Small Businesses of Broken Hill – Anthea Van Kemenade

Dylan J Stone

Anthea Van Kemenade is a veteran of her industry, and on what she calls Freedom Day in 2021, she opened her own business and swiftly became another Broken Hill success story.

Mrs Van Kemenade owns and manages Smooth Beauty and Wellness.

Before opening her business, Mrs Van Kemenade enjoyed 21 years working in the beauty industry after completing Beauty College in Melbourne back in 2000.

“I moved to Dubbo and worked there for some time, then I managed a salon in Taree,” she says, “before returning to Broken Hill where I had my first child, and I started working at Aura for a couple of days a week for the next 10 years, before moving to Phobe Brooke Skin Clinic and Spa where I worked until I opened my own business.

‘My passion for the industry stems from my family. Many of them were hairdressers, so this was certainly in my blood. Along the way, I realised just how much I loved the fact that people could come to a beauty salon and forget about the world, because everyone’s lives are so busy, but in here they can forget about all the stress and they can just relax.”

Mrs Van Kemenade’s transition to business ownership was perhaps smoother than most.

“As I couldn’t work during the 2021 lockdown, I was able to use that time to plan for the business.”

It meant many of the challenges new small business owners often have to deal with didn’t eventuate, although she does say, “initially, I was worried about the potential of more lockdowns but thankfully that hasn’t happened, but that was a genuine concern because of the uncertainly at that time”.

Thanks to the strong level of planning and preparation, she was able to reap the benefits of small business ownership, including the fact, “this journey has granted me the freedom and independence to set my own schedule and to work around my lifestyle”.

Her experience in the industry has also played a key role.

“I have seen many different trends on how certain treatments should be done, but now I can implement things exactly how I would like to do them.”

While Smooth Beauty and Wellness has only been open for 12 months, Mrs Van Kemenade says, “one of the trends I am finding in this industry is that clients are wanting to treat themselves more. I think that’s because life is so busy that people are realising the importance of taking the time to care for themselves, so indulging in self-care, such as massages, allows people to recharge and face the busy world again with confidence.”

On starting a new business, she says, “if you have the initiative, you should give it a go. My only regret is that I didn’t have the confidence in my business skills to go into business earlier. Getting support is also so helpful, such as a good accountant, and support from family and friends is very important.”

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