre and suburb; however these basic old school values made us different and desirable and a good fit for the discerning people of Perth.

I own the business with fellow Directors and long time friends Jani and Dane Schaper, and between the three of us I believe we smash every preconceived main stream idea about business owners and entrepreneurs. Jani and I created the concept when we were working together on a wedding business (we still do Bali weddings with our Divine Weddings and Events business) and were lamenting the fact that we could never find anywhere to have a pedicure together in a relaxed atmosphere where we could unwind. I remember saying that all I wanted was somewhere to have a pedicure and drink champagne with my friend, and we stopped and looked at each other and said “ we should create somewhere!” … and create we did. Then on board came Jani’s husband Dane to steer the financial side of things so that we didn’t squander our money on Tiffany jewellery and Sass and Bide clothes as we had done with Divine profits…and on we went to grow and create the Cockburn store and then five months ago our Subiaco store.

Then, as if that wasn’t enough work for us, we began to notice a lack of experience and finesse in many of the nail technicians applying to work for us, so rather than accept less than the best, we chose to tackle this head on. I am now putting together a training program to upskill potential employees to our high Glamour standard, and plan to open an RTO (Registered Training Organisation), our own Glamour Academy to offer nationally accredited and certified courses in 2018.

So, apart from a business woman, who am I? I am a mother of two grownup sons, a nonna of three, love of my life, grandchildren, and a minimalist with a sparse but versatile wardrobe of black and white. I’m a failed vegan because I love cheese, but apart from that downfall I’m a committed vegetarian. I’m a lover of sneakers as well as ridiculously high wedge espadrilles. I love live music, am usually the oldest at music festivals, and have a dream (aka a plan) to take a year to travel the world following music festivals for that 12 months. I have three rescue cats and love every one of them for their strange social anxieties and eating disorders; in fact I plan to own land one day when I’m very, very old and call it “Happy Cats and Cows” where I drink wine and rescue animals. I live near the ocean because my soul needs salt air and negative ions; I am obsessed with murders and the psychology behind them, and religiously listen to the “My Favourite Murder” podcasts, and plan to “stay sexy and not get murdered”.

I’ve never felt old, but I really really hated turning 50. Why? Not because I suddenly aged or woke up wanting to knit bedsocks or lament the irresponsibility of the youth of today – not at all. It was because I feared the ageism which often accompanies certain birthdays, I feared that people would “think’ I was old and treat me as old, and even worse, judge me for not acting or behaving old. Now in the year I turn 57, I celebrate the strength in my body, the dreams in my soul, the love in my heart and the sharp business plans in my brain. I read widely, follow instagram accounts of people who make me say “wow” out loud; I am obsessed with talking business and concepts and marketing and dreams with anyone who will stand still long enough for me to engage them in conversation.

I love to spend time with women starting on their career journeys, with young models and entrepreneurs forging a fashion future, with focused and fierce single mums building businesses with their baby on their hip, with people of all ages leaving 9-5 jobs that have eaten away at their souls. I love watching them leap into the crazy unknown to pursue a dream. I have less money now than I’ve ever had before, but I have more drive and contentment and fire than ever before – and it’s wonderful and wonderfilled.

Hard work will take you where you want to be, as will laughter, friendship, focus and the kicking away of any preconceived barriers society may place in front of you. Be brave, get crazy, love and laugh hard – the world is yours darlings xxx

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