Q&A with Nicola Mark
In our second Getting To Know You series we find out what makes Nicola Malloy Mark tick with 20 quick-fire Qs for our super-busy Saks Beauty Gosforth salon owner.
Nicola’s Saks Journey began in the role of beauty therapist aged 19 at Saks Hartlepool. 22 years later and she’s been our beauty salon owner at Saks Hair & Beauty Gosforth and then realised her dream by opening her own salon dedicated solely to Saks Beauty in April 2015.
1. Feel-good first question… a lovely gesture from a customer?
You won’t believe this. We had an incident of theft recently and I was devastated. A customer who was aware of it then sent a massive bouquet as she felt so sorry for me!
I also love it when customers tell me and the girls how well they are and how great they feel after being in to see us. I love my team like my own and that makes it special.
2. Now tell us the weirdest thing that’s happened in salon
“Our building was an old tram station and it’s over 200 years old. Before we moved in we were told it was haunted. We have a lovely ghost (we call her Edna) who stands on the stairs. Don’t ask!
3. What do you love about Saks Beauty?
Being a business owner can be hard at times but there is always someone to turn to at Saks HQ or on our private Facebook forum for Saks salon franchisees. Being part of a big brand makes you feel secure. I’ve made some solid friends for life here!
4. Fave treatment you enjoy delivering from our Saks Beauty menu
I’m ALL about skincare. I love making a difference with our advanced treatments and seeing customers grow in confidence – particularly if they’ve had problems with Acne, Rosacea or Pigmentation. Seeing the skin become smoother and brighter gives massive satisfaction. I love LED Phototherapy – those little lights are amazing. They can help boost collagen, eliminate spots and more – a very versatile advanced skincare treatment
5. All-time beauty icon and why?
Before I got into beauty Liz Earle made me sit up and listen because her beauty regime wasn’t a faff on. Less is more – I don’t like fads – and Liz Earle was the first brand that stood out. I got that she understood the concept of women wanting to nurture their skin but not having a lot of time to mess about.
6. A good read?
Never have time. I once read a book about a man who lived with wolves – that was canny. I don’t read and my husband’s an English teacher! He goes mad because I can’t spell.
7. Dogs or cats?
Dogs! I have two – Harley the Shih Tzu and Pippa the Poodle. Dogs are very intelligent and they pick up on your energy and moods – that’s what I’m all about.
8. Half hour of me-time – what do you do?
In the past year I’ve got right into going to the gym. There’s an old church where I live and it’s in there. I go four times a week and highly recommend having a good personal trainer. It’s become my way of clearing my head.
9. A great movie or boxset?
The Holiday is my absolute fave. Jude Law and his kids as the three musketeers – love it.
10. Couldn’t live without?
My gorgeous hubby Paul. We’ve been together 15 years and married for 13 years. I think.
11. Spirit animal?
Elephants – because they are so family-orientated. The elder elephant would sacrifice itself if the heard was getting attacked. I love the natural world.
12. A famous person you’d love to meet and what would you do?
Sia. She’s very creative. It’s inspiring how she’s overcome her demons. I love her quirkiness – I love people who stand out.
13. Fave place in the world?
Egypt. We went three years ago. Particularly loved the Red Sea, the people and the food!
14. Time travel. Where, when, what?
Ooh, the Charleston era. The 1920s fashions were very glam. I like that type of glitzy fun.
Nic, we think you’re totally channeling the flapper-look with your cute hair style!
15. A thing you want to do in the next year?
Skydive for The Eve Appeal! There’s been talk and I think we should just do it. Mind you it will be a real challenge. I was so out of my comfort zone when 39 of us took on the longest zip wire in Europe but we all got involved to raise funds for women’s cancers and raised over £7,000 between us for our charity AND WE’VE RAISED OVER £70,000 SO FAR, BY THE WAY! I would have let myself down if I didn’t do it. Loved catching up with everyone. Can we stay over again?
16. All-time iconic beauty product?
Two from CosMedix. Eye Genius is my must-have for dark circles and tired eyes. And my customers love the Purity Detox Scrub for its gentle exfoliation properties.
17. Advice to your teenage-self about your beauty regime?
LESS IS MORE! We’ve damaged our skins unnecessarily back in the day with bad ingredients in cheap foundations and foaming washes. No need for any alcohol here! I regret that I damaged my skin earlier on – but who was to know then.
18. Guilty pleasure?
19. Inspiration at Saks comes from…
Great question! I was a beauty therapist in Saks Hartlepool and kept thinking I would love to own my own salon but was too scared to make the decision. At Saks HQ I got chatting to a chap called Dennis Cheesebrough and I told him I was a scared of the responsibility. He said of course I had it in me and I should forge a career as a Saks owner – he really motivated me. It was only afterwards that I realised he was chairman of the company and one of the co-founders of Saks! Next I went to find out more from Sue Myers at Saks Scotch Corner. Dennis and Sue were both down to earth and approachable – these qualities are some of the building blocks of our brand.
Today, my inspiration comes from friends in the Saks network. I meet regularly with two of our Beauty Experts – Kirsty Jewson of Saks Northallerton and Becky Barraclough of Saks Halifax. We love a good spa day where we get to relax, take time out and share ideas – it’s win-win!
20. Finally, give us your #ILOVESAKS…
I love Saks because people have got your back. Always someone there if needed. Love being part of the big-brand but it’s a real family vibe. Wouldn’t change it for the world!
Q&A with Vicky Franks, Saks UK.