Sarah risked it all to leave an unfulfilling corporate job to follow her passion. Soon after, she graduated as the 2016 French Academy Valedictorian!

Today, Sarah is the owner of SAVY Beauty & Skin, a heaven for all things skin, relaxation, brows and beauty. Read on to be inspired by a young woman who risked it all in search of happiness.


What motivated you to pursue a career in beauty therapy?

I was working in a corporate admin role and feeling unfulfilled and searching for ‘more’. For me that meant career fulfilment, job satisfaction and being truly passionate about what I do. I spent countless hours searching for the perfect ‘job’ that seemed it would be the most fulfilling and I kept coming back to beauty therapy – something I honestly never thought I would want to pursue but I knew when visiting salons myself I always left feeling so good, so I finally decided to take the leap into the beauty industry!

What was your main motivation for studying at the French?

Deciding to step down from full time work to study something completely outside of my comfort zone was one of the hardest (yet best decisions) I have had to make. I knew if I was going to find the fulfilment I was searching for I had to align myself with the best. After spending hours researching training academies I knew there was only one option! The French had such amazing course options! But more importantly, their values aligned so well with mine.

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

I enjoyed every aspect of my experience at The French. I was so nervous on Orientation day thinking I was ‘too old’ for a career change but as soon as the formalities were underway and I started connecting with fellow students and educators, I knew I’d made the right decision. I felt so cared for during my year at The French and not only walked away feeling confident in my new trade but having life long friends and connections. 

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

The Service Excellence program  allowed us to build confidence and work on our self-worth. This along with the opportunities I had throughout the year to gain experience in the industry.

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

I had a positive experience with all of my educators although my favourite classes were massage with Jai and facials with Lorrain and Alana. These ladies helped build my confidence and shape me into the therapist I am today. I am so grateful to each of them!

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

You will be giving so much of yourself to your clients so don’t forget to schedule regular self-care moments for yourself. 

It can be so easy to burn out in our industry and being a part of it has made me honour and hold space for my own beauty and self-care routines. I live and breathe what I preach to my clients and know that I am giving them my best when I am feeling at my best.

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

For me I found it so easy to gain work. I actually had several job opportunities while I was still studying and I made sure to volunteer and network at every event The French hosted. 

How are The French graduates perceived out in the industry?

The French graduates are very highly regarded!

Describe a day in the life of you at work…

Every day is different and that’s what I love about our industry. Being a sole owner/operator means my day starts before I even arrive in the salon and then I spend all day treating my beautiful clients. I feel so grateful that I now go to ‘work’ with a true love for what I do.

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

The beauty industry is ever-evolving and there is always something new to learn. 


Go for it! Even if you have the tiniest inkling that you think you want to study beauty therapy, pursue it. There are so many career options upon graduating and like me… It might just change your life. 

What are your goals for the next few years? Do you have an ultimate career ambition?

Launching SAVY just over three years ago, it was my ultimate career ambition to own my own business. I am so proud of how I have built this little community of like-minded woman (and men) who choose to visit me for their self-care needs.

I am open to the idea of helping others in our industry and have even been approached by a few training providers to see if I would be interested in becoming an educator. The timing wasn’t right but … never say never. I am excited to see where SAVY takes me!

Why did you decide to start your own business? Can you tell us a bit about your journey?

SAVY was inspired by my desire to create a haven for self-care. I wanted anyone who walked through our doors to feel welcomed and nurtured. I find the utmost fulfilment in building client relationships and witnessing their self-esteem grow with every treatment.

What were the first few steps you took to set up the business?

Applied for an ABN, registered my business name, found a space to work from and focused on building an online presence. 

Our Flagship Course: The Future of Beauty

Next generation training for Beauty Therapists & Entrepreneurs​

“I find the utmost fulfilment in building client relationships and witnessing their self-esteem grow with every treatment.”

- Sarah Paynter

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting your business, and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge was actually learning to say “no”. As a new business owner I was afraid that if I wasn’t available to my clients 24/7 that they would go elsewhere. This wasn’t sustainable and learned I had to set firm boundaries in place if I wanted to continue SAVY long-term.

What is a decision or perhaps a mistake you've made that has lead to a very valuable lesson in running or starting a business?

I pride myself on valuing my clients time which means I am always (mostly) running ahead of my schedule. Because My clients know that I respect and value their time they also show me the same respect, valuing the time I have held for them. I was so worried about introducing deposits when I opened SAVY, but it has been such a good business decision that clients also like. 

What did you learn during your time at The French that helped prepare you when starting your business or during the course of your business journey?

The French held us all to such a high standard and that set the benchmark for who and where I wanted to be in the beauty world. This taught me to hold myself to the same high standard. You can be professional and nurturing at the same time. 

What are your plans for the future of your business, and where do you see yourself in five years?

I want to continue to grow SAVY as a place for self care. I’d love to have my own wellness space with an amazing team who love the industry as much as I do. If I do grow my team I want them to feel like they are a valued part of SAVY.

If you had just 1 piece of advice for our Frenchies who are wanting to start their own business, what would it be?

Study hard, gain industry experience where possible and set the standard high from the get-go.

Of course, if you have more tips, please share them with us!

Do everything with intention.

My Signature Beauty Go tos...

Scent: SAINT, smoke show
Lipstick: Clarins Lip Comfort oil in chocolate
Book: The 5 Love Languages 
Blog: Poosh
Best Kept Secret: Daily facial massage and cold therapy at the end of my morning shower 

Study French Make
Sarah Paynter



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