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Brooke’s story is one of commitment and unwavering passion. Shortly after graduating Valedictorian in 2018, Brooke opened her own salon, The Fresco Complexion. A beautiful light filled high end beauty therapy clinic which aligns inner and outer wellbeing – a unique holistic approach she learned in her Dual Diploma at The French. Recently in 2021, Brooke expanded her offering with the launch of her first product, a 2-in-1 lash and brow growth serum.

Brooke’s love for beauty, artistry, creativity (and the great discovery of her mother’s beauty cabinet) is what led her into studying her passion! “By the time I reached the age to begin my studies, I felt my career path was set. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do as a profession. When you know, you know,” she said. Not only was Brooke Valedictorian in 2018, she is also a Make-up Artist and a Beauty Influencer. But this overachiever stays humble “Giving to others is extremely rewarding and is truly what drives me every day.”

What motivated you to pursue a career in beauty therapy?

My love for beauty, artistry and creative pursuits was derived from my childhood. Growing up, I would immerse myself in the beauty section of magazines and never forget the great discovery of my mother’s beauty cabinet, I would take everything out and practice treatments on willing volunteers. By the time I reached the age to begin my studies, I felt my career path was set. It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do as a profession. When you know, you know.

What was your main motivation for studying at the French?

In decision to begin my studies, I knew I wanted to align myself with a training provider that offered the very best learning experience. The French Beauty Academy emerged through research and I was instantly drawn to the academy’s transformative approach to education and extensive course structure involved. The very first moment I walked in for a tour of the campus I knew The French was the perfect place for me. I felt a sense of belonging and was attracted to the like-minded people who are driven by the desire to help students find their light and inspire them to live their truth.

What was your favourite part about studying at the French? How would you describe your experience from the day you started at orientation?

I Absolutely loved studying at The French and would look forward to each day I attended. From my first day at orientation I recall the feeling of nurture and care that I felt within the campus environment, very quickly feeling like I was truly part of a second family. I felt encouraged and motivated to work hard, dream big and really focus on believing in myself. My year at the French was unlike any other and had such a positive impact on my life. The French truly gave me the greatest gift of all, the gift of a bright future.

How did the French help prepare you for life as a professional beauty therapist?

The French Beauty Academy delivered an innovative and cutting-edge curriculum that uncovered the inner workings and depths of the industry, demonstrating to me exactly how powerful outcomes and influences beauty therapists can create for their clients. This knowledge allowed me to evolve my own perceptions of what it means to care for people and subsequently driving me to fulfill a meaningful career in the industry. The academy guides students in becoming exemplary practitioners and caring professionals who embody the attributes of grace, compassion and service.

Did you have a favourite teacher / subject at the french? Why?

The educators and staff members made my experience at The French Beauty Academy most memorable. They bring a wealth of knowledge to the classroom and all unite in displaying a genuine care towards the learning and development of each individual student. They continued to believe in me and guided me through a journey of personal growth towards self-confidence, self-acceptance and self-love. I felt there was so much to be taken away from each individual subject taught and I enjoyed learning the principles of them all. My favourite subject whilst studying was advanced facials in which my educator was Alana. She truly made me fall in love with every aspect of how the skin works and her great love and passion for what she does would truly shine through in her teaching methods. She continues to be an inspiration and mentor to me and I am extremely lucky to be able to call her a good friend.

Introducing Our Flagship Course -
The Business Of Beauty & Makeup
The course that set Brooke Pender (and many other alumni just like her) up for success.

What is the best advice you received from your study at the French?

The greatest advice I received from my time at the French was to always work with integrity and initiative, be present with the client and giving of yourself, never compromise on quality and always remain a lifelong learner. I was also always encouraged to stay true to myself, follow my instincts and never stop chasing my dreams. I remember my teachers saying “the sky is truly the limit”.

What were some of the invaluable lessons or most important thing that you learnt at the French that you have been able to apply to your new career?

The service excellence program was a standout and really shaped me into the therapist and person I am today. It led a journey towards personal and professional growth and encouraged me to break away layers and explore the nature of my attitudes and behaviors. I was able to recognise my personal power, whilst still remaining open and vulnerable to experiences. These key attributes take great effect on ourselves and the lives of others, allowing us as therapists to create meaningful connections with our clients.

How easy was it for you to gain work after graduating? Tell me about your first career ‘break’?

Taking knowledge obtained, advice given and guidance displayed from mentors, ultimately I feel I gave myself my first career break in opening up my own salon ‘The Fresco Complexion’. 

I wanted to create a space that focused on results oriented clinical beauty with the disciplinary nature of applying holistic education. Combined, I believe this had the power to achieve a positive and transformative treatment outcome. I wanted The Fresco Complexion brand to be recognisable, embodying an exceptional standard of client care that I myself would relish in as a consumer. In perspective, it was a complete leap of faith to go out on my own and try and build something new and unique from the ground up. Though it was a risk I was willing to take in order to bring my visions alive. Looking at the project as a whole it tested me both professionally and personally beyond anything I had ever endeavoured before. The outcome of having complete creative freedom to build a business based off my personal beliefs and core values has been most rewarding and I haven’t looked back.

What elements of your study allowed you to obtain your new job? Were there any specific skills that you learned from your time at the French that you then highlighted in order to be hired?

Personally, I learnt how to translate my passion into proficiency. Having a great interest in business, learning to think strategically and understanding how to identify goals and formulate plans that give shape to my vision was essential. The Business of Beauty module outlined how to apply integrated technical and theoretical concepts in a broad range to implement into the development of my business.

“I wanted my brand to embody an exceptional standard of client care that I myself would relish in as a consumer. I wanted my salon to focus on results-oriented clinical beauty with the disciplinary nature of applying holistic education.”
- Brooke Pender

How are the French graduates perceived out in the industry?

The French Beauty Academy produce world class beauty therapists. They are regarded as being the best of the best who encapsulate an excellent standard of professionalism, deportment, etiquette and manners, communication skills, service standards and a driven and dedicated work ethic.

What do you most enjoy about your new job? Has there been a memorable moment since you graduated?

EVERYTHING! I love my job and can’t imagine doing anything else. Each day I create many memorable moments and my clients are, hands down, my greatest source of inspiration and influence. Giving to others is extremely rewarding and is truly what drives me every day.

Describe a day in the life of you on a working day?

I believe having a crafted and consistent morning ritual is essential to maximise energy, productivity and creativity all day long. I naturally wake up at 5.30am and make my way out into the kitchen to get a glass of warm water with a squeeze of lemon, taking this outside, I sit and enjoy observing the sights and sounds of nature this enables me to have a clear and positive conscious ready to face the day ahead, I then shower, get ready and make a freshly squeezed juice for breakfast. My working days differ, treatment days are dedicated to clients whilst others are spent replying to emails, strategising growth or working on other aspects of the business.

Why is it so exciting to work in the beauty industry right now?

I love to see the shift that the practice of self-giving and self-nurture is becoming more accepted as a lifestyle rather than a luxury. The introduction to new innovations in science and technology is increasing everyday making it exciting to work in an industry that is constantly evolving.

What advice would you give to students who are wanting to pursue a career in beauty therapy?

Nothing substitutes passion. Passion gives you a reason to keep learning, keep growing and to work towards mastery. It will forever remain your driving force for all that you do and approach in life, find what you are most passionate about and start doing it. Always work hard, embrace challenges, take risks, neutralise your fears and turn the unknown to known. As therapists we truly have the power to make a difference in the lives of others. This is the greatest gift of all.

WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS FOR THE NEXT FEW YEARS? DO YOU HAVE AN ULTIMATE CAREER AMBITION?

From a very young age my parents would always encourage me to dream big. My bedroom became a space of imagination.

I would cover each wall in photos of things I wanted for my life and every morning when I woke up I followed the mindset that each day I would do something that would get me a step closer to achieving one of those things. It definitely feels like I’m still at the very beginning of a journey, and there is a lot to achieve. I believe there is a universal nature to the business; the connections I make with people, collaborative opportunities created, the philosophy I follow and services I provide. My ultimate career ambition is to launch multiple salons within Australia and internationally, with The Fresco Complexion being recognised on a global scale.

What advice do you have for those considering a diploma of beauty therapy and screen media? Why do you think it’s a must?

The Dual Diploma in Beauty Therapy and Screen Media provides a modern day all-round educational grounding. From a personal perspective, the Screen and Media component was an essential element in developing a thorough understanding of business planning, social media marketing, retail sales, recruitment and HR. The beauty industry is at the forefront of the sales distribution in the way that products and services are now marketed to consumers. With the rise of social media, brands are utilising an array of advertising solutions to connect directly with customers, increase brand awareness, and boost leads and sales. I believe to successfully establish a business in this day and age, an understanding and strong point of difference is crucial to stand out in a crowd that’s already oversaturated.

MY SIGNATURE BEAUTY GO TOS…

Scent: Chanel Coco Mademoiselle
Lipstick: Mac Satin Lipstick in Spirit paired with the Hourglass High Shine Lip Gloss in Truth
Book: I absolutely adore fashion and am fascinated by the world of editors, designers, stylists and consultants. Empress of Fashion is my favourite book as it captures the shaping of the industry as an honest reflection.
Blog: Gritty Pretty
Best Kept Secret: Don’t focus on external beauty if internally you have a good heart, kind nature and giving soul you are already the most beautiful.

THE FRENCH EDIT…

City: Paris
Beauty Muse: My beauty and style muse will forever be Audrey Hepburn.
Drink: Freshly squeezed juices. One of my favourite blends is beetroot, orange, carrot, celery and a touch of ginger. When I have this as a kick start in the morning I also will add the Glow Inner Beauty Essential Powder from The Beauty Chef.
Song: My three most played songs are; Canned Heat – Jamiroquai, Vienna – Billy Joel and It Ain’t over ‘Til It’s Over – Lenny Kravitz.
Quote: “You were created on purpose for a purpose”

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