A NORTH East hairdresser with Moray roots has been shortlisted for a business award.
Scottish Hairdresser of the Year, Tracey Devine Smith, is a finalist in the Grampian Awards for Business Enterprise.
Elgin-born Tracey, company director and founder of hair salon Angels, has been shortlisted in the employer of the year category in the awards, which take place in Aberdeen next Thursday, June 21.
She has come a long way since the days when she started her apprenticeship at Clancy’s in Elgin, having travelled the world on assignments for magazines and hair shows.
Tracey (41) owns two salons – one in Aberdeen and one in Ellon – and now employs over 30 members of staff.
While her talents for hairdressing come naturally, Tracey admits that developing her entrepreneurial ability has involved lots of hard work.
She said: "Evolving from a hairdresser to business woman has been quite a challenge for me, as it has involved having to make smart decisions based on my head rather than my heart.
"My business ethos is ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves’. It’s an old saying, but very true."
She was named Scottish Hairdresser of the Year in 2006 for the first time.
Honoured to be shortlisted in the awards, Tracey added: "It is important for me to acknowledge that I would not be where I am today without my talented and gifted staff."
She worked for many years in Moray, but decided to make the move to Aberdeen during the mid-1990s when she was offered a position at a salon in the city.
She opened her own salon in 1998 and quickly expanded.
"I started out with zero staff but loads of passion. We have grown considerably, now employing upwards of 30 staff and we have plans for expansion in the future.
"It is my aim to make getting your hair cut or coloured an experience rather than something you have to do. I also challenge the stereotype that hairdressing is an average, low paid job: it is a great career with great prospects if you are willing to put in the work.
"It has not always been easy, but sheer guts and determination have got me to where I am today – a well-known name in British hairdressing.
"The best bit of business advice I could give to anyone is to never doubt your own ability – just go for it, but take calculated risks."
The awards are organised by Enterprise North East Trust (Enterprise) and sponsored by The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and Aberdeen City Council and Aberdeenshire Council.
The gala dinner when the winners will be announced is next Thursday at the Mercure Ardoe House Hotel